White clothes often don’t remain white for long. A single juice stain, coffee spill or even sweat marks can ruin white shirts, dresses and pants. Even without an accidental stain, white clothing can often start to look dull after several washes. While bleach or expensive laundry detergents might do the trick, there are in fact multiple natural and inexpensive ways to keep white clothes looking as clean and bright as the day you bought them.
Many laundry detergents contain optical brighteners. These are chemicals that make fabrics appear brighter and whiter, that stay behind on clothing even after washing. They work by changing UV light waves to enhance blue light and minimize yellow light; thus, clothes seem brighter and whiter.
Numerous optical brighteners are made from benzene, a harmful compound that has been linked to cancer. These brighteners can cause allergic reactions as well as skin rashes and skin irritation. Staying away from commercial detergents doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with dull, fading clothes and no way to remove stains. To keep harmful chemicals out of your house and away from your clothing, check out these safe and easy alternatives!
1. Baking Soda
Mix 4 liters of water with one cup of baking soda, then soak your white clothes in the mix. This is effective, and will allow you to avoid fragrance and other additives or chemicals that are in most laundry detergents. Your dull, white clothes are sure to brighten right up!
2. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide (3%) is a non-chlorine bleach, so it works great for removing stubborn stains and whitening clothes. Just add one cup of hydrogen peroxide to your laundry detergent and wash your clothes as usual.
3. Distilled White Vinegar
Simply add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the natural laundry detergent of your choice to give the detergent an extra boost. Distilled white vinegar also works great on stains, especially those sweat and oil stains that form around the armpit and collar areas. Just pour some in a spray bottle and spritz the stains!
4. Dishwasher Detergent
An eco-friendly and natural dishwasher detergent can effectively whiten your clothes. It’s not recommended that you wash your clothes solely with dishwasher detergent, but adding just a little bit to your regular laundry detergent can give it an extra kick. Just add 1/4 cup to your laundry detergent and wash your clothes as usual. Be sure to choose detergents that are free of chemicals or additives. Stick to chlorine-free and phosphate-free versions.
5. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice can be used in two different ways to brighten white clothing. The first is to rinse your white clothes in the washing machine with a cup of lemon juice added. Then, hang the clothes outside to dry. With the second method, put your white clothes in a basin full of hot water and add lemon juice. Leave your clothes to soak for a few hours, then take them out and place them in the washing machine. Wash as usual. After using this lemon juice treatment a few times, your white clothes will be shining bright.
h/t: healthy food house