whitening whites in the laundry?

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Organizing' started by Tyler520, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Tyler520

    Tyler520 Well-Known Member

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    My white sheets are starting to get a little yellow - especially the pillow cases, presumably from the oil in my hair. I've washed them with plenty of bleach, but to no avail.

    Can anyone recommend any good solutions to whiten them up again?
     
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  2. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As you've found out, bleach does not help with oil/grease on fabric. There are several things you can do:
    Use ammonia with your detergent in the wash water, and then use vinegar in the rinse (be aware that ammonia can cause colors to fade, and fade unevenly); use a spray & wash type product on the worst spots before washing; get a janitorial degreaser (the janitor stores will sell to the public, or I get mine from Sam's Club) and use it in the wash along with detergent. I find that this does not fade things like ammonia does.
     
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  3. Shin

    Shin Well-Known Member

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    Add some bluing?
     
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  4. Forcast

    Forcast Well-Known Member

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    for me using bleach with well water that has iron in it make whites rusty/yellow colored for me. so I dont buy whites. I have used rust out in the wash and that helps but I would guess its hard on your wash.
     
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  5. Tyler520

    Tyler520 Well-Known Member

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    @Marcia - is there a particular ammonia product you recommend from Sam's Club?

    Not worried about fading since it will be used purely on whites
     
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  6. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our Sam's carries a line of janitorial products called Proforce. They have a degreaser I use -- aka in our house as "the purple stuff." I use it in the laundry, in the kitchen, and on the walls -- works great at different dilutions for different levels of dirt.

    As for regular ammonia, get the cheapest, non-detergent stuff you can find, as long as it's all the same strength. And honestly, I don't know if different brands come in different strengths. As for sudsing ones, just add you own soap/detergent if that's what you want; it's less expensive than buying a product with it already added.
     
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  7. mzgarden

    mzgarden Well-Known Member

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    I second Shin's suggestion of bluing. I've made my own liquid laundry detergent for years and I add a squirt of bluing to the gallon bottle. Helps with whites and won't hurt colors.
     
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  8. Shin

    Shin Well-Known Member

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    I haven't tried this myself but I hear that a good oil cutting dish soap might help too.

    Of course you have to be careful with dish soap and laundry equipment as it makes too many suds, so wash by hand or only use a little. HE laundry equipment especially can't handle suds.
     
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  9. Txsteader

    Txsteader Well-Known Member

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    Try using powdered detergent. I use the inexpensive brands from Mexico, such as Foca and Blanca Nieves and see a noticeable difference......whites not dingy and yellow anymore.

    Liquids are more effective at removing oily-type stains but powders are better for common dirt-type stains and for keeping whites bright.

    Sometimes I'll use a combination (mostly powder w/ a bit of liquid added) when I want a little extra punch. Works great.

    Also, try using vinegar instead of fabric softener in the dispenser. It removes all soap residue which can also cause yellowing, plus it leaves laundry soft and fresh-smelling.
     
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  10. MoBookworm1957

    MoBookworm1957 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Bluing works well
     
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  11. MoCat

    MoCat Well-Known Member

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    Try cheap baby shampoo. Not overly sudsy and still will cut the grease. I hand washed a shirt that had melted butter spilled on it, using shampoo. It looked like a brand new shirt when dry.
     
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  12. missythemom

    missythemom Well-Known Member

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    Ive used oxiclean white revive and it worked amazingly well.
     
  13. Munga

    Munga New Member

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    I like using hydrogen peroxide. It freshens the entire laundry and keeps my whites white.
     
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  14. MELQ

    MELQ Well-Known Member

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    mix 1 cup powdered Clorox 2 and 1 cup powdered Cascade in a 5 gallon bucket of the hottest tap water and soak items overnight (if u have a top load washing machine) pour the whole thing in and wash as usual this can be used for colored items also but have to be careful of colors that bleed
     
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  15. n3ttst3r

    n3ttst3r Member

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    Part of the problem is most people don't realize bleach isn't meant to go directly in the wash, especially with heavy soiling, it's just done that way for time saving. The proper way to use bleach in the wash is pretreat and wash the clothes on a full cycle THEN fill the machine with cold water and bleach diluted to the proper ratios, let it SOAK for a minimum of 30 minutes (I do mine for at least an hour) then turn the machine on and run a good cup or two of vinegar in the rinse then dry however you choose.

    Bleach needs a soaking time to be effective, and it needs clean fabric with no oil, for really heavy spillage I bust out the dawn dish soap and scrub by hand then hose it off and wash the dawn dish soap is gentle on the fabric but tough enough to get even the worst oil out of my husbands work clothes. Then wash then bleach.

    The vinegar in the rinse neutralizes whatever remaining bleach is on the fabric and acts as a softener.

    Even my own mother in law is amazed at some of my husbands work shirts they can be worn daily for a week and not washed between and still come out looking brand new.

    The key is making sure before you soak that the fabrics are bleach safe.

    If not literally use straight 3.5% peroxide and a baggie wash the fabric with a good soap (dawn dish soap then a regular wash and rinse) put each into its own baggy and grab some cheap peroxide from the pharmacy, pour it in and let it sit for a while to soak remove and toss them into another load to rinse the peroxide out.


    OXYclean and similar are a total waste of money, they are literally a powdered combination that turns to peroxide and washing soda in the wash, you can buy a big thing of washing soda and several bottles of peroxide for the same price and they will last longer (and have more uses) the ONLY time I buy actual powdered oxyclean stuff is to spot treat upholstery stains (easier to apply a thick paste to a vertical surface lol)
     
  16. The girl loves flowers

    The girl loves flowers Active Member

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    I second the Oxi clean (the one without all the perfumes). It is amazing. It gets baseball pants like new everytime plus white tshirts. I use hot water and soak all day as the directions say.

    I will have to try the peroxide/washing soda way. Although peroxide costs about 2$ in my town, not sure on washing soda. Do you just use a small amount of peroxide?
     
  17. kpark905

    kpark905 New Member

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    I've had this problem and finally found the solution! My husband's aunt had learned it in Eastern Europe...you just boil them with baking soda. Heat up a BIG pot with water. Add your pillow cases. Dump in about a cup of baking soda. It will foam like crazy. Stir everything around as best you can. Keep adding baking soda as the water stops foaming every 3-5 minutes or so. It makes your kitchen smell like pillowcase, but it's chemical free, cheap, and so effective! I had really yellowed pillow covers. The water turns yellow brown and your pillow cases come out white. Run them through the wash and you're good to go!
     
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  18. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    Clothes don't come as clean these days since the government banned phosphates in laundry detergent and dish washing detergent.

    I fill my washing machine 1/2 full of very hot water and add 1/4 - 1/2 cup (depending upon how dirty) of TSP - tri-sodium phosphate (not the new imitation TSP) soak your whites overnight or up to 24 hours, then fill the washer the rest of the way and wash as usual. All those ugly stains come out of t-shirts and blouses. I'm in the process of doing white jeans and shirts today.

    Then hang them in the sun if you can.

    BTW: it does NOT hurt any material.
     
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  19. The girl loves flowers

    The girl loves flowers Active Member

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    I
    I second OXI clean (Oxi clean FREE). I now purchased straight Sodium Percarbonate from ebay to avoid the high price of Oxi clean.

    Tammy
     
  20. Irish Pixie

    Irish Pixie Well-Known Member

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    I recently found a product called Out White Brite. It works really, really well but don't put anything with a color in with your whites, I learned the hard way. I washed DH's socks (they have a little color on them but there are no issues), white tees, and a pair of really dirty jeans. The blue from the jeans (which were faded to a very light blue) turned most of the other stuff blue. I hadn't had a laundry disaster in a couple decades.

    If you have all white stuff to clean and brighten, this stuff is great.