Miracle Laundry Whitening Solution


It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted ANYTHING about laundry! I’m going through withdrawals! :-) I’m one of those strange people who likes laundry. And one of the things I like MOST about it…is the sense of accomplishment when something dirty comes out CLEAN. I guess I also like the “challenge” aspect of it as well. Turning dirty, dingy, grimy and stained into white, bright, fresh and clean. Yep, I find that very appealing. :-)

So when I came across this “recipe” for whitening whites in the comments section of a post at Homemade Mamas, I knew I had to try it. And I had the PERFECT test subject! A dingy mattress pad that I have washed time and time again…but never comes out WHITE anymore. For some reason I just KNEW there was a whiteness still lurking under the dinginess…I just needed the right formula to apply to it. This one seemed very promising.

Katie JoMar commented:

  • HOT HOT HOT water
  • 1 cup of laundry detergent
  • 1 cup powdered dish washer detergent
  • 1 cup bleach
  • 1/2 cup borax

After filling the washing machine with HOT water….I also dumped in a large-sized pot of water I had brought to a boil on the stove. I was looking for HOT HOT HOT water, just like Katie said.

Another thing to remember is to add the above ingredients to as small a load size as possible. You are looking for CONCENTRATED cleaning power, and the more water you have in the tub, the less concentrated it will be. Shoot for BARELY enough water to cover the article.

Let soak for as long as you can stand it! :-)  I managed to stay away from it for a couple of hours. Overnight would work too.

This is what the mattress pad looked like before “treatment”. Believe it or not, I’d just BARELY washed it. (Please keep in mind it’s very tricky trying to show before and after photos of mostly WHITE images, but I tried my best!)

Notice how dingy the top side of the mattress pad is compared to the SIDES of the pad. Fairly dramatic difference I’d say.


And here is the same mattress pad after soaking in the whitening solution and EXTRA hot water for around 2 hours. BIG DIFFERENCE!!!  The whitening solution actually managed to release the WHITE that was lurking within! And I call that SUCCESS!

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  1. Tegan says

    Does this take colour out? I have white school shirts that have a colour emblem and colour around the collar and am looking for something to get them white again with out taking the colour out. Thanks

  2. Christine says

    Did you use the dishwasher detergent shown in the picture or your own homemade stuff? Thanks for this recipe! I’m excited to try it!

  3. Kate says

    How could I use this on a whole load? Like on socks from 3 messy boys. Could I just double or triple the ingredients, or should I wash several loads?

  4. Karen Zaccagnini says

    I have a front loader, so I’m not entirely sure how that I can do this. I would also love to be able to do a full load of boy’s socks! I was even thinking of doing a pre-soak in a big rubbermaid tub and maybe doubling the recipe?

  5. Jill says

    I have used this trick for years but never with borax. I will have to give it a try. My most treasured laundry tip is Lestoil for oil or grease stains. I mean GREASE! Car, tractor, grease you name it as well as oil from food. Just put it in the spot and let sit before laundering. ( check for color fastness of fabric) I had one t-shirt that faded.

  6. says

    I have used straight dishwasher detergent as a soak before in a washtub and it works great. You would definitely want to run them through the washer afterwards.

  7. Lori says

    I’m a little confused, my washer will stop going through cycles? Do I leave the lid up? Could I soak in my 5 gal. bucket then wash?
    On a side note I’m very sad that none of the commissaries (military grocery stores) have laundry bars so I cannot get fels naptha… is that what it’s called? I’ll have to order online… (I’m in Japan)

  8. Marianne says

    I’m going to try this on my ugly dirty socks!

    From your picture it looks like you used your homemade laundry detergent that’s made from Dawn (I’m just guessing here, because it looks blue). I thought you weren’t supposed to mix Dawn with bleach?


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