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 really 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 here on the blog, I knew I had to try it out. And I had the perfect test subject! A dingy pillowcase that I have washed time and time again, but had never really come out WHITE. 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.
Miracle Whitening Solution
Katie JoMar commented:
- HOT HOT HOT water
- 1 cup of laundry detergent (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent
- 1 cup bleach
- 1/2 cup borax
After filling the washing machine on the hottest setting, 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 just enough water to cover the article you’re washing.
Let soak for as long as you can stand it! :-) I managed to stay away from it for a couple of hours. Overnight would be ideal, though.
Note: If you have a high efficiency or front-loading washing machine that doesn’t allow you to soak for an extended period of time, you can also put your item in a large pan of hot water on the stove to soak (if the item is small enough), or you could use a 5-gallon bucket and fill it with boiling hot water. Pretty much any large container you have could be used for soaking!
It’s not always easy to see how stained and/or dingy a white article is in a picture, so I cranked the contrast a bit to make it show up a little better. As you can see, it was pretty bad.
Related: How to Rescue Old Yellowed Pillows
But as you can ALSO see, after soaking in the whitening solution and hot water for a couple of hours….BIG DIFFERENCE! The stains are completely gone and the whitening solution actually managed to release the WHITE that was lurking within! And I call that a “miracle!” :-) If you’re interested in more clever laundry solutions, be sure to check out my eBook The Homemade Laundry Guide! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!