Even though folding laundry is one of my least favorite chores, I do enjoy the challenge of the washing stage of doing laundry. One of the things I like most about it is the sense of accomplishment I feel when I’m able to revive dingy and grimy fabrics and restore them to their formerly bright white state!
And when it comes to whitening whites, there’s no better method than the one I’ll be sharing with you today. I’ve been using this method for years now to brighten white shirts, bedding, towels, and more, and it has never failed to produce astounding results! (And get this—you don’t even need bleach to do it!)
Today I’ll be sharing my simple step-by-step process to whiten whites, including clothes and other fabrics. For the photos in this post, I demonstrated this process using one of my sons’ dingy pillow protectors. (You’ll see what a difference it made at the end of this post!)
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How To Whiten Whites Without Bleach
Step 1 – Soak
Place the item you want to whiten in your washing machine, then add the laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and borax. Fill the machine with hot water and leave it to soak for several hours or overnight.
(If you have a front-loading or high-efficiency washing machine that isn’t conducive to soaking, you can do this step in your sink, a large pot, or a five-gallon bucket instead.)
Two of the most important variables in this step are how much water you use and how hot that water is. Shoot for a small load size to make sure the cleaning ingredients stay concentrated, and use the hottest water you can!
Step 2 – Wash
Once the item is finished soaking, run it through a hot water wash cycle in your washing machine. When the wash cycle is done, you’ll be astounded at what a difference this whitening treatment can make!
Just take a look at the before and after pictures of the pillow cover we washed using this method. It went from dull and dingy to bright and clean!
How This Method Works
In addition to hot water, this method uses three other powerhouse cleaners to help dissolve stubborn grimy residues. The presence of laundry detergent in this method is fairly self-explanatory, but what about dishwasher detergent?
Dishwasher detergent is highly alkaline, which is one reason it’s so effective at washing away fats, oils, and protein-based residue from your dishes. The dinginess that plagues white fabrics is often protein-based, which is why the alkaline dishwasher detergent is perfectly suited to dissolve it.
The third cleaner in this method is borax, which is often marketed as a “laundry booster.” That’s exactly the role it plays here, helping to boost the effectiveness of both the laundry and dishwasher detergents.
Want More Laundry Methods & Helpful How-Tos?
If you’re interested in more clever and useful laundry solutions, be sure to check out my eBook How To Wash Everything! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!
What white clothing or fabric would you whiten with this method?