Naturally brighten whites? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-17-2007, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there a beach-alternative alternative?

I have a few items of clothing that are pretty dingy looking. Most of them have colors on them as well. So I'd like to brighten the white without messing up the color in the shirts. Possible?

My laundry routine goes as such: Wash (front loader) in cold water with Charley's Soap and a bit of vinegar. I normally always line dry outside.

Any advice?

-Rachel

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#2 of 11 Old 10-17-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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Try putting them out in the full sun.
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#3 of 11 Old 10-17-2007, 11:06 PM
 
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Is your water high in iron? My whites are dingy from the rust. If so, soaking any rusty spots in lemon juice and then placing in full sun helps. Good Luck!

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#4 of 11 Old 10-18-2007, 10:32 AM
 
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Thanks for the lemon juice/sun tip! Our water isn't too bad unless it gets turned off for some reason, then when it gets turned back on and I don't flush the pipes it turns my laundry orange... :<-- the guy who got washed with my non-flushed pipes laundry
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#5 of 11 Old 10-18-2007, 10:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Carlyn View Post
Is your water high in iron? My whites are dingy from the rust. If so, soaking any rusty spots in lemon juice and then placing in full sun helps. Good Luck!
My water is very high in iron. I don't get spots the whole item turns orangeish after a few washes. If I soaked the whole thing in lemon juice do you think that would help?
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#6 of 11 Old 10-18-2007, 11:19 PM
 
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I'd give it a try...hopefully it improves it! I would say not to leave it with the juice on in the sun too long, or if there are any other colours in the fabric, they might start fading too.

Using hot water in the washing machine is the worst for me. The first gushes bring the rust and stains the clothes. So my diapers all look awful! I've been thinking of doing just what you are asking about, soaking them all in lemon juice and putting them out in the sunlight. Of course, I should have done this in summer when we had long sunny days!

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#7 of 11 Old 10-19-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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#8 of 11 Old 10-20-2007, 07:43 PM
 
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Do you wash whites & colors separately? I've switched from bleach to Oxo-brite for my white loads, but haven't been amazed yet. (Although, I wasn't amazed by bleach either, probably because I used so little!)
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#9 of 11 Old 10-20-2007, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
Try putting them out in the full sun.
I even did this when we lived in small apartments - on teh patio if I had no access to a lawn, though our first place with DS1 we had a wee postagestamp lawn (and our neighbors were european and did nto think we were weird for doing this). Sunning about once a month makes a huge difference.

THe reason I mention a lawn is that lawns were invented for the purpose of sunning linens! Our society has, typically, turned a useful thing in to a useless ornament. The mechanism is this: the chlorophyll from the lawn helps with the process in some way. To use it, lay damp cloth out on it to sunbleach the day after you cut. If you have no lawn, use a regular line or drying rack and put them in the sun while damp. Some people spray with a dilute lemon juice solution, too.

Maura
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#10 of 11 Old 10-20-2007, 08:06 PM
 
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A nice long soak in hot water, Calgon and oxygen bleach
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#11 of 11 Old 10-21-2007, 09:41 AM
 
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I line dry and my whites are still dingy. I just got some peroxide and I'm going to try soaking in that.

I have trouble doing separate loads for whites and colors because we just don't have that many white clothes. And I refuse to run a less than full load.
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