Preserving the whiteness of whites can be a difficult task even with intensive washing cycles. Fortunately, when they are very dirty, there are several ways to get them back to their original splendor.
Part 1 of 4: Special Pre-Soak Treatment
Step 1. Use toothpaste
Get a full tube of 190ml whitening toothpaste made with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide; mix it with 240 g of chemical yeast, 60 g of salt and 500 ml of white vinegar. Stir well until the mixture begins to fizz. Soak the dirty item of laundry in this mixture for 3-4 hours, then rinse with cold water.
For best results, use toothpaste instead of gel. It should also contain baking soda
Step 2. Soak your clothes in the detergent
Pour 1 cup (60 ml) of laundry or dishwasher detergent into a sink full of water. Soak white clothes in this solution and leave them to soak for 2 hours.
You can also use shampoo instead of detergent, but in this case, choose a clear, fragrance-free one. The pigments contained in colored shampoos, as well as scented oils, can stain whites
Step 3. Dip the garment in lemon juice
Fill a large pot with water and add one or two sliced lemons. Put the saucepan on the stove over high heat and bring the contents to a boil. Turn off, add the whites and let them soak for an hour.
Make sure the lemons are sliced rather than in half. It is necessary to expose as much pulp as possible, in order to release a greater concentration of juice in the water
Part 2 of 4: Special Pre-Treatment for Stains
Step 1. Try a rust remover for fabrics
Wet the stained area with warm water. Apply the product just enough for it to penetrate the fibers. Scrub with a toothbrush so that it works deeply, then leave it on for 5 minutes or less. Eliminate it with warm water.
This treatment is quite effective against sweat stains that form on the underarm areas of clothing. Typically, they are caused by a combined reaction of sweat and antiperspirant; the unsightly yellow halo they leave is caused by aluminum rather than by simple sweat. The rust remover acts against the stains produced by this compound
Step 2. Apply lemon juice
Dab some lemon juice onto the stain and scrub with an old toothbrush for a couple of minutes. Leave it on for another 5-10 minutes before rinsing off.
- Remember that you can also do the treatment with distilled white vinegar.
- The acidic substances contained in both vinegar and lemon juice are delicate enough to act without damaging the tissues, but also aggressive enough to dissolve the dirt and residues left by the alkaline substances.
Step 3. Apply the salt
As soon as a dark liquid spills onto a white garment, rub a little salt on the stain. The salt is able to absorb moisture and partially remove the pigment when it is still in a liquid state.
This treatment is only effective when the stain is still fresh and damp. Not very useful when it is fixed
Step 4. Use a commercial stain remover
Nowadays there are several anti-stain treatments on the market. You can purchase such a product, but make sure it is safe for the type of fabric you intend to apply it to and always follow the instructions for use.
Part 3 of 4: Special Machine Whitening Treatments
Step 1. Add vinegar to the washing machine rinse
Pour 250ml of white vinegar into the compartment just before rinsing begins. For best results, opt for this treatment when you have an all-white load of laundry to wash.
Step 2. Use baking soda
Pour 240 g of baking soda directly into the drum along with the load of laundry. Select the usual program and put into operation.
- Do not put the baking soda in a separate detergent dispenser.
- Alternatively, use soda ash instead of baking soda. They are similar, but carbonate has a lower pH, so it's safer on clothes.
Step 3. Use borax
Pour 200 g of borax on white clothes loaded in the washing machine. Add it directly to the drum along with your clothes and select the normal wash cycle.
- Do not pour borax into a separate detergent dispenser.
- Borax bleaches and deodorizes like baking soda.
Step 4. Use bleach
If you only need to wash whites, add a capful of bleach to the load just before starting the washing machine. If you're worried that it's too aggressive, try chlorine-free or a mild-acting one, such as 3% peroxide.
If the water is hard and has a high concentration of iron, don't use bleach. Chlorine and iron can make whites yellow. Instead, use active oxygen bleach
Step 5. Try a bleach
If your whites are particularly dirty, try mixing a cap of bleaching product with regular detergent. You can find it in the supermarket, in the laundry aisle. Add it to your regular wash cycle, as directed in the instructions.
Step 6. Soak them in baking soda
In the sink or bowl, combine 4 liters of hot water with 240 g of baking soda, stirring well until the baking soda dissolves. Soak dirty clothes in this solution, thoroughly wetting each garment. Leave them to soak for about 8 hours.
Baking soda deodorizes and whitens at the same time, so this treatment has more than one benefit. In addition, it is known to soften hard water, so by soaking clothes in this solution, you will avoid their exposure to a high concentration of mineral deposits that risk altering the color of the laundry
Step 7. Use aspirin
Dissolve five 325 mg aspirin tablets in 8 liters of warm water. Soak the clothes for about 8 hours. Make sure they stay submerged all the time.
- To speed up the process, try crushing the tablets before mixing them in the water. In this way, crushed and placed directly in the water, they will dissolve faster.
- You could also put a couple of aspirins directly in the washing machine when you need to wash your clothes, but pre-soaking with aspirin is preferable.
Part 4 of 4: Normal Washing Process
Step 1. Choose the products to add
What pre-treatment and ultra-whitening methods do you want to use? Of course, pre-treat your clothes before doing the laundry and add the bleaching products in the washing machine when you prepare the load to be washed.
Step 2. Separate the whites from the colors
Wash white clothes in hot water (choosing a temperature that won't damage the fabrics) and separately from other clothes. Also, consider washing the more soiled ones separately, separating them from the less dirty ones.
- Water most effectively removes soil stains at a minimum temperature of 50 ° C.
- If it is true that hot water can fix some stains, it is also true that in white garments that have already been washed several times, and that are no longer as white as they used to be, the original color has already undergone an alteration. Therefore, it is necessary to wash them as if they were stained with earth and use hot water instead of cold water.
- Put the detergent in the washing machine regardless of the pre-treatment and ultra-whitening methods you decide to use. If it contains enzymes, it may be more effective. Apply the maximum dose recommended in the instructions for best results.
- Note that if the water is hard, you will probably need more detergent. You may also want to install a home water softener to treat fabrics more gently.
- If the water is rich in iron, you should use a product to remove the iron when washing.
Step 3. Dry your clothes in the sun
Sunlight has a natural whitening effect, so by hanging the laundry in the sun, you can dry and whiten it at the same time.