Keeping whites white?

United States
May 25, 2007 9:34am CST
Married for 9 years, mom for 7 years and I STILL cannot figure out how to keep whites white. My boys are both in karate now and no matter how much I wash them and bleach them, the uniforms still look awful. Somehow between the boys getting dressed and getting to karate class they get filthy. I go to wash the uniforms and only half the yuck comes out, even with bleach. Anyone have any ideas? Help please!
5 people like this
9 responses
• Canada
25 May 07
i've used bleach over and over and my clothes never got any whiter. then when i worked in a bakery, we had to wear white clothes but they had to look white everyday and not greyish. i asked the baker what they do to keep their uniform white. they suggested putting 1 cup of baking soda in the laundry at the same time as the laundry soap. i tried this and it really works. my clothes stay white now all the time. i don't ever use bleach anymore.
6 people like this
• United States
25 May 07
I never thought of doing this. Man, can I tell you that I go through so much trouble to keep my whites realy white. I think I am going to try that also and see if it will work for me because dealing with bleach is never fun!! Thanks you ended up helping two of us today!!
3 people like this
• United States
25 May 07
Great! I never would have thought about baking soda. I will definately have to try that! My whites haven't turned grey but they just never have the same brightness. Good thing today is laundry day. I'm going to try the baking soda when I get to my whites!
4 people like this
@winky73 (1396)
• United States
26 May 07
Well looks like you got to it before I did....because that's what I was going to say.Baking soda helps with keeping your colors bright as well plus it takes any odor out of the fabric.Knowing how bad uniforms can smell.....that's very helpful.
@nicolecab (923)
• United States
25 May 07
With any solid whites that are worn in my house I have them take it off as soon as they come in. I go through the whole shirt, paints, shorts what ever it may be and immeditly put some stain spray on them. I will throw them in dirty clothes and when I go to wash them I put more on them just before putting them into the wash. I will put my washer on prewash with nothing but bleach in it and then after that is done I will wash them normally with just detergent (this also helps with getting the bleach smell out of the clothes). It works very well.
3 people like this
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
26 May 07
The baking soda was a great suggestion. Another one is to hang white outside to dry. The sun will bleach them out also. If part of the problem is whites not being bright anymore overall then it may be something in your water. "Hard water" is not good with whites so a water softener might help. My water is bad enough to leave brown rust stains in my sinks and bath tub. If you have that problem there is a product from Rit (the little boxes of powdered dyes) called either Rust Out or Iron Out, I don't remember which. It works really well to get rid of dinginess on whites.
2 people like this
• United States
26 May 07
I have actually tried laying the clothes out in the sun. I remembered my clothes getting bleached this way before but for some reason, it didn't work with the karate uniforms. We don't have hard water either. I just have 2 little boys who try everything in their power to make sure that nothing white, stays white. LOL. Thanks for the ideas though, I think Rit makes a white dye too, I might have to look into re-dying the uniforms.
• United States
25 May 07
i have the same problem but its not with my kids its my husband he wears white everyday, and it becomes so filthy, what i do to get it back to the store bought white is i put it in the washer and when it gets to soak i open the lid so it stops for a while and i put in a whole bunch of bleach and let it soak for about 15-20 mins and then i close the lid and let it run again, and the results are white as white can be http://mommysmakemoney.blogspot.com
2 people like this
@royal52gens (5380)
• United States
26 May 07
If you have a water softener, check the salt level and fill it if necessary. If you do not have a water softener, you should be able to find some kind of water softener that you can add to the load of clothes. By softening the water, it will help to get white clothes totally clean. Some of the "filth" may be hard water particles and not actually dirt. My well water is very hard with a lot of calcium and iron. All of which will turn any whites clothes a dingy yellow over time. I have a water softener that softens the water for the entire house. Even my sinks, toilets and shower doors stay cleaner longer. My dishes come out of the dishwasher looking nicer also.
@Zelmarq (12298)
• Cebu City, Philippines
26 May 07
I wash them separately and soak them on a powder soap for a cople of hours. Here are tips that I would like to share with you. I hope you like it. Here are Ten TIps to keep your favourite white clothes sparkling white. 1. The key to keeping white clothes white is frequent laundering in very hot water: the hotter the better. 2. Never wash whites with colors. 3. Avoid detergent residue building up in your washer. It acts as a magnet for dirt. 4. Use the hottest temperature the fabric can withstand: however, always follow the care label on your clothes. Tip: Shrinkage can be avoided by drying on low to medium heat in a dryer. 5. Inspect garments for stains before laundering. Treat a stain with some detergent or a stain-removal product ASAP. Never let a stain to linger: it will discolor and weaken fabrics. 6. Before applying a stain blaster wet any stained areas with water. Work the detergent into a lather by rubbing the fabric together; rinse and repeat until the stain has disappeared or is barely visible. 7. Inspect your clothes carefully before drying to ensure that all stains have been removed. Drying stained garments makes it even harder to shift the stain from the fibers. 8. If stains are still visible after a wash, keep washing until they’re gone. Don’t even let the clothes dry. 9. Did we mention that you should treat stains as soon as possible. The sooner the better, is a strict rule! 10. Never use chlorine bleach to remove a stain or try and restore whiteness. Bleach leaves clothes yellowed or gray. Finally, If you’re looking for a drastic improvement to a faded white garment: consider dying it white. You’ll find a variety of cheap, quality clothes dyes in most grocery stores.
• United States
26 May 07
Wow! Thanks for the response. There are a bunch of ideas here. I haven't done my whites yet (had too many colors for one day) but when I get to them tomorrow I have several ideas to try. Good thing I have a few loads of whites to try them out on. LOL
• China
26 May 07
Maybe you can try 84 washer.My mother usually use it.And our uniform is very clean and white.
• Philippines
26 May 07
Another material used for removing the yellowish color on clothes and making them look whiter, is "bluing". The bluing material is actually a kind of dye that tints white clothes a pale blue color which cancels out the yellowishness. Some cotton lokk best when a small amount of starch is added to the last rinsing water. Believe me, I have been doing these for 9 years! Happy washing!
@Norstar (695)
• India
26 May 07
It is not only that full dirt would not come off, white clothes would lose whiteness with time. The reason is that once they are exposed to light, they tend to turn yellowish. This is due to chemical reaction that is caused when exposed to sun or bright light.