Tips for Dingy Laundry

Our clothes lose their spectacular white or brilliant colors over time. Repeated washings, oils from our bodies and elements from the environment all work together to dim the colors in our clothing. Whites take the worst beating as stains and a dingy appearance are more noticeable on white clothing. White socks are one of the worst transgressors of dingy laundry. Chlorine or non-chlorine bleaches help to reduce the dinginess in our clothes, but other products are also available, some right in your kitchen cabinets, to restore whites and brighten colors in your laundry.

Baking Soda

Whiten dingy laundry with a variety of products.

Baking soda is a versatile product used in cooking, removing odors and also as a brightening agent in your laundry. Baking soda may be used along with your regular detergent in the wash cycle. Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the laundry and wash clothes normally. To get out tough stains in clothes, create a paste with the baking soda and two or three drops of water. Apply to the stain and allow it to sit for a couple of hours before washing.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is used organically to lighten hair and skin, so it makes sense it would do the same for your laundry. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice along with your regular laundry detergent and wash normally. For tough stains such as dingy white socks, pre-soak them in a pot filled with water and sliced lemons. Fill the pot first with water and one or two sliced lemons and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and carefully place socks or other dingy laundry into the water and allow to sit for an hour, then wash normally.

Distilled White Vinegar

Another staple in your cupboard is distilled white vinegar. Like baking soda, it has many uses. Distilled white vinegar is used in cooking, cleaning and it whitens and softens fabric. Adding ½ cup to your laundry with your regular detergent leaves clothes whitened and freshly crisp and clean. Spray the vinegar on tough stains and allow to sit for two to three hours before washing.

Dishwasher Detergent

If you own a dishwasher, you already have a product that brightens dingy laundry. Pour 1/4 cup of dishwasher detergent in with your regular laundry detergent. The dishwasher detergent contains an agent that brightens your white dingy clothing.

About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.