WTF Whites? How To Brighten Your Whites

In clothing, laundry, stains by Honest KimLeave a Comment

Left: clean, bleached, 1-year-old towel. Right: new towel, washed twice.

I love white clothes and linens. Not that I adhere to the “no white before Easter” rubbish, but I am feeling like sporting my whites, white now. (hee hee) The problem is that some of them just don’t look that white anymore, thus my “WTF Whites?” Are you having the same problem?

Ok, I’m going to nerd out a bit here. To get the fabric to be bright white, fabric manufacturers add an optical brightener to whiten. This fades out over time with repeated wearing and washing. “What about bleaching it?” you smartly ask. Well, no. Unfortunately, bleach disinfects, but it also yellows.

To get whites a brighter white, you need to add BLUE.

Whiten Whites with Bluing

Make Whites Great Again (for $5.68)

I use Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing to whiten. You should, too. (And we get a little money to use toward our women’s initiatives if you purchase through this link.) It’s super CHEAP and will last forever. It not only saves you money by helping you keep and enjoy your white clothes and towels longer, but it is also better for the environment as you will toss less fabric into the landfills.

I demonstrated how to use it on Facebook Live on Sunday so you don’t do what I did the first time I used it and dumped a bit straight into the bleach dispenser in the washing machine…oops!

Here is a summary for the right way to use it:

  1. This is the blue I use

    My Blue Hue

    BE VERY CAREFUL because this stuff stains! I would definitely wear old clothes and gloves. The first time I ended up looking like a Smurf molester and my hands were blue for a few days.

  2. DILUTE BEFORE ADDING. I add a tiny squirt to a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Start smaller than you think you need, since you can always add more. See my hue of blue, left.
  3. ADD to the machine according to your machine style: pour into the full water on top loaders, add to the bleach and soap dispenser while the machine starts running, if possible, on front loaders, or add to the largest dispenser if it locks during operation.
  4. REPEAT. One dose may not make a big enough improvement. Add it for 3 consecutive wash cycles and see for yourself. The photo to the right is after one whitening wash with bluing.

    One Whitening In, 2 to go.

Post your results here and share with your friend who loves her whites as much as I do.

* This tip (among many others) can also be found in my book, The Dirty Side of Fashion.

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