Getting Whites Whiter Without Bleach

how to clean whites without bleach

For years, bleach has been a common cleaning product found in most homes. Bleach is used for a variety of laundry-related tasks, including keeping white linens, socks and shirts fresh by removing unsightly stains. Today, many consumers worry about the effects of bleach on the environment and have removed it from their homes. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to whiten and freshen your clothes without resorting to using bleach.

The Sun

Leaving laundry in the sun is a great way to naturally bleach your clothes. After washing, put your clothes outside to dry on a sunny day. Not only will the sun whiten your laundry, it’s also an environmentally-friendly way to dry your clothes without having to use a dryer. Additionally, an outside drying session keeps your laundry smelling fresh. Air drying can save your clothes from repeated damage from a dryer. Your clothes will last longer and look new.

Laundry Soap Mixtures

You can add a number of household products to a load of laundry to help remove stains and freshen whites. Baking soda, for example, can be used as toothpaste, a fridge deodorizer and in laundry. This product is known for removing stains from clothes. Try adding half a cup to your regular laundry detergent the next time you do a wash. Your clothes should emerge smelling clean and looking brand new. White vinegar can also whiten and clean your laundry. Rest assured, vinegar will not leave your clothes smelling like a salad. As with baking soda, place a half cup of vinegar with your regular laundry detergent in the washer. The salad smell will be gone after the wash, leaving your laundry load refreshed.


Before doing a load of laundry, separate the white items that need to be cleaned. Place a lemon slice in a pot of water and bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and place as many stained clothes as you can into the pot. Let the clothes soak in the mixture for half an hour before throwing them in with your other clothes in the washer. If your clothes are heavily stained, use more lemon slices and let the clothes soak overnight.

Attack the Stain Directly

If a full cleaning doesn’t get the job done, try to target yellow or stained spots. You can pre-soak these stains with a spray of vinegar or by blotting baking soda or laundry detergent on the spot.