How to Get White Clothes White Again?

Studies have shown that dressing plays a vital role in defining the attractiveness and personality of a person. White clothes are important while dressing as they suggest a refreshing vibe added with calmness and serenity. White is one of the few colors that never go out of fashion and matches most outfits. That said, keeping white clothes clean is daunting because they tend to attract dirt and build up with the tendency to get discolored and yellowed with time.

White clothes need to be cleaned with a detergent specially designed for white clothes, as other detergents will wash their shine away and make them look grayish. While choosing a suitable detergent for white clothes, remember never to wash colored garments with white detergents as they can permanently discolor them.

Apart from choosing laundry detergents and boosters for keeping white cloths white, there are many other aspects you have to consider.

Choose the Detergent

Choosing a detergent for white clothes depends on several factors like whether you are manually washing your clothes or using a washing machine and whether your washing machine is suitable for the detergent you have selected for your whites. Also, choose the detergent based on the type of white clothing you are washing.

  • Bleach-infused detergents may be suitable for cotton and linen but can damage white silk and woolen.

  • Silk whites require a mild detergent that can clean the fabric. And it is essential to wash them with cold water and avoid warm/hot water for cleaning silk.

Alternatively, while washing wooly whites, opt for a detergent containing lanolin, as it preserves the pre-existing levels of lanolin in your woolen. But even then, it is essential to wash only the outer woolen layers using lanolin-based detergents and avoid cleaning woolen base layers with it.


Bluing or washing blue is a laundry product designed to improve the appearance of light-colored or white fabrics. The product is made of a fine blue iron powder suspended in water mixed with small amounts of pH balancer and a biocide. Bluing works on the hypothesis that traditional cotton fabric is bleached with blue during its manufacturing process, and the addition of washing blue aims to replenish the blue tint lost with time.

For bluing your white clothes, the preferred method is mixing the blues and water in a ratio of 1:4 and adding the diluted solution to the final rinse of the wash.

  • Pros − Improves the brightness of the white fabric.

  • Cons − Does not work on severely discolored whites.

Color Remover

Color remover agents contain bleaching agents, specifically hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down the color, causing sections of chemical structure to reduce stain appearance effectively.

  • Pros − Works on all kinds of white fabrics

  • Cons − Unsuitable for colored fabrics

Using Stain Removal through DIY Methods

Now let's see how you can use stain removal through DIY methods to get white clothes white again

Dishwashing Powder

Dishwashing powder, especially white-colored powders, contains protease and amylase enzymes that have shown favorable results in lightening and brightening white fabric. Additionally, they have the propensity to clean protein stains that tend to seep inside white fabric and permanently discolor it.

  • Pros − Effectively remove blood, eggs, sweat, mud, and dairy stains from white clothes.

  • Cons − Unsuitable for white woolens and silk.

Chlorine Bleach

Chlorine bleach is generally unsuitable for colored fabric because it tends to cause irregular fading and whitening. But it can be used carefully in white fabric to whiten the fabric effectively.

To effectively clean white clothes with chlorine bleach, dilute bleach with hot water in a ratio of 1:4 and conduct a test cleaning to check its effectiveness on your fabric. After cleaning, avoid drying directly under the sun as it can lead to yellowing the white fabric.

  • Pros − Removes stubborn stains and disinfects the fabric.

  • Cons − Emit a peculiar odor during the breakdown of chlorine.

Baking Soda

Baking soda acts as a base and changes the chemical structure of stained white clothing to clean it effectively. Studies have shown that baking soda breaks down fat molecules on clothing stained with grease to facilitate cleaning it. In addition to deep cleaning white fabrics, the bicarbonate of baking soda effectively absorbs moisture and removes the smell of stains.

For perspiration stains, it is advised to make a paste of baking soda and water and let it sit for an hour before rinsing it off. To remove odors, adding ½ cup soda to the rinse cycle does the job.

  • Pros − Suitable for homes with hard water and for cleaning blood stains off white clothes

  • Cons − Can damage the fabric if not dissolved properly.

Lemon Juice

Lemon is a natural bleaching agent that in addition to effectively cleaning white fabric, deodorizes them of bad smells. The citric acid in lemon breaks down the stains and removes them easily. It even neutralizes the alkalinity of laundry detergent, acting as a pH adjuster and bringing the laundry's alkaline pH closer to our natural skin pH to improve the softness of the fabric.

  • Pro − A natural alternative to chemical bleaches

  • Cons − Unsuitable for colored fabrics

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide breaks down the chemical structure of stains to render them invisible and make washing them off easy. Underarm stains, white towels, sheets, and white shirts are some examples of clothes and fabrics that can be cleaned using hydrogen peroxide.

To remove stains from white clothes with hydrogen peroxide, pour or spray a small amount of the chemical on the fabric. Allow it to soak for around 10 minutes before cleaning it off.

  • Pros − Deodorize clothes while cleaning them

  • Cons − Short shelf life after breaking the seal

Keeping White Clothes White

Removing stains from white clothes and improving their whiteness is not enough. It is essential to retain their whiteness through the below-mentioned methods.

Dry in Sunshine

Researchers have observed that the ultraviolet rays of the sun bleach and disinfect laundry, especially diapers, towels, and bedsheets, and keep them white and fresh for a longer time. Additionally, sun-drying reduces wrinkles and makes them last for a longer time.

Wrap in Archival Tissue

Archival tissue is acid-free wrapping paper made of cotton pulp that is used to store delicate white fabrics and preserve them. Wrapping in archival tissue ensures that your white clothes stay white for a prolonged period without staining or yellowing. The tissue paper being pH neutral further prevents the fabric dyes from staining the wrapper covering them.

Avoid Storing Them in Plastic Containers

Plastic has a tendency to trap moisture, leading to the formation of mildew on the white fabric. This can permanently discolor or damage the cloth while increasing the risk of permanently discoloring it. In addition to plastic containers, cardboard containers should also be avoided, as they risk invasion through termites or silverfish.

How to Get Yellowed Clothes White Again?

In order to get yellowed clothes white again, you can try the following treatment methods.

  • Use an oxygen-based bleach.

  • If the fabric is suitable for use, opt for a chlorine-based bleach

  • After washing, dry the clothes in direct sunlight

  • Use sodium borate or borax on the yellowed clothes

  • Using detergents with a higher pH for cleaning


Oxidation, nicotine, grease, and sweat are a few of the many causes responsible for the discoloration of white clothes. Choosing the correct detergent is only the initial procedure for reverting them to their original color. The results need to be maintained, and adequate preventative measures are taken to ensure that the whites stay white instead of yellowing or discoloring in the long run.