There are many reasons why white fabrics yellow: Storage in dark places, body oils, or simply the ravages of time can turn bright whites into grungy garments. To whiten them again, try this simple bleach-and-hot-water method.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Chlorine Bleach
- Enzyme Presoak
- Laundry Detergents
- Color Removers
Check care label to make sure the fabric is bleach-safe.
Soak overnight in an enzyme presoak, which will immediately go to work breaking down organic materials to augment the cleaning process later.
Set washer to as hot a temperature as tolerable by the fabric (see care instructions on clothing).
Use twice as much (bleach-safe) detergent as usual.
Add chlorine bleach 5 minutes after the wash cycle has begun.
Hang in bright sunlight to dry.
Tips and warnings
- Before use of chlorine bleach, dilute as directed on the product's label.
- Chlorine bleach can end up yellowing fabrics such as wool, spandex, nylon, silk or leather, often permanently - the opposite of the desired effect! Try a color remover on these bleach-sensitive garments instead.