Remedies for grey whites in a front load washer

Written by deborah jones
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Remedies for grey whites in a front load washer
Drying whites in the sun can sometimes prevent or cure greyness. (Buena Vista Images/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Over time, white clothes and household linens can become grey and dingy through repeated washing. Modern front load washers are economical because they can be programmed to wash at lower temperatures, use less detergent and have reduced washing times. However, the economy measures can result in less-than-pleasing wash results when whites turn grey. Efficient use of the front loader can help to remedy the grey whites problem.

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Bleaching with Chlorine or Oxygen Bleaches

Two types of bleach may be used to remedy grey whites. Liquid bleach, most of which are chlorine bleaches, can be used to soak white garments or linens that have greyed in the wash, but as they should not be added directly to clothes, using liquid bleach in a front load machine is tricky. Oxygen bleaches are usually powders and are the safest to use on clothing as most state on the packaging that they can be used on all fabrics. They can be added along with the washing powder before starting the wash cycle in a front load washer.

Increase the Wash Temperature

Sometimes washing clothes in water that is too cool can cause overall greyness. Wash temperatures in front load machines are normally predetermined by the wash cycle setting, so check the temperature recommendations on garments and wash again using the highest safe temperature setting for the affected fabric. If increasing the temperature is not a possibility, for instance if the fabric is delicate or "cool wash only," use a detergent booster, slightly increase the amount of detergent used and check that the detergent is suitable for cool or cold washes.

Preventing Further Greyness

Once whites are white again, prevent further greyness by not overloading the machine, sorting whites from colours before loading the washer and using the correct amount and type of detergent. Make full use of the front loader wash cycle settings by first checking the garment labels for washing instructions and then setting the dials according to temperature or fabric type.

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