4.25.2012

a simple tip for getting a white shirt - white




i don't know about you, but for me, the hardest thing to do laundry-wise
is getting dingy whites - white again.
this rrl shirt of mine is a good example, it gets worn a lot and was looking pretty dull.


i learned this simple trick from a friend and it works so well that i just had to share it with you.

fill a sink or basin with hot water and
thoroughly mix in
1/4 cup baking soda and the juice of one lemon
place your item in, swish around and
let soak for about 30 minutes, rinse and smile because your shirt is now going to be bright white again.

i've tried lots of different methods before but none has worked this well.

do you have a great laundry tip?
please share!


xo
janet


71 comments:

  1. Janet,
    Great tip. I must try it! I have a love/hate relationship w/ bleach.
    I noticed in your picture you line dry some of your clothes. I would love to switch to mostly line drying and was wondering if you have any tips? I hang most of my clothes on a rack in our basement but they seems to get that crunchy feel, so I just can't subject the family to crunchy towels at this moment.

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    1. sorry i didn't respond soon dorothy, i have been having a hard time with blogger all day. some comments have been hidden all day!

      the only time that crunchy feel bothers me is with towels. i will usually run them in the dryer for a few minutes just to soften them. other clothes don't bother me as they usually soften right up after a few minutes of wear. and i love the fragrance of line-dried sheets!

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  2. I love a good and natural cleaning tip. baking soda is the best miracle ever created, I'm sure of it.

    love the photo! I wish I could put up a clothes line....

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  3. For spot stains someone told me baking soda with distilled vinegar.

    It works !!

    Will try yours too.

    Garden & Be Well , XO T

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  4. Hello Janet:
    This sounds easy peasy. We are now looking in the cupboards for baking soda. Is this the same as baking powder and/or bicarbonate of soda? We are always a little confused when it comes to household things. We are sure about lemons!!!!

    But thank you so much for the tip.

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    Replies
    1. yes, baking soda is the same as bicarbonate of soda.

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  5. Gotta try this with my 17-year-old DKNY tunic shirt! It's done pretty well over the years but a little extra snap to the white is always welcome.

    I have an HE washer, and I like to add @ 1/4 cup of OxiClean to whites, bed linens, and towels, anything I wash with hot water. Seems to help keep the machine clean, too.

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  6. I LOVE this tip. Can't wait to try it. I've got so many dingy white shirts I might have to fill the bath tub with this secret formula. Thank you for sharing!!

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  7. I have never heard of this method.
    Will be trying it for sure!
    And, I was just telling my husband last night I wanted a laundry line.
    I'm jealous of yours.

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  8. I am going to try this. We are on a well and even though our water is treated with a softener and filter, it still makes our whites dingy.

    My only "tip" for laundry is to use homemade fabric softener - white vinegar, baking soda and water - instead of store bought. It's cheap and simple.

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  9. Oh this is very timely as I have a few dingy white tank tops from last summer that I might try to rescue.
    Thank you and your friend for this tip.

    I use an indoor drying rack because whenever I hang my clothes outside the birds poop on them!

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  10. Thanks for the tip, I will try it tonight. You got me excited about perspective of doing the laundry, lol.

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  11. This is for set-in stains. (Check for colorfastness first before dropping an entire garment into this.)

    Mix a 1/2 cup of Dove liquid dish detergent and a 1/2 cup of powdered Biz and let dissolve in the warmest water your hand can stand. Let the item soak in this for 30 minutes to an hour, rinse the stained area and check. If it's still stained, return to soaking for up to a day. Rinse thoroughly.

    Wendy

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  12. Thanks for posting this. I need to try it!

    My only laundry tip is to put a cap full of white vinegar in front loader washers to keep the towels from smelling bad. It works like a charm.

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    1. i'll have to try this on larry's gym towels!

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  13. Great tip!

    To recharge your towels: Saving your towels is as simple as running them through two hot loads.

    Skip the detergent on both loads, run them through once with hot water and a cup of vinegar and then again with hot water and a half cup of baking soda.

    Your goal, whether washing brand new towels or old towels, is to strip the softener and detergent reside from the fibers of the towel and get them as absorbent as possible.

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    Replies
    1. interesting, i'll give this a try for sure!

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    2. Never use fabric softener on towels because it reduces absorbency.

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  14. Great tip, Janet. Not really a laundry tip, but I've just discovered that baking soda mixed with lemon juice into a thick paste, is also the most brilliant method of cleaning Le Creuset type cookware ( especially those annoying spatter marks that build up on the lids.) Discovering this made my week - that's the kind of high-octane excitement my life is full of!

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  15. well dang, i'll try that too b/c i have those exact marks on my le creuset dutch oven. thanks!

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  16. Never knew that one..I used to bleach the heck out of everything!!!
    The only good one I know, is to add vinegar to remove/prevent yellow under arm stains..

    Great blog...always something interesting!

    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  17. Actually I think hanging your whites in the sun is the best way to keep them white.

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  18. great tip and yummy smelling xo

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  19. Wonderful blog, Janet! Your posts make me happy.

    We gave up bleach years ago and have simply tried to buy less white clothes/linens in the meantime. ;-) I was recently working on deodorizing a load of gym clothes by letting them soak in water and a liberal amount of baking soda before washing--and I couldn't believe how white the socks came out! I was thrilled--and then momentarily sad we've had dingy whites for so many years before my discovery. :D

    I'm not sure if it's true, but I read that vinegar and baking soda cancel each other out because they work on different causes of stains/odors (one's best for alkaline and one's best for acidic). I can't remember which is which, but if deodorizing or whitening is needed, I reach for the baking soda. :) Looking forward to adding some lemon!

    Cheers!
    Kim

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  20. Laundry tip....I think I might have too many to leave - I think laundry is my therapy.
    One tip I have is to hang up items right away and let them dry naturally....saves wrinkles in ironing time!
    pve

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    1. i love the look and smell of line-dried clothing patricia.

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  21. thanks, Janet! I have plenty of white shirts and am forever trying to keep them that way!

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    1. try it and let me know if you think it works.

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  22. good to know! we set up our washing machine on a grey water system, which is great except i feel like it does encourage our whites to get dingy faster than usual. i will try this with some of my shirts.

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  23. I love laundry tips!
    Thanks for this one, Janet, and thanks to all your commenters also!

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  24. When I saw the photo I thought it was going to say the sun. That's what I do and it's great on whites, plus it smells like a little bit of heaven. I'm big on hanging clothes to dry.

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    1. me too. i think using the baking soda and lemon plus hanging them outside is probably as close to perfect as you can get!

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  25. I never put my shirts in the dryer and I think it makes them last longer.

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  26. Thank you so much for that wonderful laundry tip! I tried other ideas but nothing seemed to work. This one will be a keeper and I can't wait to share with friends and family!

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  27. I have a few tips, my best one is to install a fan and a wardrobe rod in the laundry and hang everything straight away, and lower the spin. I don't ever hang outside in the sun as the sun rots and fades everything- plus birds and bugs can be a problem here. I have tubs for the kiddos on a big shelf( the rod is under it) where I sort straight into when they are dry and then the kids take them and put it all away. last one- if you have stubborn food stains try dishwashing detergent, gets grease right out.

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    1. i esp like the part where the kids put their own laundry away jodie!

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    2. Have to say I love line drying all my laundry as much as possbile - I risk the sun, the birds and the bugs! Like Jodi's time though re : dishwasher detergent - thanks!

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  28. Boy, did I ever need this tip. Thanks, Janet!
    Camille

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  29. Hi Janet, your tip actually makes me excited to do my whites! Now, do you have a tip for making faded black clothes.........BLACKER??? Allegra

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  30. Dorothy, for eliminating some of the crunchiness from line dried clothes try giving them a good 'snap' before hanging, towels need acouple of snaps. If the towels are still very crunchy I put them to air dry in the dryer for ten minutes. Hope this helps:)

    Rita

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  31. Thanks for the tip. I get a lot of use out of my white blouse. I wear it with jeans, my capri pants, or with a cardi or jacket. It is one of my favorite looks. I'll surely use this tip.

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  32. This is a commercial tip, still, I highly recommend it: "The Laundress Whites Detergent" plus a bit of "The Laundress Bleach Alternative", my skirts and shirts have never been whiter.

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  33. In Australia we have this white powder stuff called napisan- works a veritable treat!!

    Do you ever feel like rushing out and buying a bunch of new clothes? Or do you think those days are over? x

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    1. i think those days are over. although this past week i've been so hot (menopause) and all i want to wear is a sleeveless tent!

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  34. Great tip Janet - definitely going to try this one! Thanks a million. x

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  35. Wonder if it'll work for my vintage linens. Suppose it can't hurt! I'm going to give it a try. Thanks.

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  36. really...baking soda and lemon juice? I will try this asap. I've had good luck with bleach and Cascade powder, but it's a bit harsh compared to your method.

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  37. I always line dry but my favourite is to drape pillowcases (sorry think they're called something else in the U.S - the ones you sleep on) over a lavender bush to dry. If there isn't a plant handy then lavender scented water when you iron them. I guarantee a beautiful night's sleep. :-)

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  38. Dove dishwashing soap for oil based stains such as lipstick, grease etc. And hydrogen peroxide for whites and stains; it's particularly great for blood and chocolate stains. It's the same thing that makes Oxiclean stain remover foam up when it is sprayed on blood stains--only much cheaper and natural. Hydrogen peroxide has many excellent cleaning uses and I feel comfortable knowing it is more natural than bleach.

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  39. Thanks for the tip! It's frustrating when a white shirt loses it's brightness.

    -Lauren

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  40. This is a tip I am very grateful for. Thank you Janet!

    Madelief x

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  41. i love simple healthy tips with no harsh chemicals! thank you ajj!
    tammy j
    xo

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  42. THANK YOU JANET! I love white shirts and t-shirts but they yellow so quickly it puts me off them. I think it's the buckets of body lotion I use but I'm not giving that up. Praise the baking soda and lemon juice!

    I line-dry everything, mostly outside but sometimes inside. We had a dryer but the last place we lived at I didn't turn it on once in four years, so I got rid of it when we moved.

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  43. Also, my natural and cheap tip is that I use white vinegar in place of fabric softener. It helps rinse all the soap from your clothes, leaves them smelling fresh, is a mild antibacterial I believe and as an added bonus keeps the pipes of your washing machine clean. What's not to like?

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  44. I love this tip!! It's Eco-friendly too!

    -Tim

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  45. Hello Janet, I am a bit late to the commenting part, but still wanted to mention my Mom's tip to keep whites glowing - she adds a few drops of blue ink to the final rinse in a sink or a basin (we are from the Old Country :))
    Thank you for your tip, I will definitely try it! I have quite a few white shirts that could use this treatment.
    N.A.

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  46. If you get a grease mark on a garment, especially a silk shirt a good tip is to put baby powder on it and leave for 30 mins then brush off gently It usually disappears. Definitely don't put water on as it will set the stain.

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  47. Thanks for the tip worked brilliant
    My Nan only uses vinegar and bi-carb to clean the whole house! (that was all they had back in the day lol)
    Dishwashing liquid is great for getting oil out of clothes pour on the stain and rub in well then rinse out with hot water.
    I put 1/2 white vinegar in every wash gets rid of any and all smells (i used to work for a fish monger so everything i owned stank like fish an old Italian lady told me about using vinegar i love it)

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  48. Wish this really worked - I tried it on all of my husband's white t-shirts. Still dingy. The hunt continues....

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kindness is never out of style.