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How to whiten white clothes naturally: the ultimate guide

Discover how to whiten clothes naturally and how to keep white clothes white in the first place.


white clothes on a hanger

Key steps 

Remember how to whiten clothes with these 3 tips:

  1. Read the care label of your garments first - find out more about the washing symbols here. 
  2. Wash white clothes and coloured clothes separately in a clean washing machine.
  3. Try natural solutions like vinegar, baking soda, lemon and sunlight to brighten white clothes that have greyed or yellowed over time.

It can make your heart sink when your once-white clothes become discoloured and dull but there is hope! Let us show you how to whiten clothes that have greyed or yellowed by using natural ingredients. We’ll also share top tips on how to get bright white clothes through proper maintenance. Then your thobe will always look white and bright. Bring on shine! 

Whenever you try a new cleaning technique, it’s always worth doing a spot check first to ensure you don’t cause damage when washing white clothes in different ways.

How to whiten clothes naturally (or how to whiten clothes without bleach)

Try these homemade solutions for a milder alternatives to strong chemicals:  

  • White vinegar: Looking for tips on how to whiten white clothes that have yellowed? Adding half a cup of white vinegar to the washing machine will help get rid of yellow sweat stains. A quarter cup of vinegar can also be added to a tub of water when hand washing delicates – just be sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards.
  • Lemon: This citrus fruit can be used in two ways when washing white clothes: add the juice to your washing machine or boil lemon slices in a pot of water, turn off the heat and soak your whites in the mix for up to 1 hour before washing as usual.
  • Baking soda: Mix 4 parts water to 1 part baking soda and soak your white clothes. Or apply a paste of the ingredients directly to stains before washing as normal.
  • Sunshine: Hang your freshly cleaned white clothes to dry outside in direct sunlight for natural bleaching effects. This option is not suitable for silk or delicate fabrics.

How to whiten white clothes without damaging them

When it comes to whitening delicate fabrics like silk, you’ll want to know how to make white clothes whiterwithout causing any harm. It’s certainly a good idea to know how to whiten clothes without bleachas chlorine bleach can damage delicate fabrics. These items often require hand washing so you should also avoid putting them in the washing machine.

For more advice on washing delicate silk fabrics, read our article here.

How to keep your white clothes white

When it comes to how to whiten clothes, like your favourite thobe, there are plenty of ways to help keep your clothes looking their best. Prevention is better than cure so, first of all, try these clothes care tips to keep the original colour of your white clothes:

  • Wash white clothesseparately from coloured clothes.
  • Act quickly to treat stains and marks as soon as possible.
  • Read care labels to avoid overly hot washing or ironing.
  • Don’t overfill your washing machine.
  • Don’t use too much detergent or fabric conditioner – the heat of washing or drying can bake the residue into clothing fibres and cause discolouration.
  • Clean your washing machine regularly so that it doesn’t dirty your white clothes.
  • Don’t store white clothes in cardboard boxes or on wooden shelves. They can react with the acids in these materials and turn yellow.

With these tips on how to whiten white clothes, you can bring the sparkle back to your garments without damaging the fabric. Now you have the knowledge to keep your thobe bright and white, you can dress with pride every day. 

Originally published