how to whiten white clothes that have yellowed
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How to whiten white clothes that have yellowed

Learning how to whiten white clothes to bring them back to their best is easy with our handy tips.

There are a number of rules when it comes to keeping clothes white. It all starts with making sure you care for them in the right way and don’t let them lose their sparkle simply through neglect. Figuring out the best way to whiten clothes for you involves having a number of different methods and applying a little trial and error. If you’d like to know how to whiten white clothes that have yellowed or greyed, we’ll show you how.

Whiten white clothes with effective maintenance

Before we look at whitening white clothes with bleach and other products, there is plenty you can do to keep them white before dullness and discoloration strikes:

  • Read labels so you don’t wash or iron on too hot a setting
  • Always separate your whites from coloured laundry
  • Keep your washing machine clean – dirt and grime will show up on white clothes
  • Don’t overfill your washing machine
  • Treat any stains or marks as soon as you can.

Regular maintenance and washing with a quality detergent like Active Wheel can make learning how to whiten white clothes that have yellowed useful rather than essential. As with anything, the more proactive you are, the less you’ll have to do in the long run. Over time it’s more than likely that white clothes will lose their sparkle, but if you know the best way to whiten clothes it shouldn’t be a problem.

How to use bleach to whiten clothes

If you’d like to know how to use bleach to whiten clothes, it’s vital to read both the bleach and clothing labels before you start. Manmade fibres, polyester, linen and cotton are ok, but organic materials like leather, wool or silk should not be treated with bleach. Once you’re happy to start, put your rubber gloves on and do the following:

  1. Combine the manufacturer’s recommended amount of bleach with water and submerge your clothes.
  2. Let the clothes soak for around eight hours, or overnight if you can.
  3. Remove and wash as usual on the hottest setting recommended on the care label.

How to whiten white clothes without bleach

Whether you need to know how to whiten white clothes that have yellowed or how to whiten clothes that have greyed, there are a number of milder alternatives to bleach:

  • Baking soda: At a ratio of 4:1, combine water with baking soda and let your clothes soak. Give them time, and the solution should bring your dull whites back to sparkling.
  • Lemon: There are two ways of using lemon to whiten white clothes. One involves boiling lemons and soaking your clothes in the mix. The other is simply adding lemon juice into your washing cycle.
  • White vinegar: Pop your clothes in the washing machine and add a cup of white vinegar. It’s particularly good at getting rid of yellowy sweat stains.
  • The sun: Sometimes all your clothes need is exposure to the sun. After washing on a full cycle, hang them out to dry and let the sun do its work.

Keeping your white clothes white is as easy as that. Now that you’re equipped with a handful of different approaches that show you how to whiten clothes that have greyed or yellowed, you can put them into practice and keep your whites sparkling for longer.

Top Tip


When it comes to white clothes, knowing how to keep them fresh and figuring out the best way to whiten clothes isn’t as hard as you might think. Regular washing with Active Wheel detergent and an effective care routine will prolong the life of your white clothes. But if they do lose their shine, a little lemon, vinegar, bleach or even the power of the sun can do wonders.  

Key Steps

There are a few key steps that will help you whiten white clothes effectively:

  • Always read washing labels and maintain an efficient care routine to keep white clothes fresh.
  • Try bringing dull whites back to life with bleach – read the manufacturer’s label for instructions and a guide on how much to use.
  • Use lemon, vinegar, baking soda or the sun as an alternative to bleach.