How to Whiten Clothes Without Bleach: 9 Effective Alternatives

Published March 19, 2021
Whiten clothes without bleach

If you've decided to throw out the bleach in your home, you might be wondering how you are going to whiten your clothes. Thankfully, there are a lot of bleach alternatives for whitening. Learn how to whiten clothes without bleach using these laundry hacks.

How to Clean White Clothes Without Bleach

When you have white clothes, bleach is probably your go-to. However, if you are out of bleach or are trying to wean yourself off harsh chemicals in your laundry, then look no further than your bathroom. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the best bleach alternatives out there and sure to make your whites blindingly bright. Just add a cup of hydrogen peroxide into your bleach dispenser and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

How to Get White Clothes Whiter With White Vinegar

If hydrogen peroxide is still tipping your chemical meter, you can avoid it by choosing white vinegar. It's also great for getting rid of those foul odors on work shirts. To add the potent dinge fighter vinegar to your laundry, simply add a ½ cup to the rinse cycle. And, if your whites are super dingy, like they just came home from a day on the job dingy, then give them a good presoak by adding a cup of vinegar to warm water. Between that and the vinegar bath in the wash, your whites will be fresh and ready to wear.

Baking Soda Soak for Whiter Clothes

Another cheap whitener found in your pantry is baking soda. Dissolve about a cup or so of baking soda into warm water and let your whites have a good soak for a few hours. If you can do it overnight, this is fabulous too. When you are ready to wash, add a cup of baking soda to the wash cycle to remove that dinge.

baking soda

Get Whiter Clothes With Lemon Juice

If you don't have baking soda, then look in the fridge. Whiter whites are only a soak away if you have a few lemons or some lemon juice on hand. Add about a cup of lemon juice or even a few sliced lemons to warm water and let the laundry have a good soak for a few hours. Just like with baking soda, if you can let them soak overnight, it's even better.

Hang Clothes out for Whiter Whites

Hanging your clothes out to dry not only makes them fresh and flawless, but it's great for bleaching your whites. When you pull them off the line, they are noticeably white and brighter. So not only are your white t-shirts smelling fresh, but they look fantastic.

Laundry hanging on clothesline against blue sky

Try Bluing Agents on Whites

Have you ever noticed that if you accidentally put your white shirts in with a pair of blue jeans, they come out looking whiter? Well, there is a good reason for that. White starts to look yellow and dingy after a while. But if you add a bit of blue, it comes out looking brighter because the blue cancels out the yellow/orange. You can get this same effect by using a bluing agent with your whites.

Use Less Detergent for Brighter Whites

If your whites always come out looking dingy, it might not have anything to do with bleach. Adding too much detergent to the wash can lead to detergent residue, which is like a magnet for dirt. Try adding less detergent to your load and notice those pearly white clothing.

White Clothing in the washing machine

Asprin for Whiter Whites

When you think of whitening your whites, you might not think of aspirin. But guess what? Aspirin can work as a great bleach alternative. To get whiter whites with aspirin, dissolve 5-6 tablets in water and soak your whites for a few hours. With every soak and wash, the clothes just get brighter and brighter.

Borax for Brighter Whites

Looking for brighter whites? Then give Borax a try in the wash. When water mixes with Borax, some water particles convert to hydrogen peroxide. Not only is hydrogen peroxide great for cleaning, but it's also perfect for getting whiter whites. You can use Borax to make your own laundry detergent or just add a bit to your wash for bright white clothes.

All Natural Disinfectant borax

Add Dishwasher Detergents to Get Whites Whiter

You might think that dishwasher detergent and laundry don't mix, but if you are looking for bleach-free white whites, this could be just what the doctor ordered. It's as simple as tossing a dishwasher pod or two in your wash, and voilà!

How to Whiten Clothes Without Bleach

When you think of white whites, you might instantly reach for the bleach. But, you don't have to. Rather than using this harsh chemical, there are many eco-friendly and fast alternatives for bleach you can try on your whites. If you still want to use the traditional whitener, first make sure you understand how to use bleach in laundry so you don't ruin your clothes.

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How to Whiten Clothes Without Bleach: 9 Effective Alternatives