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How to whiten your clothes without using bleach

Fashion and Beauty By Lolita Bunde
Always ensure you read the fabric care instructions before indulging in whitening method (Shutterstock)

With white clothes comes the nudging need to maintain their white colour in order to keep them brighter for longer. Even though most people use bleach to keep their white clothes brighter, some white clothes are very fragile and are susceptible to damage when bleached frequently or over bleached.

You will start noticing that your formerly white clothes will start looking off-white or even cream if you bleach them from time to time.

Furthermore, when you overly use bleaching products you are likely to damage your hands and nails in the process.

Here are natural ways you can use to whiten your clothes without using bleach:

Baking soda

This important baking ingredient can be used as a natural way of whitening clothes. You simply need to add baking soda to your washing detergent and then soak your white clothes.

When you need instant results on specific stains, you can mix baking powder to form a thick paste and apply it to the stain area and let it dry. Once done, rinse your clothe and it will be as good as new.


This is also another easy way of whitening your clothes. Vinegar is readily available and accessible in most houses. Vinegar will not only whiten your clothes but it also acts as a fabric softener.

You only need to soak your clothes with a detergent and add some vinegar and wait. Vinegar is also helpful in removing sweat stains that make underarms look yellow.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is mainly used to clean cuts and wounds, but did you know you could also use it to wash your white clothes? Hydrogen peroxide is less toxic than commonly used bleach and it removes stains faster.

The best part about using hydrogen peroxide is that it will remove stains and keep your fabric looking brighter. When you have a stubborn stain, pour the hydrogen peroxide directly on the affected area and wait for it to bleach out.

With white clothes comes the nudging need to maintain their white colour (Shutterstock)

Water treatment products

These are the readily available products used to treat drinking and cooking water like Waterguard. They are available at household level. They contain chlorine which is used to make bleaching agents only that they are much friendlier. It has a component that oxidizes in water and removes stains. This method is convenient since you won’t have to deal with the choking smell of bleach.

Furthermore, Chlorine doesn’t decolourize your white clothes nor damage your hands and nails. Just an overnight soak and you are good to go.


Lemons can also be used to bleach white clothes although its effectiveness is very mild. For best results, soak the stained area with lemon squeeze to remove the stain upfront before washing. You cannot wash all your clothes in lemon extract since it comes in such small amounts.

Tip: Always ensure you read the fabric care instructions before indulging in any of these methods.

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