5 Natural Ways to Whiten Clothing

Aside from eliminating odors, baking soda can help remove stains and soften your laundry. Just be sure to rinse it with your usual laundry detergent and avoid using bleach.
5 Natural Ways to Whiten Clothing

Last update: 26 May, 2022

White clothes tend to stain very easily. After wearing them for a month or two, they also tend to start taking on a yellowish hue.

Most people resolve these issues using commercial, chemical products sold in stores today. Especially ones that contain bleach and claim to be the best solutions for getting clothes clean and white again.

The truth is that these products do work well. For some people, they may also be the easiest way to whiten clothing. But the chemicals they contain are unhealthy and potentially unsafe. These may also damage the environment.

That is we want to help you prevent any household accidents caused by using bleach and other harmful cleaning products. So, we are sharing five natural ways to clean your laundry and whiten clothing in a safer, more environmentally-friendly manner.

These are common household products that will both whiten clothing and help get rid of fabric stains.

White Vinegar

Aside from being a useful product for removing stains and dirt, white vinegar is very easy on fabrics and helps soften them naturally to keep you from having to resort to chemical-based fabric softeners.

How to Use It

  • Add ½ to 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to your regular detergent for your washing machine, and run the wash cycle as you normally would.
  • If your clothing has stains around the neck, underarms, or other areas, rub a little white vinegar into the affected areas and let it sit for an hour before washing.

Baking Soda

Jar of baking soda lying on table

Aside from being very affordable, baking soda deeply penetrates your clothing. This removes stains and makes them soft.

How to Use It

  • Add ½ cup of baking soda to your usual laundry detergent and wash as usual. Remember to always separate white fabrics from colored fabrics.
  • For tough stains, apply baking soda mixed with a little lemon juice directly on the affected areas.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Using hydrogen peroxide to whiten clothing

Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent product for caring for white garments because it doesn’t contain bleach.

How to Use It

  • Add ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your normal laundry detergent. You can also apply this liquid directly to the stain.

Lemon Juice

Lemons hanging on a tree

Lemon juice is a natural astringent that cleans deep within your clothing’s fabric, removing dirt and leaving your clothing crisp and white.

How to Use It

  • Fill a pot with water and a few lemon slices and bring it to a boil. Then, soak your clothing in the lemon water for an hour before washing it as usual.
  • Another good option is to prepare a solution of soap, one tablespoon of salt, and the juice of two lemons. Soak your clothing in this mixture, and then rinse and dry it in the sun.


This surprising ingredient can be used to care for your clothing and keep it white. It is especially recommended for use on delicate or cotton fabrics.

How to Use It

  • Place the garment in a bowl of milk. Let it soak for a few hours, before rinsing as usual.

Tips on How to Whiten Clothing

White clothing requires special care to keep it in good condition and brightly colored.

If white is a primary color in your or your family’s closets, be sure and remember to follow to these tips:

  • Avoid using chemical bleaches on garments made out of polyester or cotton-polyester blends. They can cause a reaction between the bleach and the polyester that will cause the fabric to turn yellow.
  • Pay close attention to the water in which you wash your clothing. If it becomes cloudy, it can contribute to your clothes yellowing.
  • Add a little Borax dissolved in water to your load of laundry to soften the fabric. Borax won’t stain your clothes.
  • To avoid staining white clothes, be sure not to allow perfumes, deodorants, or other products to come into contact with the fabric. Usually, they end up causing yellowish stains.
  • Try to dry white clothing in the sun. UV rays help contribute to keeping them white and bright.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.