Quick Tips For Making Colors Brighter & Whites Whiter

With a few simple items that you likely already have in your home, you can boost laundry items to help keep them looking new (and prevent fading too). Here are a few quick tips from my collection separated into two groups (the first for colors and the second for whites).

To Prevent Fading or Keep Colors Bright:

  • Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a load of laundry during the wash cycle.
  • Color Protector: Soak new items in a straight solution of vinegar to protect dyes from running. You can also try soaking them in lightly salted water.
  • Soak new garments and items in a mixture of 1 tsp Epsom salts mixed with one gallon of water. Will help prevent fading and dyes running.
  • One-half cup of household ammonia added to rinse water will help brighten colored clothes. Do not use ammonia if bleach has been used.
  • Turn clothes inside out before washing to help prevent fading (especially helpful for black garments).
  • If line drying outdoors, colored items should be dried in the shade to prevent fading.
  • Pour two cups of strong tea in the rinse cycle to restore dark colors.

Tips For Whiter Whites:

  • Mild bleach: Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup baking soda to load along with your regular detergent and launder as usual.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of vinegar to the rinse cycle to whiten clothes.
  • Restore Whites: Fill a large stock pot half full with water and 1 cup of vinegar, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add garments and let soak overnight. Launder as usual.
  • Add 1/2 cup of powdered dishwasher detergent to the washing machine, allow machine to fill with water to dissolve the powder. Add clothes when water level is about half-way and once the water has stopped filling, open the machine to stop it from running. Let clothes soak for 30 minutes before turning machine back on.
  • Dry on the line outdoors when the sun is hot and bright, the sun is nature’s bleach. You’ll also have fresh smelling laundry without any added chemicals!
  • To whiten laces, wash them in sour milk.
  • To brighten yellowed linens, try adding 2 teaspoons cream of tartar to a pail of water and soak items for a few hours before laundering as usual.
  • Soak clothes overnight in a mixture of 1/2 cup ReaLemon juice (or a sliced lemon) per 1 gallon of hot water. This is a great method for bringing dingy socks back to life.
  • Soak whites overnight in 1/2 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide per quart of cold water. You can also add 3/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a load of laundry (dissolve in soapy water first before adding clothes) or try adding 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle.
  • Wash clothes with 1/2 cup Borax along with your favorite laundry detergent and then add 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle.

To Prevent Fading or Keep Colors Bright:  Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a load of laundry during the wash cycle. Color Protector: Soak new items in a straight solution of vinegar to protect dyes from running. You can also try soaking them in lightly salted water. Soak new garments and items in a mixture of 1 tsp Epsom salts mixed with one gallon of water. Will help prevent fading and dyes running.

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