How do I get yellowed white clothes white again?

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Written By Staff Writer

The beauty of white clothes lies in the neat and sophisticated feeling they induce in the people who wear them. If yellow stains or dirt on a white dress eradicates its beauty, what is a white dress that has become yellowish good for? It’ll be terrible, right? Most people who have or are experiencing this always wonder how they can get white clothing with yellow stains white again. If you’re in this category, search no further as this blog post has got you covered. 

The short answer is here! Several techniques exist to get white clothes turned yellow, and white again. You can soak in lemon and dry under direct sunlight, wash with white vinegar or baking soda, use a bluing agent, oxygen bleach, or chlorine bleach, or use a commercial color remover.

Each of these techniques differs and understanding how each work is crucial. This post will provide all you need to know regarding the subject. So you want to read on to the end. 

How to clean white clothes which have turned yellow?

Everyone who owns white clothing, especially those who use them quite often, has probably experienced them turning yellow and yellow stains in the armpit area. Several causes of this will be covered as we move ahead. As of now, we will look at some easy and affordable techniques you can use to make your yellow clothes white again.

Use Lemon and Sunlight

Lemon and sunlight on clothes are among the most effective and safest techniques to use. Among natural cleaners, lemon is one of the best due to its high citric acid content and antibacterial properties. This makes it quite effective to remove yellow stains. All you need do is;

  • Apply lemon juice to the dress.
  • Dry in direct sunlight for about an hour or more.
  • Wash normally and rinse thoroughly in a washing machine.

Another way to go about this is to;

  • Soak the dress in lemon juice and hot water for about 30 minutes
  • Rinse and wash normally

Another alternative is to;

  • Add lemon juice alongside your detergents in the laundry machine and wash.

With lemon juice, you can never go wrong.

Use Natural Sunlight

This is a convenient and gentle method to use. Sunlight is a natural bleaching agent that may be detrimental to color clothes on long-term exposure but very beneficial to white clothing. Additionally, employing natural sunlight costs nothing and is way less harsh on clothes than most, if not all, bleaching agents.

Using natural sunlight is probably the cheapest method to turn your yellow clothes or any yellow stain on your white clothes white again. All you need do is; 

  • Wash the dress normally 
  • Rinse thoroughly 
  • Dry in natural sunlight for several hours

One limitation of this method is the periodic lack of natural sunlight in some seasons like winter.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is a good inexpensive whitening agent and deodorizer. It brightens white and colorful things on its own and boosts the effect of bleach when used together. All you need do is;

  • Dissolve a glass of baking soda in warm water and soak the clothes overnight.
  • Thoroughly rinse and wash normally.

Besides that, you could; 

  • Make a baking soda paste with water
  • Apply on the clothes and allow for about an hour
  • Rinse thoroughly and then wash normally

You can also; 

  • Put half a cup of baking soda into the laundry machine before putting in your clothes and then your normal laundry cycle.

Tip! 

Using baking soda with the right amount of bleach is another effective way to get your yellow clothes white again. 

You can also use it alongside peroxide and water to get yellow clothes white again. All you need do is;

  • Mix equal proportions of baking soda, peroxide, and water in a bowl or container to form a paste.
  • Soak the clothes with the paste and allow for about an hour.
  • Rinse thoroughly and wash normally.

Note!

Do not use baking soda alongside anything acidic like lemon or white vinegar.

Use White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is a good whitening, freshening, and softening agent. You can;

  • Add a cup of white vinegar to hot water and soak the clothes overnight before washing the next day,

OR

  • Use a cup of vinegar alongside your normal detergent at the start of your normal laundry cycle.

Tip! 

White vinegar can be used with salt to make your yellow clothes white again. All you need do is 

  • Put a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of salt into a water bowl.
  • Soak the clothes in it for about an hour.
  • Wash and rinse thoroughly to eliminate any lingering vinegar smell.
Also Read:   House Deep Cleaning Checklist

Note!

Never mix white vinegar or anything acidic with bleach.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a good cleaning and whitening agent that can eradicate all yellow stains on a white dress. All you have to do is; 

  • Add hydrogen peroxide to a bowl of cold water.
  • Sock the clothes in it for about an hour.
  • Wash and rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Use Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen bleach effectively reduces the white color of polyester clothes that have turned yellow. Compared to chlorine bleach, it is less harsh and more friendly to the skin. With this method, all you need do is; 

  • Add the bleach to a quantity of warm water as described by the manufacturer.
  • Soak the clothes or garments overnight.
  • Wash the garment at the recommended temperature using the laundry machine.

Note!

Only use this on white clothes that are not silk, leather, or wool.

Use Chlorine Bleach

Though harsh, chlorine bleach effectively makes yellow clothes white again when used correctly. Too much chlorine bleach will damage clothes, while the right amount will whiten.

If you want to use this method, follow the directions on the labels on how to use it.

Use Liquid Bluing 

This old-fashioned laundry product is still quite good at making yellow clothes white again. It adds a hint of blue, eliminating the yellowish color and making clothes as white as new. 

Following the product instructions while adding it during the wash cycle is best.

Why do white clothes turn yellow?

Several things could turn white clothes yellow, including the following; 

  • During sweating, antiperspirant and body salts form yellow stains that turns the underarm of your white dress or shirt yellow.
  • Frequent and excessive chlorine bleach makes white clothes yellow, especially those made of synthetic polyester.
  • body oils also makes white clothes yellow.

How can you prevent white clothing to turn yellow?

Although white clothes are bound to lose their whiteness with use over time, you can still preserve them for a much longer time by observing some or all of the following actions. 

1. Proper storage. 

Although often overlooked, proper storage helps to ensure that our white clothes stay longer and don’t turn yellow from involuntary reasons while being stored. To achieve this,

  • Store your white clothing in a cool, dry location, free of any moisture that can cause mildew.
  • Endeavor to wash your white clothes thoroughly and dry well if you plan to keep them for a long time before use to prevent any stains from setting in. 
  • Avoid stacking white clothing around dark wash jeans if you’re hanging stuff in a closet since the dye may transfer. 
  • Keep your white clothing in plastic storage containers, baskets, or bags sandwiched between high-quality, acid-free paper for the best preservation. 
  • White garments on racks should have enough space between them to breathe.
  • Avoid cardboard cartons as their color can stain white clothing.

2. Wash white clothing regularly

Since everyone knows how priceless white clothing is, it is customary to wear them numerous times before placing them in the laundry basket. However, washing them after one or two uses will go a long way to prevent them from turning yellow. This is because, even though they might not have obvious stains or smell unpleasant, sweating and body oil can build up and cause the fabric to turn yellow with time. Avoid staining and decolorizing them by cleaning them almost immediately after each use.

3. Wash all-white clothes separately.

Always sort your whites individually before you begin the wash cycle.  

4. Use Water at Warmer Temperatures for white clothes.

After the pre-soaking process, it is advisable to rinse the clothes, so they are clean and ready for the washer. Although it varies from fabric to fabric, the basic rule of thumb is to use the hottest water temperature that the material can tolerate. 

You want to select an average water temperature warmer than usual because we know from experience that delicate linens require a lower wash temperature than more durable cotton bed sheets.

5. Too much bleach.

Reduce the frequency at which you bleach with chlorine. Several other safer whitening methods can be used, as described above.

6. Dry your white clothes under natural sunlight as often as possible each time you wash.

Conclusion

White clothes are destined to age with use. However, we can preserve them for as long as possible using products such as lemon, beach, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.

Rather than immediately throwing away your white clothes that have become yellowish, use any methods described above to get them white again so you can fully get your money’s worth.

Plenty of thanks for reading till the end!


FAQs

Q: What is the best fabric softener for yellowed white clothes?

A: The best fabric softener for yellowed white clothes is one that is gentle and effective. A good fabric softener will remove stains and dirt without damaging the fabric.

Q: Can bleach make white clothes yellow?

A: Yes, while bleach can whiten white clothes, too much bleach will make white clothes yellow.

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