how to wash white clothes

How to Whiten White Clothes Without Bleach

Can you use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to whiten clothes? With these natural laundry whiteners, discover how to brighten white fabrics! 

Cleaning 101: How to Get Rid of Hard Water Stains Reading How to Whiten White Clothes Without Bleach 6 minutes Next How to Wash Button up Shirts

Written by Tenley Haraldson. Reviewed by Sean Busch.


Knowing how to wash white clothes presents certain challenges. That gets even trickier when you add stain causers like sweat, spaghetti, and general dinginess.

Rather than using caustics or optical brighteners, learning how to whiten clothes without bleach can absolutely be done – with the right ingredients and techniques!

1. How to Make White Clothes Whiter with Baking Soda

how to make white clothes whiter with baking soda

Baking soda is a gentle, effective substance that eliminates hard water stains, fridge odors, and – you guessed it – washing white clothes.

Turn on your washing machine, dissolve ½ cup of baking soda, then run a normal cycle. For larger loads of laundry, you can use a full cup of baking soda.

2. This Stain Remover Is the Ultimate Laundry Whitener

how to whiten clothes

Puracy Stain Remover's 98.95% natural formula contains 6 plant-based enzymes to literally obliterate every stain and odor from fabrics. That means grass, wine, blood, sweat, body odor, oil, cosmetics, dirt, and berries.

Not only does this enzymatic cleaner remove unwanted elements (without using caustics, sulfates, parabens, optical brighteners, and artificial fragrances), but the cellulase enzyme also refreshes and softens fabrics.

How to Get Stains out of White Clothes

how to whiten clothes without bleach

Need to target a specific area like armpit stains? Spot treating is the way to go. Spray the affected area with our Natural Stain Remover, agitate with a soft laundry brush (or rub the fabric together), and wait at least 15 minutes before throwing in the washing machine. For tougher stains, you can let the spray set for several days.

Note: For wool and silk, however, you should only leave this spray on for 60 minutes

Do You Wash Whites in Hot or Cold Water?

Use the warmest water that fabric care instructions allow, then opt for an "extra rinse" cycle. Extra-stubborn stains may require another treatment but every stain should disappear within another application. Don't put clothes in the dryer until you're sure that stains are gone (or you might "bake" them into fabrics).

3. How to Whiten Clothes with Vinegar

whiten clothes with vinegar

Vinegar whitens clothes, softens fabric, and helps remove musty/mildewy smells. During the last rinse cycle, pour 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar into an already-running machine. If your clothes need a bit more attention, soak them for a few hours in a basin full of warm water and one cup of white vinegar.

4. Use Lemons to Whiten Clothes

what can i use instead of bleach to whiten clothes
Fill a basin with hot water and the juice of 1-2 lemons. Soak laundry for a few hours and run it through a normal washing machine cycle (more on that later).

If your clothes need an extra brightening boost, boil the water first, add the lemon juice, swirl in the garments, and let everything soak overnight. Be sure to check fabric care instructions to make sure items can handle hot water!

5. How to Whiten Clothes with Hydrogen Peroxide how to whiten whites

This medicine cabinet staple is an amazing method for whitening laundry. Start a load, pour 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide (3%) straight into your detergent or bleach dispenser, and proceed with your regular laundry routine.

How to Whiten Clothes with Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

how to whiten white clothes

Make a paste of equal parts hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and water. Cover the affected areas with a ¼” layer and let it sit for 30-60 minutes. Remove excess residue with a soft brush and throw the item in the washing machine.

Or you could just spray the area with our Natural Stain Remover, agitate, wait, and wash.

6. How to Whiten Whites with Sunshine

how to brighten white clothes

Who doesn't love the smell of sun-dried bedsheets? This is one of the most effective ways whiten white clothes that have yellowed without bleach – but the UV rays can fade fabric. Unless the items are completely white, turn them inside out and limit drying time to a couple of hours.

Did You Know? Line drying can conserve up to 4% of your electricity usage.

7. Use Laundry Detergent That "Suits" Everyone

whitening laundry

Harsh detergents and bleach are tough on sensitive skin, but they also wear down thick fabrics. Prolong the lives of clothes with an effective laundry formula that cleanses, revives, and softens fabrics.


By combining our home remedies (above) with our Natural Laundry Detergent, you've got plant-based enzymes that remove stains, refresh fabrics, and remove stains. Best of all, it works beautifully without caustics, bleach, synthetic perfumes, sulfates, phosphates, dyes, petrochemicals, optical brighteners, and chlorine.

How to Wash White Clothes

do you wash whites in hot or cold water

Want to brighten white clothes but only have time to run a regular wash cycle? Follow these laundry tips:

  1. Because white fabric tend to get dingy and yellow, consider washing items every 1-2 wears.
  2. Notice a smudge or spot? Treat it immediately with our Natural Stain Remover.
  3. Separate white clothes from dark clothing. We recommend keeping two separate containers/hampers.
  4. Double-check to ensure there aren't any red-colored items in your white clothes.
  5. You need enough space for water to wash away grime and dirt (not redistribute it on your garments). Take care not to overload the washing machine.
  6. Choose the warmest wash cycle your items can handle (check garment tags).
  7. Add your detergent, but don't use more than you need: Our laundry detergent is 10X concentrated!
  8. Drying cycles can "bake" stains into fabric. Always ensure that discoloration has been totally removed before throwing anything into the dryer.
  9. Dry items on a low-heat setting or in the sunlight.

We've Created the Most Effective Laundry Whiteners

laundry whitener

It's hard enough to find the perfect white shirt or pair of jeans. It's even harder to keep them that way. Whether you're fighting unsightly splotches, stinky armpits, or white clothes that have yellowed, Puracy laundry essentials are the best natural laundry whiteners. Guaranteed.