How to Whiten White Clothes that Have Yellowed

It’s okay that white clothes are beautiful and that some pieces only look really beautiful when they appear in that bright white color. But when you think about how easily they get dirty and get yellow stains, you don’t even want to add this shade to your closet just to save yourself some trouble.

However, as almost everything in life has a solution, that’s because we’ve separated some foolproof tricks that will help make your white fabrics look brand new.

Ways To Whiten White Clothes That Have Yellowed

Do not use chlorinated bleach to lighten white clothing, as its formula can make it even darker. Always read the fabric product label for relevant washing instructions and recommendations. You can also check on the cleaning product label to ensure that the colors stay in place longer.

Knowing how to bleach whites and lighten yellowed clothes without the use of chlorine is essential to not ruining your clothes.

You will need:

How To Whiten White Clothes With Homemade Ingredients

When your fabrics come in contact with deodorants, creams, and body sweat, this can cause yellow stains on clothes. However, with quality soap and these homemade solutions in the prewash, your fabrics will stay as white as ever.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Simply soak the garment in a mixture of water, washing powder, and 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Soak for 30 minutes, rinse and then wash as normal.

Lemon juice and water

First, mix ½ cup of lemon juice with 3.5 liters of very hot water. Let the garment soak in the solution for at least an hour. Then pour the mixture into the machine and wash the garment normally.


Another household ingredient widely used by those who don’t know how to lighten white clothes is milk, generally more suitable for delicate items. Leave the clothes soaked in milk for two hours and wash normally.


White vinegar is also a great solution for those looking to know how to clean white clothes. Simply add a cup of white vinegar to your normal washing machine cycle or, if hand washing, add a cup of vinegar to the detergent and water and let the garment soak for 30 minutes, then rinse.


To remove yellow stains from white clothes, turn the garment inside out and apply some quantity of alcohol while rubbing it to the affected area. Scrub well and load it into your washer for a normal wash.

Sun exposure helps remove softer stains from white clothes

A simple trick – and it won’t cost you anything – to eliminate yellow stains or yellow grimy look from white clothes is to utilize the sunset rays. While the sun’s rays cause blemishes on the skin, their effect is completely opposite on fabrics – since exposure to them helps to lighten fabrics and also eradicate that grimy look.

To do this, just wash your clothes normally and then put them on the clothesline facing the part where the sun hits the longest.

Extra tip: For best results, try this trick on extremely sunny days.

Using Hot Water And Blue Or Coconut Soap To Remove The Yellowish Look

If your stain is more insistent or you just want an alternative method, then wash your clothes with hot water and then rub the fabric evenly with blue soap or coconut bar soap. If you don’t have it at home, use the homemade alternative; baking soda and a few drops of vinegar.

The step-by-step process is as follows: rinse the garment with hot water and then apply the solution to the yellowed area well until you notice that the fabric is getting whiter.

Finally, do a final rinse with cold water. If it’s a sunny day, you can even take advantage of the previous tip by putting the clothes to dry in the sun, this is to ensure that the stain is removed even more effectively. Another suggestion is to wash the clothes – that is, leave them to soak in the sun.

Just be sure to wash the affected area with the soap of your choice first, your white piece will look brand new.

For tougher stains, like those that form in the underarm area, try spreading a spoonful of baking soda on the stained area and rubbing it in with half a lemon. Leave for 15 minutes, and then rinse with warm water. If you choose to use the machine wash, add a cup of baking soda to the laundry detergent.

You should also remember that before applying any homemade solution, do a test on a remote spot in your clothing to avoid any major damage to the fabric.

With these simple tricks, you have successfully learned how to brighten your white garments from that yellow grimy look.

To avoid having to bleach white clothes and lighten yellowed clothes too often, always wash whites separately from colored ones. Colored garments can secrete dye which can end up staining your white items.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Lighten White Clothes

Is it possible to whiten white clothes with baking soda?

Yes! Place the white clothes in a basin with water, a cleaning product, and three tablespoons of bicarbonate.

Why should you be careful when bleaching white clothes?

When bleaching your whites, beware of chlorinated bleaches because the abrasive composition in chlorinated bleaches can damage your clothing.

What are the tips for whitening white clothes with vinegar?

Add a cup of white vinegar to the washing machine cycle or add a cup of vinegar to the detergent and water and soak the garment.

How to whiten yellowish-white clothes with baking soda?

To make your clothes white again, boil 1 liter of water, add some Tide PODS Laundry Detergent, and three spoonfuls of baking soda. Soak for about 20 minutes, rub and rinse well. Hang it out in the open to air dry.

How to lighten grimy white clothes?

When white clothes look grimy, it is best to prewash them using alcohol vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, and water. Soak for about 25 minutes. Then rinse and wash in the washing machine using a good detergent of your choice.

How to lighten yellowed white clothes?

Boil enough water to cover the clothes, add washing powder until the water turns blue, add three tablespoons of baking soda and let it soak for 1 hour. After this period wash the clothes in the washing machine using Tide PODS Laundry Detergent, powder, or liquid according to your preference.

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