How can I keep whites white?

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Since getting a front loading machine anything that I wash that is white gradually becomes grey especially towels. I use a good detergent, hot water and fabric softener and add a second rinse. This is exactly how I did my towels in my top loading machine with no problem ....for 43 years! I would appreciate any help with this ...my friends used to call me Martha because I was the one who had the answers!
  35 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 30, 2017
    This may help you with your situation. https://www.pinterest.com/explore/dingy-whites/
  • Dfm Dfm on Jan 30, 2017
    there is an agent called
    'blueing' it's meant to brighten whites. works well for my gotta be white work uniforms. do follow instructions and dilute in a bucket, not the washing machine.

  • Ele15071786 Ele15071786 on Jan 30, 2017
    My Grandmother used to boil some of her kitchen towels, but I can't remember what she put in the water. Bleach, vinegar...if anyone knows, please share the secret.
  • William William on Jan 30, 2017
    I use a 1/4 bottle of hydrogen peroxide with my whites. Bleach tends to damage fabric over time and makes whites dingy. Front load washers have gotten a lot of bad reviews. Since they use less water washing is different than a top load washer. They also require more maintenance and proper cleaning.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 30, 2017
    I agree with William that front loaders do not seem to do as good of a job. I don't think the issue is the washing or additives as much as the machine.
  • Sal3170064 Sal3170064 on Jan 30, 2017
    Do you keep whites separate from colours?
    If you don't then this is what you need to do.
    • S Davis S Davis on Jan 30, 2017
      Absolutely! I wash my whites together even if it's a small load and never add a piece that is another color...not even the palest pastel. Totally white loads. And agree with the 1/4 bottle peroxide addition and always, always, always -- extra rinse!
  • Nancy Flemming Nancy Flemming on Jan 30, 2017
    You may also need to clean under the rubber seal around the opening, as it can get grimy, then run a bleach rinse cycle through the whole machine. Wipe with a dry cloth and leave the door open to fully dry.
  • I wash whites separately. I use a homemade laundry detergent, or in a pinch, Dreft, or a "free and clear" detergent. Then add a couple heaping tablespoons of baking soda. Then toss in whites. In the fabric softener cup, I use white vinegar. Works like a charm. The baking soda can also be used in "colored clothes" wash too - brightens up the laundry without bleaching. In the dryer, I use "felted wool dryer balls" - sold on Amazon if you are unable to find them locally. Far less chemicals, better for your skin too. Less chemicals in the wash = less pollution to the environment.
  • Linda Linda on Jan 30, 2017
    Thank you everyone so much for taking your time to respond. My machine is less than3 yrs old and I wipe the seal dry every time I finish and the door is left open right near a vent so I don't believe that is the current problem. I really feel these front loading machines do an inferior job in a lot of ways. They do not save water because things have to be rewashed and I have always added the second rinse. I will never buy another one!! I have never added colours to a white load. I am going to try baking soda in the detergent and the vinegar in the rinse cup as they are the easiest on the environment. If that fails I may try hydrogen peroxide but not sure of its toxicity so would want to research that first. I stopped using chlorine bleach in the 80's (no one should be breathing that!). I buy everything in the unscented version. Most of you sound very conscientious about using environmentally friendly products so kudos to you!! Once again, my sincere thanks to all of you for your time and your suggestions.
  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Jan 31, 2017
    I love using Vinegar and baking soda- its amazing how many uses they have, good luck!!!
  • Sal3170064 Sal3170064 on Jan 31, 2017
    What washing solution do you use, I use Ariel bio-logical. My whites are always white and clean first time.
  • Louise James Louise James on Jan 31, 2017
    I started using oxy-clean and I am amazed at what it can do! It will whiten whites, safe for colours, it is the only thing that works to remove sweat stains (I have yet to come across a stain it won't remove) I have used it to clean my cutlery (just the daily stuff not silver) and other jobs around the house
    One thing I did notice with front loaders is stagnant water -I had to leave the door open, when not in use, so that it would dry out properly. Otherwise it would stink after a day or two and maybe that can effect the brightness of your wash items (?)
  • Nancy Nancy on Jan 31, 2017
    Washing vinegar in your laundry aisle. It's amazing how clean everything gets wit this stuff!!
  • Ggp11245117 Ggp11245117 on Jan 31, 2017
    Why are we all tolerating these front door washErs when they are what is causing all the above problems! I cannot wait until I can get rid of my high priced name brand useless machine! How do we effectively insist on a better machine instead of all of the above responses?ladies, women, men, what can we do?
    • See 4 previous
    • Nancy Flemming Nancy Flemming on Feb 10, 2017
      Maybe a post on social media, seems to get attention. Also letters to manufacturers. It will be hard to get people to stop buying them as there are no other real options!
  • Marylynn Caruso Marylynn Caruso on Feb 01, 2017
    Have you tried the RIT white "dye"? I have it sitting in my drawer and have not used it but it made sense to me. I hate grey/ white or beige/white whites!!

    has anyone tried this? let me know.
  • Ggp11245117 Ggp11245117 on Feb 02, 2017
    i whole heartedly agree! I wish I had stuck to my guns and not purchased my fancy red set of washer. Dryer as I did. ( see above ggpeppers response). You were right, Naomie. The rest of you who are shopping,please listen to Naomie . Do not fall for the front door type or you will be a slave to the after washing dry it up game!
    • See 1 previous
    • Nancy Flemming Nancy Flemming on Feb 10, 2017
      A friend had her old white agitator set painted to fit her retro theme, it looked awesome and last really well with no chipping etc., she had it done at an autobody shop with car paint.
  • Louise James Louise James on Feb 03, 2017
    I have to say that I loved my front loading machines -they did a great job, and used less water , energy, and , soap than the top loaders (also very gentle on clothes) :)
  • Pat Pat on Feb 03, 2017
    I use vinegar as a soak and rinse for my white towels with regular laundry detergent. I also use vinegar as a fabric softer. Does a great job and a lot cheaper than dryer sheets, which , btw, can make your fabrics flammable.
  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Feb 06, 2017
    When I launder our whites I use detergent, bleach, and bluing. The bluing is what keeps them looking very white!
  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 06, 2017
    I second the blueing....my white uniforms tend to get orange with the iron content of the local water supply. the blueing keep them white.
  • Ggp11245117 Ggp11245117 on Feb 09, 2017
    This is ggpepper again. Since some women went to Washing - ton to. Express themselves, I move to go to GE and other front loading washer manufacturers and tell them how we feel! This is really a big fraud the THEY have perpetuated on us! Anyone have any idea how to proceed?
  • Darrel Rose Darrel Rose on Feb 10, 2017
    It's not your machines fault, use a Vinegar to clean your washer it could have detergent build up this is what causes your whites to be dingy looking, and also use a vinegar rinse to your laundry one cup should do it, if that don't help then I would suggest using a quarter of a cup of dishwasher detergent along with your laundry detergent this stuff always makes clothes whiter
  • Nancy Flemming Nancy Flemming on Feb 10, 2017
    My daughter changed from a front load washer to top load (she is a clean freak so yes she cleaned her washer often) However, with the new top loader she is finding soap still on her clothes after the final rinse, and has noticed the some of the clothes float on top of the water in the machine and never immerse. She has read the book and followed the directions and asked others to no avail. They are returning this machine, not sure if you can mention brand names on this forum, but it begins with S.....g. Her new top load washer does not have an agitator, so works similar to the front loaders. Can you still buy a new washing machine with an agitator?
    Too many people are having problems with the new machines that never had problems before, so I believe it is machines.
    • See 3 previous
    • Ruth Ruth on Feb 16, 2017
      The S....g top load washer is under recall for burning. I hated mine so returned it, then found about the recall. But I found a Maytag top loader, called "deep water" & has a new type of agitator and I am very pleased.
  • Nancy Flemming Nancy Flemming on Feb 10, 2017
    Oh sorry this was about getting whites, white. But if the machine is not doing its job properly it will be ongoing battle. Many good suggestions already posted.
  • Paula Machnik Paula Machnik on Feb 10, 2017
    They do still make top loading washers with agitators. A neighbor that had a machine like your daughters told me that everything comes out wrinkled so I looked for the traditional with an agitator when I replaced my washer.
  • L L on Feb 11, 2017
    I bought one without an agitator. Got rid of it. Went and bought a cheap o s with an agitator at lowes. Still not as good as my old one that lasted 30 years but I would say you have to have the agitator.
    i use borax to help with all my laundry. I have well water
  • Carol Rosendaul Carol Rosendaul on Feb 13, 2017
    Use powdered BIZ. Read directions. If I have a bad spot on white clothing I clothing in a large plastic container ...just cover with water & sprinkly generously with the powdered BIZ & set in the sun for several hours or more. It whitens .everything & does not harm clothing like bleach does.
  • Deid4 Deid4 on Feb 14, 2017
    As a Nurse, when my whites get dingy, I use RIT Color Remover.

    the new He washing machines do not clean very well. My 34 year old Maytag basic washing machine is hooked up in the basement for occasional use and I am glad to have it.
    • Glad to know you have a Maytag that old and that it is still in service. I have a Maytag that I bought 16+ years ago and I was picky, as I wanted the largest washtub I could get and still have mostly metal parts and not plastic. With luck, hopefully mine will last that long too. All the new ones I have looked at (regardless of price), do not seem to be as well constructed. They look pretty but that is about it. All my friends that purchased the front loaders were eventually vexed that they spent so much and they did not work as well as the old machines did. And are now slowly being replaced . . .
  • Jim L Jim L on Feb 15, 2017
    Stop using fabric softener...us white vinegar in the rinse cycle instead. Also, you may be using to much detergent. Switch to something that is formulated for front loading machines. Adding an additional rinse cycle is a great idea.
  • Susie Rufener Susie Rufener on Feb 15, 2017
    The front loaders need less detergent to get clothes clean. Try using way less detergent, if there is any soap left in your clothes they will look gray. Maybe try running a load of whites with out any detergent and see if you are still seeing suds. If you still see suds everything is not getting rinsed out.
  • Rachel Rachel on Feb 16, 2017
    I LOVE all the ideas here. This is one discussion thread I really need to read
  • Cathy Wolf Cathy Wolf on Feb 16, 2017
    Do you have hard water? Hard water will make whites dingy. Bleach doesn't help. vinegar helps and so does the powdered arm
    and hammer/laundry booster super washing soda.
  • Katerina Waligora Katerina Waligora on Feb 17, 2017
    Problem of whites going gray is because lint from color clothing is in your washer present even you rinse few times. You will have to wash your easher every time you have use to wash your colors ! In Europe ( where I am pretty often ) they are selling color trapping sheets. Each time you wash your clothes you drop one or two sheyes regardles if this is color or white clothing . That way I do not have problems with lint flowing in the washer and my clothing is looking great ! White is white and colors is not bleeding. I just hope one day our distributor will order those from Europe for e.g. From Germany 🇩🇪, Austria 🇦🇹 , Poland 🇵🇱 or maybe we can develop and patent one of ours ?!
    if you want to have white extra white I was using Hydrogen Peroxide 6% or higher I hink you can buy at Sally Beau Supply 10 or higher with Ammonia you should be able to find at the Walmart or wherever they sale cleaning supplies. And ad to your wash ! Works magnificent!
    • See 1 previous
    • Susie Rufener Susie Rufener on Feb 18, 2017
      I never had any problems with left over lint for color clothes. I just use less detergent than recommended. I had to wear white shirts for work and everyone always asked how I kept them so white, one lady thought I must be buying new white shirts very often, I only bought about every 5 years. Too much detergent causes graying, too much bleach eats away at fabric. I don't believe in adding too much "junk" to my washing. Vinegar works well to cut through built up old detergent in clothes and helps soften too.
  • Sus21060973 Sus21060973 on Feb 24, 2017
    Try rinsing two times. Sometimes soap is left in the article and makes them dingy over time.
  • Maggie   Gallagher Maggie Gallagher on Feb 24, 2017
    Same here, using bleach for my whites but soon I will have a new Samsung with top loading and an agitator. Hanging your clothes outside on the line and the sun ,will bleach them.