How can I clean yellowing white clothes?

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Returning after 3 tours I discovered my entire great white shirt collection was left door open and unattended has what looks like old fashion yellowing from either cigarette smoke or just yellow dust and dirt. I need your help with advice on how I should go about cleaning the various fabrics in collection. Materials vary from best of cottons to silk and many linen. All where dry cleaned prior to my departure but plastic fell of and now half shirts stained while side inside closet is pristine. I really need suggestions please.


  5 answers
  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Dec 09, 2019

    Linen & silk can be soaked in a non-chlorinated bleach (oxyclean) and mild clear soap (woolite) cold water solution.

    They will have to be line dried, after thorough rinsing.


    I would talk to my dry cleaner about leaving their plastic on them for long periods of time, as plastic yellows with age.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Dec 09, 2019

    Anything that can be washed, add 1 cup lemon juice to the laundry.


    I have no advice on dry clean items as I steer clear of those.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Dec 09, 2019

    Try hanging them right from the washer (using bleach) outside in bright sunlight a couple of times.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Dec 09, 2019

    I hope that works for you 😁

  • Bleach can cause "yellowing" or "graying" of fabric, plus it weakens the fibers and over time, will age and destroy the garment(s). Stick to hydrogen peroxide or oxiclean type products. And invest in cotton dust protectors for long term storage rather than leaving items in dry cleaner plastic which, again, can ruin your clothing over time. Years ago my mom made me a slew of unbleached muslin garment bags for my suits, formal wear and better, less worn dresses. I still use them today.