Fresh linens are one of life's simplest pleasures. While a brand new set is always nice, the crisp, clean feel of freshly laundered linens is one thing above all else; splendid.
White bed linen is not only classic, but also trans-seasonal and endlessly versatile. The only problem is that it's difficult to make light-colored fabric look clean even when it's actually clean. If you're wondering how to naturally whiten bedding and prevent discoloration, you've come to the right place.
It doesn't matter which remedy for yellowing laundry you choose: If possible, hang your wet white laundry out to dry in the fresh air and sunshine. The UV light and the oxygen lighten your laundry naturally.
Below are tips and techniques for naturally bleaching linens, as well as a step-by-step guide to washing white linens with natural products.
What natural products can you use to keep white linens white?
It's normal for bedding to get a bit dingy over time from sweat and body fat. But unfortunately, white fabrics tend to discolor faster than others. Not only does this detract from the aesthetics of your perfectly made bed, but it can also be a problem if you don't have clean-looking linens for overnight guests.
Although regular washing is important, you should be careful not to wash too much as this can wear the material down prematurely. However, there are some natural products you can use to keep linens whiter longer without compromising the integrity of the fabric. These include baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. Read on for details.
Here's how you can wash white sheets with baking soda and vinegar:
- Fill your washing machine with cold or warm water.
- Place about 1/2 cup of baking soda in the drum, then pour the vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser to the fill line.
- Place the linens in the drum, add about a quarter cup of detergent and run on the normal cycle.
Another option is to soak the linens in a solution of distilled white vinegar and baking soda (add about 1/2 cup per quart of water) for a few hours.
Washing linens with vinegar can leave a sour smell, but since baking soda is a natural odor neutralizer, this isn't a problem. Air-drying linens can also help minimize the vinegar smell.
Making yellowed linens white again with lemon juice:
If you prefer all-natural cleaning products, this remedy is for you. While the yellow hue of lemon peel is a color you want to avoid, the citric acid found in lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent, meaning it can lighten fabrics.
Here's how you can bleach linens with lemon juice:
- Juice a lemon and remove the stone and pulp.
- Pour the lemon juice into your washing machine along with your regular laundry detergent.
- Add your sheets and run the wash cycle as usual.
You can also make a homemade bleach solution using warm water and lemon juice, adding about 1/2 cup of juice to 1 quart of water. Let your sheets soak in the mixture for at least a couple of hours, or even overnight for more stubborn stains. Then wash them in the machine as usual. You get naturally clean, bright bedding and a pleasant citrus scent.
Bleaching bed linen with bleach: what to consider?
Chlorine bleach, whether in liquid or powder form, can effectively whiten sheets. However, this detergent is particularly harmful to fabrics and potentially toxic if inhaled or ingested in large quantities. It can also irritate eyes and skin. We therefore always recommend starting naturally and avoiding toxic bleaches.