Don’t Use This Common Laundry Item On Your Whites

A person places white laundry into a washing machine.
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Washing your whites should be simple. Separate them from your colors, then wash according to care instructions, right? You might not expect it, but there is some common mistake that could be making your whites dull.

Turns out, fabric softener is the enemy of your white clothing (and towels, too). Commercial softeners leave behind a film, and over time, it can build up on the fibers of your clothes dulling their appearance even if you wash them according to the care instructions. Don’t reach for the dryer sheets, either. Unfortunately, they impart the same sort of film (and deposit it onto your dryer’s lint screen as well).

Don’t worry, though. We’d never tell you about a problem without providing a solution. As with many cleaning methods, the solution is vinegar.

No, vinegar won’t make your clothes smell like a field of wildflowers, but you also won’t actually smell like vinegar, either. The scent will dissolve, and your whites will stay bright and shiny.

To use this hack, add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle during a usual wash (or, for front loaders, add it to the fabric softener cup). The vinegar will help eliminate any leftover detergent or former fabric softener from your clothing and soften your clothing. However, don’t dump it in with your laundry detergent. It has to be your rinse cycle. Laundry detergents have a specific pH level to help clean clothing and the vinegar is best used at the end of the cycle.

The next time your start to reach for the fabric softener for a load of whites, opt for some vinegar instead.

[Via Reader’s Digest]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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