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DIY: Laundry Whitener

Last week I told you about another homemade product I was excited to share with you. I don’t have a witty name picked out for it, but I think Laundry Whitener sums it up nicely. I came across this recipe while searching the Internet for other homema

de goodies and when I first read it, I was very skeptical. I was so skeptical in fact, I knew I had to try it for myself so I could debunk the myth. The only ingredient I didn’t have was powdered dishwasher soap. I’m not sure why you would need to use powdered and not liquid, but in order to shed light on this false claim I would have to follow the recipe exactly.



1C Laundry Soap (I used homemade laundry soap)

1C Powdered Dishwasher Soap

1C Bleach

1/2C Borax


The recipe I was using was saying to do this in the wash machine, but having an HE machine meant I would have to modify it slightly. If you have a regular wash tub this same method could be used and I’ll cover that later. For now, we’re just going to use the stove method.


Place some water in a large pan and heat it until it’s almost boiling. Add your ingredients and stir until dissolved.

Click To Enlarge


I pulled this shirt directly from the dryer, you can see the orange residue around the neck and shoulders. I imagine this is sunscreen, sprayed on the neck while working in the sun. My only question is why the entire shirt is covered in orange? Maybe it’s not sunscreen, but no matter what it is, I assure you it’s all over the shirt. Let me remind you, this had just come through a wash in bleach and had been dried.




After picking out one of the grossest shirts I could find (remember, I was trying to disprove the miracle), I placed the

shirt into the solution and filled the pan with enough water to cover it completely.

In a previous attempt I added some offensive white socks that belonged to my 2 year old. These were brand new the day before when I put them on him. They are soaking with an equally, if not more so, offensive white crib sheet.


The recipe says to do this in the hottest water possible. I’m guessing it’s because it takes extremely hot water to dissolve the powdered dishwasher soap (which is why I don’t use it in the dishwasher). But nevertheless, I kept the water hot and soaked the shirt in the solution for several hours. The original recipe said overnight would be best, but I needed my stove for dinner. After about 5 hours I poured the shirt and the solution into the washer. I set it for a rinse and spin and waited. Twenty minutes later I pulled it out and was indeed shocked. Almost all of the orange stains were gone! Instead of tossing it into the dryer, I decided to harness the power of the sun and dried it outside. The sun bleached out the remaining spots and the shirt was almost as good as new. I stood amazed and in awe of this newfound laundry friend. I don’t have to toss out those grimy t-shirts anymore! And the crib sheet, which was used by 3 babies before, will be used again by one more.

The pictures speak for themselves, but if you don’t believe me try it for yourself. I dare you.



Regular Washer Method

The method itself is the same; however, you’re going to have to modify it slightly. Turn your washer to small load and fill with hot water. I would heat a pan of boiling water on the stove to dissolve your ingredients in. The idea is to be concentrated, so you may have to double the recipe if your garment is large and requires a large load. Once the washer is filled, add your pan of boiling solution, then add your items. Go ahead and agitate it for a minute and then pull the knob to let it soak. Soak it for several hours, or overnight. When you’re done, finish up the cycle and toss into the dryer—or you could dry it in the sun like I did. That’s it! Pretty simple!


Stay tuned for another DIY recipe!

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