Whiter whites without bleach?
September 14, 2020 11:55 AM   Subscribe

I switched to laundry detergent strips from Tru Earth (no plastic packaging yay!) but my white laundry is looking very dingy. I can live with it, but just wondered if there's a environmentally safe way to whiten things in the wash.
posted by Gusaroo to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Laundry bluing would help, but the commonly available brands will either a) add back plastic or b) not be very user friendly.
posted by Jahaza at 12:00 PM on September 14

Sodium percarbonate powder (aka "oxygen bleach") can help a lot. It usually comes in plastic tubs/jars/jugs but a little goes a long way. It doesn't have any harmful byproducts/waste products but I don't know much about how it's manufactured.
posted by mskyle at 12:29 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]

I use this product on white towels and pillowcases. It is very user friendly.
posted by zdravo at 12:29 PM on September 14

Wash white stuff separately. Hang it in the sun to dry for natural bleaching. This will help a little.
posted by theora55 at 12:32 PM on September 14 [4 favorites]

a box of oxyclean powder ?
posted by dum spiro spero at 12:42 PM on September 14

Plain old bleach starts to decompose into salt and water pretty much as soon as it's diluted. Even non-dilute bleach hanging out in your laundry room only maintains potency for about 6 months. I'm trying really hard to find you a source that's not just wall-to-wall chemistry and failing, but bleach is pretty safe on its own.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:46 PM on September 14 [8 favorites]

Oxyclean/ Sodium Percarbonate . It basically becomes hydrogen peroxide when mixed with water. It breaks down into water & oxygen molecules & does so quickly but is great for whitening clothes.
posted by wwax at 12:54 PM on September 14

I use the Oxi Booster pods from Dropps (I use their laundry detergent as well) on whites and on my gnarly gym/running clothes. It’s an Oxyclean equivalent. All cardboard packaging, the pods dissolve (and not into micro plastics!) In the wash.

Their dishwasher pods are good too. (I am not at all affiliated with them, I just dig the product.)
posted by okayokayigive at 1:12 PM on September 14 [7 favorites]

Sunshine also works really well, even from through a bright window (but full sun on a line is the best).
posted by stillmoving at 2:26 PM on September 14

Borax, comes in a cardboard box and cheaper than OxiClean.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:26 PM on September 14

That White Brite link from zdravo goes to a price-gouger on Amazon ... that product is readily available for much, MUCH less that it's going for at that link. (It's not a bad product, just a usurious price.) I use pro volume hydrogen peroxide from Sally's ... it is in plastic but a little goes a long way.
posted by cyndigo at 2:31 PM on September 14

Oxyclean and soak in hot water, then wash. Oxyclean can be bought in cardboard boxes.
posted by KayQuestions at 8:32 PM on September 14

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