How to Clean and Whiten White Terrycloth Cleaning Rags


Neda asked: What is the best way to clean and whiten white terrycloth cleaning rags? I use the rags for cleaning (my business). I do about six loads of them each week. To get them really clean, I have to heavy bleach them and soak each load for hours. It takes me all day on Sunday to do this. Any suggestions?

The combination of a stain pretreatment and bleach is your best bet for whitening heavily soiled cleaning rags, but your technique can affect the success of each wash. For a better clean, keep the following method and tips in mind.

You Will Need:

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Pretreat the rags as soon after soiling as possible with Totally Awesome Concentrated Degreaser, diluting according to label instructions if desired. This product is free of ammonia and acids so it’s safe for use with bleach.
  2. Set the washing machine for the largest load possible, using hot water. If necessary, increase the temperature on your hot water heater. The water will not be as hot in the machine as the setting on the hot water heater.
  3. Add bleach and laundry detergent to the hot water before you add the cleaning rags. Swirl or agitate the water to distribute the cleaning agents.
  4. After all the water is in the machine and the bleach and detergent have been distributed, add a medium sized load of cleaning rags. Do not fill the machine. You need plenty of water to allow the cleaning agents to work.
  5. After the cycle finishes, go through the rags one by one. If a rag is not clean, do not dry it until you’ve washed it a second time. The hot air of the dryer will set the stain, making it more difficult to remove.
  6. If possible, hang rags in the sun to dry. The sun acts as a natural bleaching agent.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Hard water doesn’t clean as well as soft water, so if you have hard water and no water softener, look for a water softener to use in each laundry load.
  • Keep whites whiter by not washing them with colored fabrics.

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