Jennifer asked: How do I keep white t-shirts and socks white where iron is high in the water table? I’ve used bleach, OxiClean, hot water and bleach alternative, but my shirts always turn dingy.
High iron levels can be a real nuisance when it comes to laundry and cleaning. The ideal solution is a water softening system that will keep the hard water from ruining your white clothes. However, these systems, as well as water softening additives, can become quite costly over time. Here are some more budget-friendly ways to return your pieces to white when they become grey and dingy.
You Will Need:
- Super Iron Out
- Water softener products (Ex: 20 Mule Team Borax)
- Vinegar and baking soda
Steps to Make Your Clothes White Again:
There are two main options to treat your laundry:
- The first is to add a water softener product to each wash cycle. It will be necessary to add it to each wash and rinse cycle since new water is being added for each. Another option is to add equal parts of vinegar and baking soda to the wash and rinse cycle (1/3 cup each for a regular sized load).
- The second method is to periodically clean your whites with a rust remover such as Super Iron Out. This rust stain remover can be found at Wal-Mart and similar stores. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to add it to the laundry cycle to remove dinginess and hard water stains.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- If using bleach at home leaves you with yellowed whites, try taking a load to the laundromat periodically. There you can you use the bleach without the yellowing effects.
- Need a new washing machine? Go for a horizontal one (front load one) with high speed spin cycles. These washers have the power to remove the mineral-filled water that leaves the clothes discolored.
- Remove clothes promptly from the water to avoid allowing the minerals set on the fibers.
- RIT also makes a rust remover that can be used to brighten whites.
- According to the manufacturers, both Super Iron Out and 20 Mule Team Borax are septic safe.