Written by Tenley Haraldson. Reviewed by Sean Busch.

From sweat to spaghetti, learning how to brighten white clothes can present specific challenges. And if you don't want to use bleach, that can feel next-to-impossible – but it can be done!

Whether you're looking to zap stains or whiten white clothes that have yellowed, check out these bleach alternatives for laundry!

1. Use the Power of Citrus

bleach alternative for laundry
Fill a basin with hot water and the juice of 1-2 lemons (more if your clothes need some extra love). Add your laundry, let it soak for a couple of hours, then run it through a normal washing machine cycle.

If your clothes need an extra brightening boost, boil the water first, add the lemon juice, swirl in the clothing, and let the concoction soak overnight.

Pro Tip: Check each garment’s fabric care instructions to ensure that it can handle hot water.

2. How to Get Stains out of White Clothes

how to get stains out of white clothes

Thousands of people swear by Puracy Stain Remover, and that's because the 6 plant-based enzymes literally any stain and odor out of fabric. It doesn’t matter what lands on your clothes: You can kiss grass, wine, blood, sweat, body odor, oil, cosmetics, dirt, and berries goodbye. Guaranteed

Spot-Treating 101

If you need to target a specific area – like removing armpit stains – spot treating is the way to go. Spray the affected area with our Natural Stain Remover, agitate with a soft laundry brush (or rub the fabric together), and wait at least 15 minutes before laundering.

Note: For tougher stains, let the spray set for several days. The longer these plant enzymes have to work, the better. For wool and silk, only leave this spray on for 60 minutes.

Pop Clothes in the Washing Machine 

During the laundry cycle, use the warmest water that the fabric care instructions allow and opt for an "extra rinse" cycle. Extra-stubborn stains may require another treatment but they should disappear after one more application. 

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3. Vinegar to Whiten Clothes

vinegar to whiten clothes

Does vinegar whiten clothes? You bet! It also softens fabric and removes musty, mildewy smells. During the last rinse cycle, pour 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar into an already-running machine.

If your clothes need a bit more attention, soak them for a few hours in a basin full of warm water and one cup of white vinegar.

4. How to Brighten White Clothes with Baking Soda 

how to wash white clothes with baking soda

Ahhh, baking soda. This gentle substance is great at eliminating hard water stains, zapping fridge odors, and – you guessed it – brightening white clothes.

Turn on your washing machine, pour ½ cup of baking soda into the water until it dissolves, then run a normal cycle. For larger loads of laundry, a full cup of baking soda may be necessary.

5. Use Hydrogen Peroxide for White Clothes

hydrogen peroxide for white clothes

This medicine cabinet staple is an amazing home remedy to whiten clothes. When you start a load, pour 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide (3%) straight into your detergent or bleach dispenser. Proceed with your regular laundry routine. 

How to Whiten Clothes with Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda 

how to whiten clothes with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda

Make a paste of equal parts hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and water. Cover the affected areas with a ¼” layer and allow it to sit for 30-60 minutes. Gently remove excess residue with a soft brush and throw the item in the washing machine. 

6. Sunshine Is an Incredible Natural Laundry Whitener

natural laundry whitener

Everyone loves the smell of sun-dried bedsheets, but UV rays can fade fabric. Unless the items are completely white, turn them inside out and limit drying time to a couple of hours.

Did You Know? Line drying can conserve up to 4% of your electricity usage.

7. Use Laundry Detergent with Plant Enzymes 

best detergent for white clothes

Harsh detergents and bleach wear down even the thickest fabrics. Prolong the lives of clothes with an effective laundry formula that cleanses, revives, and softens fabrics.

And when you combine this 99.96% Natural Laundry Detergent with our home remedies for white clothes above, sensitive skin is protected from caustics, bleach, synthetic perfumes, sulfates, phosphates, dyes, petrochemicals, optical brighteners, and chlorine.

Whiten Clothes Naturally with Puracy Products

natural laundry whitener

It's hard enough to find the perfect white shirt or pair of jeans. It's even harder to keep them that way. From yellowed fabrics to stinky armpits to unsightly splotches, Puracy laundry essentials are the best, natural way to whiten clothes. And with our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose!