How to whiten bed sheets instantly without bleach or baking soda

White can look a little drab when going through the wash, especially when darker items are added to the cycle.

Bed sheets can also gradually turn yellow over time as the fabric is exposed to body oil and sweat. Lotions and cosmetics can also alter the colour to a noticeable degree.

Chlorine bleach is an inexpensive option for whitening sheets, but it is not particularly effective. 

If the bedding items have traces of body oil on them, the chlorine may react with these substances and cause yellow stains to appear.

What’s more, bleach can damage bedding. Elizabeth Shields, the operations manager of Super Cleaning Service Louisville, warned: “Using bleach every time when washing is not always good.

“Yes, yellowish linens are a bit of an eyesore, but grabbing bleach every time you wash them can weaken their fibres. This makes the fabric susceptible to wear and tear, leading to gradual deterioration.”

Instead of using this harsh household item to whiten your bed sheets, Elizabeth has shared an alternative method – .

She said: “Instead of using bleach, try using a cup of white vinegar along with your detergent.

“It’ll help to brighten and soften the sheets without the need for harsh chemicals.” White vinegar has natural whitening capabilities and is an effective fabric softener too.

White vinegar can be picked up from Tesco for just 35p or bought in bulk for £5.57 from Amazon.

Depending on the fabric type and level of dirtiness, select the appropriate washing cycle. 

Once the washing cycle is complete, transfer the sheets to the dryer and use a low heat setting for delicate fabrics to prevent any damage. 

Elizabeth also claimed that hanging the sheets outside to air dry aids in whitening bed sheets. She said: “Not only will it give them a natural fresh scent, but it’ll also help to brighten them up a bit more.”

For those who noticed their bed sheets still looking dull even after being washed and dried, it might be because “you missed removing pilling”. 

Pilling happens when loose fabric fibres get tangled and form small balls or clusters on the surface of the fabric. These pills can trap dirt, dust, and other particles, leading to a buildup of debris on the sheets, which, over time, can make them appear “duller and darker”. 

So before washing, gently remove any pilling using a fabric shaver or a lint roller. It’s a “small step that can make a big difference” in preventing it from getting worse during the washing and drying process.

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