Not only is my white washing pile generally rather more grey than pristine, but summer means I also have grass stains and mud to contend with — thanks to two sons and a husband who play cricket.
I’ve tried most stain removers on the market, but often find them wanting. So, is there a miracle way of getting my murky laundry sparkling white again? According to various internet theories, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’
I enlisted the help of laundry expert Stephen Anderton to test a range of tips, using items from my family wash basket as well as a ‘control sock’ — a new white one soaked in a puddle and smeared with ketchup and butter — to create the same conditions for each test.
Whiten Clothes Without Using Any Bleach
The Tip: The theory is that neat lemon juice bleaches whites without the need for harsh chemicals. Mix 125 ml of lemon juice with eight litres of very hot water. Soak clothing in it for at least an hour. Pour the lemon mixture into the washing machine and wash clothes as usual.
Expert verdict: ‘While this is a mild bleaching agent, the emphasis is on mild. Bleaching removes oxygen and therefore strips colour — we all know lemon juice on hair in the sun makes it a bit blonder. But I suspect it won’t make a difference to clothes.’
The Test: I take a dirty white sock — this nasty-looking item has been worn for a child’s party in a forest and is as brown as the mud — and soak it in the solution overnight.
I then tip the whole lot into the washer and wash at 40 degrees. The results are disappointing — it’s cleaner, but not the sparkling- white I hoped for, and it’s very labour-intensive. source