What Is Laundry Bluing And How Can You Use It To Whiten Your Whites?

We've all been there: Our favorite white shirt or pair of white pants takes on a yellowish hue after only a few months or weeks of owning them. You then scour the internet for the best home remedy to revitalize their bright shade but choose a tactic that only worsens it. But what if we told you there's a fairly simple way to eliminate those unappealing armpit stains with a method called bluing?

This technique is done by adding a small amount of blue dye to your load of laundry, along with your usual laundry detergent. However, instead of grabbing a random coloring agent from the baking aisle, there are specific laundry bluing products to use instead. And when the blue hue of these products interacts with yellow, it makes the unpleasant shade fade, resulting in whiter clothes. However, avoid other substances, such as fabric softener, because they can lead to staining. Although this tactic may seem nerve-wracking, it's pretty easy to execute as long as you follow the correct instructions.

How it works

For those excited to try the bluing technique, it's important to avoid using too much or pouring it straight into the washing machine because it can permanently stain your clothing. Due to its high concentration of blue coloring, you must always dilute it with cold water. Also, how it's used depends on the type of washer you have. For instance, those with a top load washer must mix a quarter teaspoon of liquid bluing into 1 quart of water before pouring it into the washer once it is filled.

If you want to add it during the rinse cycle, the mixture should be altered to an ⅛ teaspoon of bluing and 1 quart of water. The measurements stay the same if you have a front-load washer, but the execution differs. Those who have dispensing drawers that remain unlocked can directly pour their cleaning solution into the drawers once the washer has been filled with water. However, if they lock, you'll need to fill the largest drawer with the diluted mixture by following your product's instructions.

How to fix mistakes

If this is your first time using the bluing technique, or if you've tried this task without following the proper instructions, you may have covered your clothes and linens in blue stains. Luckily, there is an easy way to fix this! First, you'll need to grab a large bucket with an accompanying lid that ensures the vapor from your cleaning solution doesn't escape. Then, mix a half cup of ammonia and 1 quart of cold water. However, if you need more in order to cover your clothes completely, increase the amount while following the same ratio.

After 24 hours have passed, open the lid and take a look at the results. If the blue stains haven't been completely removed, pop the lid back on and let it sit for another 24 hours. Once the bluing is completely gone, toss it in the washing machine and clean it as you would normally, but avoid using a detergent that contains bleach, because this harsh substance will actually make your blue stains worse.