I mean, I do laundry but I don't put too much effort into it beyond washing, drying, and sometimes, if my family is lucky, I'll fold it and put it away.
Well, once again, thanks to my random surfing on Pinterest I saw a post about getting your whites whiter and hadn't thought much of it until I looked at a load of whites I recently washed. I had a few new shirts in there and they were crisp and white however they made the rest of the load look kinda shabby and I thought "what the hey?"
I found the original idea on Homemade Mamas who claims the trick is giving the load a soak in dishwasher detergent then running the load a second time with some bleach and regular detergent. I thought dishwasher detergent sounded strange but apparently it's the secret of several laundry lovers so I gave it a whirl and the results aren't half bad.
I won't say my whites came out looking brand spanking new... you can still tell they've been worn before but that dingy gray was gone.
Let's put it this way...
I am and always have been a shoe-hater. I see them as a necessary evil but grew up walking on my parent's gravel driveway barefoot and truly miss those days. So when I wear socks, I tend to ruin them by wearing them out to get the mail, all through the icky kitchen and often into the garage when I need to get something. Sweet Hubs also works at a greenhouse (aka dirt and water facility) where he walks around rooms actually titled "soil rooms" and is surrounded by and walks on a dusty dirty driveway. So getting the dinge out and calling it "whiter" is actually pretty major around here.
All that said... the recipe is simple...1/4 cup of dishwashER detergent (NOT dishwashING) in with a load of whites set on hot. Once the washer basin is full of water and begins to circulate a little, stop the load and let it sit for approximately 2 hours. After two hours, resume the cycle and let it finish.
Now you're going to run the load again but this time run it as normal but put about 1/4 c bleach into the dispenser, if your washer has one, or directly into the load. Run the load normally but if you have the option for a second rinse, I recommend using it.
Dry as usual. (For an added boost I dry it out in the sun.)
I have only done this twice and love it. It gets out any mildew smells and sort of restarts yoru whites.
At the very least, I recommend giving it a try and let me know how you like the results.
*Disclaimer: Bleach slowly eats away at your clothes... it's nasty stuff!... so this isn't something you want to do with every load of whites. I'd save it for when you notice the "dinge" returning.