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Natural Whiteners

Martha Stewart Living, Volume 2005 Special Issue 2005

Tea and coffee stains can be removed from ceramic cups with denture-cleaning tablets. Just fill the cup with warm water, and drop in a tablet. When the tablet stops fizzing, empty the cup, and if it's still stained, repeat the process. To whiten cloth napkins, linens, and even socks, fill a large pot with water, and drop in several slices of lemon. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Add the linens, and let them soak for about an hour. Then launder as usual. Many bathroom cleansers are gritty; they may be effective at cleaning grout, but they can scratch tiles. Baking soda is a safe and inexpensive alternative. First, wet the grout, and apply the baking soda to the stained area with an old toothbrush. Work on a small section at a time, and then rinse clean.

Comments (6)

  • mayflowerlace 11 Mar, 2011

    Re Mena49: Your 26 year old communion veil is likely to be made of nylon or other synthetic which may be impossible to whiten but also less likely to be damaged by tougher cleaners. NOT chlorine bleach which will actually yellow it! If it is a synthetic fiber, try Oxy-something.

  • Timy81 14 Jul, 2010

    For ceramic cups: cut a lemon or lime in quarters and wipe the cups with it. For communion veil: after washing it, hang it out to the sunlight to dry. Sunlight is very effective bleach on white clothes.

  • efb 9 Jun, 2010

    I have the same question as Mena49. Has anybody answered it?

  • Belfry 18 Mar, 2010

    Soaking the cups with a little dish-soap and some baking soda will do the same thing.

  • meena49 22 Apr, 2009

    will this work on a 26 year old communion veil

  • RiasCollectables 31 Jan, 2009

    What a fresh idea! With 2 boys always running around in socks, this will be a great Natural fix.
    Thank you for sharing this.