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Four Ways to Brighten Whites

Martha Stewart Living, May 2000

Denture cleanser helps remove tea and coffee stains on mugs and cups. Dissolve one tablet in a ceramic cup filled with warm water. Empty cup; check color. Repeat if some of the stains remain.

Chlorine bleach, used once in a while, can refresh sturdy linens. Mix up to 1/4 cup per gallon of cool water. Soak 5 minutes, checking progress and stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Rinse then launder.

Baking soda cleans grout without scratching tiles. Because baking soda quickly loses its abrasive properties in water, it's best to wet grout then apply soda with a brush, scrubbing small sections at a time.

Boiling water and lemon whitens table linens. Fill a pot with water and a few lemon slices, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, add linens, and let them soak up to an hour; then launder as usual.

Comments (5)

  • annerbabe 2 Mar, 2009

    Put a little "Dawn" dishwashing liquid on a grease spot, let sit several hours or overnight and wash as usual. 9 times out of 10 the grease will wash out. This works on clothes that have been stained for a while but it may take a couple of times of soaking and washing (try not to put in dryer if you need to retreat-it only sets the stain more.

  • basketpam 23 Aug, 2008

    For the person who has very hard water. You can buy borax to add to your wash water at the grocery store which softens water or there is a product I get at my local Ace Hardware that is called Iron Out or something like that which is for just this purpose.

  • boxin 18 Jan, 2008

    I have really hard water with lots of iron in it. Is there anything I can use to keep my whites white and not let them turn yellow or orange?

  • mamosa 1 Jan, 2008

    I've tried the boiling water and lemon. It really works! For me, it's preferable to chlorine bleaching, as the bleach weakens the fabric.

  • rondaevelyn 20 Dec, 2007

    I have an old bathroom