If you have a serious case of gray, dingy laundry, then you may think that your clothes are ruined forever. However, in many cases you can restore your clothes to their original bright color by taking some restorative steps. So before you toss that "gray" load in the trash, take a second to determine if the problem can be fixed.
Items you will need
- Liquid laundry detergent
- Color-safe bleach
Clean up your washer. Before you can hope to get the gray out of your clothes, you need to get it out of your washer. Likely, the gray stains are caused at least partially by grime and dirt that has built up in your washer. Run your washer for a full cycle on hot water with a cup of bleach in the mix. For extra rinsing power, use the "tough stains" cycle, which will agitate the water more and run it through the cycle several times.
Sort your gray-stained clothes. Grayness is often caused by mixing multiple colors of clothing together. Re-washing under the same conditions can exacerbate the problem. Sort stringently by color, with each color getting its own load. It is good that the loads will likely be very small since this will help with grayness, too.
Fill the washer with water and liquid detergent before adding the clothing. This will help the soap dissolve and make it a more effective stain-remover. Use hot water to help the soap dissolve. Increase stain removal power by using twice as much detergent as usual.
Agitate the clothes for 4 minutes in the hot, soapy water.
Add a cup of color-safe bleach. If you are dealing only with whites, then you can add chlorine bleach. Otherwise, you need to stick with color-safe or you will take out not only the dinginess, but also all the other colors as well! Agitate the clothes for 4 more minutes to make sure the bleach dissolves completely.
Let the clothing soak for 15 minutes. This will allow the bleach to take action.
Reset the washer to run for a full cycle. Use regular detergent and no bleach the second time around. Your clothes should be brighter and less gray and dingy when they are dried.
Drying white clothing in the sun after spritzing it with lemon juice may lighten dinginess as well.