How to Keep Whites Bright, Naturally

When we moved into our house, our plan was to renovate. We got about halfway through and for a bunch of different reasons – mainly life – progress stopped.

One of the first things I did before we began the renovation was to rip down all the bathroom wallpaper as a reminder to myself that we wouldn’t have to suffer this highly outdated bathroom for long. Well, that was about ten years ago. We still have the same bathroom with the same torn off wallpaper walls. *sigh*
About a year ago, I had enough. I may not have had control over when we’d have a new bathroom – thanks, reality –  but I did have control over replacing all of our old, mismatched, scratchy towels.

Future renovation be damned!
I wanted new towels, I wanted them soft, I wanted them matching and I wanted them now.

As my neighbor Amy wisely pointed out, “You can have a crappy bathroom with nice towels or you can have crappy towels in a nice bathroom, but you can’t have both be  crappy at the same time.” Amen to that!
Long story short, I now have six sets of white towels and two white bath mats to keep clean in a small, but *wink* cozy home. I tried different oxygen products but they really didn’t work. And so I resorted to bleach. Friends reminded me just how bad bleach is for both humans and septic systems. Oops. I wanted my towels clean and bright but I don’t want to resort to poisoning us to get them that way. What’s a gal to do?
The answer came in an unsolicited text from my friend, Jen. In an effort to reduce toxins in and around her house, she discovered that you can use distilled white vinegar to keep laundry bright and remove stains. Well, all right then!

Adobe Spark (37)
I gave it a whirl. The first time I probably added about a 1/4 of cup of vinegar with the soap and it didn’t seem to do much. The next time, I added around a cup in addition to detergent while the water was loading and that seem to do the trick. It worked beautifully on the towels. I still haven’t tried it on the rugs yet. They tend to get super dirty so I stuck with bleach. But I will give it a try soon.
If  you have any tips for keeping laundry clean and bright naturally please share in the comments below.



  1. Ah, yes. The hazards of being married to an overly-ambitious-but-way-too-busy spouse! I get that!
    As someone who throws all my laundry into one load regardless of color, I’m wondering if you can mix the vinegar cocktail into a load with colors? Does it act like bleach, or is it just a super cleaner?

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