Several years ago we had linen cupboards full of faded, threadbare, and mismatched towels and washcloths. When I went shopping for more, I decided to buy all white, so that they could be used in either bathroom and so that I could bleach them and keep them white. That plan has not worked out so well. They got really dingy and gray, and bleaching did not remedy that.
Last week I went online to find tips to whiten whites. One that I found gave this formula:
add 1 cup powdered Cascade automatic dishwasher detergent
and 1 cup Clorox 2 powder
to 5 gallons of the hottest tap water possible
Add whites to the liquid, and soak overnight. (This is for WHITE articles ONLY! And be careful not to let the liquid splash on your colored clothing.)
The next morning, I ran them through a wash and rinse cycle of the washer without any detergent to thoroughly rinse them . Then I ran them through another wash cycle with detergent and a cup of bleach. As you can see in the photos above, they are a little better, but they are not as white as the new unused cloth I placed on the top of the before and the after stacks for comparison.
I was telling a friend about the procedure, and she scolded me for breaking down the fabric and shortening the life of the towels. Sheesh, I have dingy gray towels, I kinda wish the soak had filled them with holes so I could go buy all new ones with a clear conscience.
During my internet search, I did learn that one cause of the graying is hard water, which we have definitely had. We recently installed a water softener, so maybe they won't get as gray again.
Anybody know of anything else I can try to get the gray out?