If your whites are showing their age with stains and yellowing, you might think about adding bleach to the wash. But bleach has its drawbacks. It makes fabrics wear out faster. It’s hard to measure and smells funny, and it’s not safe around kids or pets.
But surprisingly, there’s something that can whiten clothes with less trouble and prevent laundry headaches as well as the other kind. A few aspirins will take out dinginess and stains better than commercial products. Here’s how to get whites back to actual white in just two steps.
Crush five 325-mg aspirin tablets and put them into two gallons of hot water. Then soak the stained whites in the water overnight.
The next day, put the whites in the washing machine with five or six more aspirins and wash them as usual.
The aspirins will get the clothes white without damaging the fabric at all. This works because the salicylic acid in the aspirin breaks up the proteins that most stains and discoloration are made of. This works especially well on stubborn sweat stains. Sweat stains are hard to remove because they bond with deodorant and that makes them repel water. But the salicylic acid in the aspirin will break the bonds, while bleach will not.
If you only have one stain to get rid of, you can soak just that part of the garment in hot water with aspirin overnight and then wash it as usual.
The next time dingy whites give you a headache, don’t take the aspirin, put it in the wash!