What Do I Do If My White Clothes Turned Gray in Wash?

Organize your laundry to avoid accidental color transfers.
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Whites that come out of the wash looking grey, yellowed or dingy can be frustrating, but don't despair. Discoloration in white garments is often the result of improper washing methods. You can keep your whites looking clean and pristine by handling your clothes properly and using the right cleaning agents. Start by sorting your laundry into two piles, whites and colors, so that you avoid transferring colored dyes to your whites.

Launder the whites with a color remover. Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions for using color-removing agents.

Launder the whites with one-half cup distilled white vinegar or one cup oxygen bleach. Chlorine bleach can react chemically to metal components of the washing machine and cause fabrics to appear yellowed or dingy.

Soak grey garments for at least two hours in a solution of one gallon of hot water with 1 1/2 cups of baking soda, then launder with an enzyme-boosting detergent.

  • Do not mix vinegar and bleach; the combination creates a toxic gas.
  • Always use the hottest water temperature recommended by the garment care label.
  • Do not dry whites until the desired level of whiteness is achieved.

Chance Henson earned a B.A. in English literature and a writing minor from Lamar University. While interning at the "University Press" newspaper and "UP Beat" magazine he received an award for news feature writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Henson went on to serve as content editor for "CUSH Magazine," eventually leaving to pursue the development of an online secular humanist educational publication.