You should be able to restore dingy clothes to white (and not damage the fibres of the fabric) by soaking them them in lukewarm water and color safe or oxygen bleach for 24 hours, then rinse them with vinegar and water. Use one tablespoon of vinegar to one quart of water. Your clothes may be turning gray because you have hard water, and this diminishes the effectiveness of detergents, and often leaves a residue on clothing. If you think this is the case, you may want to add a powdered water softener to your wash, particularly when washing white clothes.
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