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You should be able to restore your 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 a case, you may want to add a powdered water softener to your wash, particularly when washing white clothes.
The proplem I have with hard water is the iron content. The white ctothes turn yellow- oange. If I use a product called iron out, when I rinse them they still come out yellow.
Tried it and I am pleased to tell you it worked great. thanks!
I live in northern Arizona which has some of the world's hardest water! I find if you add a bit (1/4 cup) of Calgon powdered dishwasher soap, to the presoak as well, it really brings out the brightness in the whites.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|