Home Life & Style Whiten badly stained socks with one ‘powerful’ kitchen item – not vinegar...

Whiten badly stained socks with one ‘powerful’ kitchen item – not vinegar or baking soda


White socks are a staple in many wardrobes, offering a classic and versatile look. 

However, keeping them pristine can be a challenge because of how easily they pick up dirt, stains, and yellowing.

White socks are more prone to showing dirt and stains compared to coloured socks. Factors like foot sweat, shoe friction, and exposure to various surfaces contribute to their rapid soiling.

What’s more, the brightness of white socks can diminish over time due to frequent washing.

To whiten and remove grubby stains from socks, a cleaning expert and director of Daily Poppins has shared how to whiten socks without the use of bleach.

One of the best methods he suggested was to use lemon juice. Nigel claims that lemon juice has “powerful stain removal properties” which work well on laundry.

He explained: “This is because the acid found in lemon is antibacterial, antiseptic and acts as a natural bleach.”

For this method, start by putting your stained socks into a bowl of warm water infused with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon for around two to three hours.

After, take them out and put them in the washing machine on a regular wash for “sparkling clean socks”.

Not only does the liquid brighten white socks, but it also acts as a natural fabric softener. 

This is because the citric acid that’s present in lemon juice breaks down the residues left by detergents or soaps.

For those who do opt to use white vinegar or baking soda, those two methods take longer to work.

For the vinegar method, use a litre of boiled water, add 250ml of white vinegar and then leave to soak overnight. 

The next day, put them through a normal spin cycle to get rid of any vinegar smell and they’ll be good to go.

For the baking soda solution, put the socks into soak in a sink filled with warm water and a sprinkling of baking soda for several hours. 

Wring them dry, and pop them into the washing machine with 150 to 200ml of baking soda in the detergent drawer, along with your normal washing powder or liquid.

Alternatively, Nigel claimed that there is another kitchen item households can use – washing up liquid.

To do so, start by filling up the sink with warm water and mixing in a generous amount of washing-up liquid. Leave them to soak overnight, and then wash them as normal. 

As washing-up liquid doesn’t have any softening properties, add a cup of white vinegar to “help keep socks soft and fluffy”.

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