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Whiten bed sheets naturally with four ‘heavenly’ household items – never use bleach again!

White bedding can easily become grey, yellow or dull after only a few washes, but luckily you can brighten them up naturally once again with ingredients you likely have around the house. 

One of the biggest reasons white bedding becomes discoloured is a build-up of body oil, sweat and dead skin cells on the fabric, which can often happen during the warmer seasons or if bedding is not washed regularly. 

Bedding can also become grey if not washed properly, and laundry mistakes such as using too much detergent or washing whites with other colours can also cause this. 

However, Anna Brakefield, a laundry expert from the bedding company Redland Cotton, has shared you can easily get your bedding white again without using the “harshness” of bleach if you use natural and simple items you already have on hand. 

While bleach is an effective way to whiten laundry, many people are hesitant to use it due to the harsh chemicals it contains, which can not only be dangerous to use but can damage fabric by weakening the fibres. 

READ MORE: Laundry method using every day ingredient ensures black clothes never fade

How to whiten bed sheets naturally without bleach 

Lemon juice 

Lemon juice is an easy way to brighten whites are contains the natural bleaching agents citric acid and ascorbic acid. 

These compounds can break down the grime and dirt stains which cause discolouration and also have antibacterial properties, so get rid of these substances and whiten bedding again. 

Anna said: “Martha Stewart, the queen of the folded fitted sheet herself, recommends adding a little lemon juice to your regular wash cycle to achieve a brighter and whiter white. I’m sure it will smell heavenly too!”

You can add a little lemon juice and water to the detergent drawer on your washing machine and put on a regular wash. Alternatively, you can soak your bedding in a mixture of lemon juice and water for at least an hour and then place it on a regular wash for sparkling sheets once again. 

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White vinegar 

Like lemon juice, regular kitchen cupboard vinegar is acidic and will naturally list discolouring stains while also restoring the bedding fabric to be white and vibrant again. 

Not only that, but vinegar is a natural fabric softener and brings “the comfort back to fabrics” according to Anna.  

Anna said: “Its smell is fairly horrible but its cleaning powers are worth it! Add a dose of white vinegar to your wash cycle and see amazing results. I use it when washing my towels frequently.”

Like with lemon juice, add vinegar to your detergent drawer or leave your bedding to soak in a mixture of vinegar and water for a least an hour before putting on regular wash. 

Baking soda 

Baking soda is another simple laundry method to brighten dull and discolour bedding as it is mildly abrasive, which means it can break down stains while also whitening it. 

It is best to use baking soda alongside either white vinegar or lemon juice as it is also a natural deodoriser, which means it will neutralise any scents trapped in the fabric to also make your bedding smell fresh again. 

Anna said: “A mixture of water and baking soda can whiten your whites without any other additives in your wash. 

“Combine four litres of water with one cup of baking soda, and drop in your white laundry. Let it soak, and your clothes will be fresh and clean once finished.”


Once your clothes have been washed, make sure to hang your bedding outside to dry as sunlight has natural bleaching properties which will also help whiten and brighten your bedding. 

Anna said: “We’ve always been fans of drying our linens on the line in the sunshine. Now we know it has added benefit. 

“The sun will bleach your clothing without the smell and danger of bleach! Just more reason to let the linens hang to dry in the great outdoors!”


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