How to Get White Socks Whiter!

Updated on March 29, 2009
P.L. asks from Denver, CO
14 answers

Hi everyone! I'm wondering if you moms have any suggestions on how to get my white socks whiter! EVERY TIME I wash our socks, they look like I haven't even washed them! No kidding either. The bottoms of them are so dirty looking. I'm ready to throw them out,but wanted to ask here first. Should I just throw some bleach in there or is there something less abravise and less harsh? THX!

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answers from Provo on

Well these are all good suggestions, but I am truly shocked that no one has mentioned BIZ. Recommended to me by a Duke Chemistry Dr., BIZ is THE MOST AWESOMEST THING EVER!!! For organic stains, it has no equal. Grab a cheapie mop bucket, a cup of Biz and let it sit for 2-3 days (yes, days...). It takes out pee, poo, grass, food, blood, formula and DIRT. If it's organic, this stuff works like a charm!! Whites are white as can be.

I have soaked my socks in a bucket of lemons (acid goes to work), but with a large family, I just keep a bucket in my laundry room and let things soak in Biz for a few days. I have passed this wisdom on to many a happy friend who stocks Biz for these emergencies. Good luck!

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answers from Boise on

In a nonaluminum large container, kitchen or laundry sink, put 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent, 1/4 cup household liquid chlorine bleach and 1 gallon hot water, and mix well until the powder is dissolved. Test for colorfastness of the item on an area that won't show. Place the garments in the solution and soak for five to 10 minutes. If the stains are still there, soak for up to 20 minutes more -- any longer (like overnight) will not work any better! Rinse and launder following the care instructions. That is all there is to it!

This is from Hints from Heloise, it is what our family has been using as long as my mom can remember.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Great Falls on

Have you ever tried adding baking soda to your wash water? I add about 1 cup, let agitate for 10-15 minutes then I let them soak for overnight-agitate again for 10-15 minutes drain, and then wash with regular cycle and soap. It sure takes out a lot of the stain, and then in the rinse cycle I add 1 cup of white vinegar to clean out all remaining soap. Sure hope this helps. =)

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answers from Casper on

My quick trick is to wash my whites with blue jeans, especially ones that are brand new and are going to bleed a little bit. It works well to get that blue white not yellow or gray white. For a complete thorough job I use Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing. It is non-toxic and bio-degadable. Mix a few drops up to 1/3 teaspoon of bluing in a quart of cold water, and add it to wash water or final rinse. It works great. I think I got mine from kmart or walmart a few years back, not sure where you might be able to find it now, but this is the web address..
Happy bluing

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi P.:

I have used bleach and it does work. You can also buy the clorox detergent for whites and that worked better and didn't smell as strong. However, what I really like and does work is hydrogen peroxide and oxyclean together with some laundry soap. If the socks are really dirty on the bottom, you may need to soak them for awhile before washing. The only time I throw socks out is if they get holes in them! If you can't get all of the bottoms as white as you would like, hang on to them because socks make great dusting rags. Just slip over your hand and wha la. Take Care, K.



answers from Denver on

Try hang drying them in the sun, sun is a great may take a few tries but work wonders.



answers from Denver on

Bleach can yellow them if they say not to bleach. It can react with whiteners in the fabric. I use OxyClean in every wash. Since starting that, our socks (and other things) look a lot better. Shout Advanced does a pretty good job, too. I just got a set in stain out today from some hand-me-downs with those two and Dreft. GL!



answers from Denver on

I definitely would not put them in bleach or OxiClean - they are both highly toxic. Bleach can cause kidney and liver damage, severe lung damage, reproductive issues, can interfere with brain function and can aggravate heart conditions and asthma. While OxiClean can cause pain, vomiting, diarrhea and central nervous system depressions. If you want a safer, healthier alternative that works great, I recommend MeleBrite and Sol-U-Mel. All you need is 1 oz. MelaBrite and 1 capful of Sol-U-Mel. Your socks will be bright, last longer and you won't be putting your family at risk by having the toxic alternatives in your home and in their clothes.



answers from Pueblo on

see if u can find a product called orange goop hand cleaner, it usually comes in a hard plastic canister,my husband works on drilling rigs and it gets some pretty nasty stains out,rub it on the stains and wash, hope it works for you


answers from Denver on

I read somewhere that if you boil a pan of water and then add white vinegar and soak your socks it will get your socks whiter. It is also supposed to get rid of the nasty armpit deoderant stains in the gusy undershirts. Or adding vinegar to the last rinse cycle will help your colors stay bright.



answers from Denver on

Adding baking soda or Borax can be really helpful. Especially if you presoak.



answers from Missoula on

Yes use bleach! I wash laundery like the amish lots! I wash socks for two grown men that work construction and they are terrible. If you have a top side washer let them soak in bleach. Other wise over do the bleach.
Good Luck!



answers from Provo on

I would put your socks in a bucket with a scoop of oxyclean and a little bit of water and stir it up- make bubbles -whatever, and then let them soak overnight and then wash them. Oxyclean is really great, but for stains usually making a paste with it and water and then rubbing it into the fabric does a great job. And it turns things more of a blue-white instead of a yellow/red-white. And it's good on colors.



answers from Denver on

Hi P.,
I work for a company that manufactures environmentally friendly and SAFE products and they have an awesome laundry detergent, brightener, etc. Please email me at can't buy it in the stores, but it's easy to buy and priced great. Don't use that bleach! Thanks - T. B.

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