Tip: Whiten laundry whites with lemon juice.
In my house I am the CLO. To those of you unfamiliar with my title, that is Chief Laundry Officer.
Ironically enough, I despise doing laundry: all the sorting and prespotting and presoaking and, of course, the folding. I do take my role as CLO very seriously and try to keep up with the laundry, as it is similar to my children in a grocery store—one minute it is under your control and the next minute you cart is full of stuff you didn’t put in there and a cat-like fight has broken out in aisle 7.
The whites are my biggest challenge; all those socks and undergarments that have to be folded just to be stuck in a drawer where they can be rummaged through and become unfolded. At least with a normal load of laundry, I can pull most of it out and put it on a hanger. But not with whites; it is very labor intensive, especially for an Officer such as myself.
My kids are tough on clothes and especially tough on their white socks. For some reason whenever the doorbell rings, my kids walk outside with their socks on and will continue on down the blacktop driveway until I scream from inside, “You need to have your shoes on to play outside!” My children think they can outsmart the CLO by saying they are just outside talking and not playing and thus wait for me to come outside screaming like a nut before they return to the house, with filthy socks, to retrieve their shoes.
Please note: I am willing to pay good money to the first person that can make a doorbell that 20 seconds after being buzzed will automatically say, “Please put your shoes on before exiting.” Since no one has developed the special doorbell I am in dire need of, I decided to search for a tip that might lighten my load. (Yes, that is a bad pun.)
Skip the bleach—add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the wash cycle to brighten up those fading whites.
My whites are pretty dingy, and let’s not forget how dirty the bottom of my kid’s socks were. I dumped the laundry in and added the normal amount of detergent and fabric softener, skipping the bleach and substituting 1/2 cup of lemon juice. I did snap a picture of the laundry (notice I hid the tighty-whities and my bras under the shirts and socks) and as you can see, I placed one of the driveway walking socks right on top. I started the load and headed for the basement for my much-needed workout, where I found two more pairs of dirty socks lying in the middle of the family room floor. I got a bonus workout of walking back upstairs to add them to the washer, I guess my kids really are supportive of my initiative to workout more often.
True or bull?
Bull. Sadly, my whites did not appear any brighter, and the socks were still pretty dirty. Just look for yourself at my “after” picture.
Undercover Mother’s revelations
My findings supported my love of bleach. Yes, I will be repeating this cycle of whites with bleach, which means more work for this mom. On a more positive note, I have saved you readers the trouble of trying this tip yourself and eliminated some extra work for all of you.