Best Laundry Whiteners of 2020

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Get bright whites again with these bleach-free whiteners. 

Watching your favorite white clothes gradually fade to yellow or grey can be disheartening. It’s also disappointing when you drop a big glob of food onto your white t-shirt. We’ve all been there!

But there’s no reason to fear because there are lots of products to zap these stains away and get clothes whiter again. You can bring your whites back in sparkling style in no time with the best laundry whiteners on the market.


Why Is My White Laundry Turning Yellow?

There are a few culprits that could be turning your white clothes yellow.

  • Sweat stains are a huge reason why many whites turn yellow. While sweat is usually colorless, it can appear yellow on your clothes. This is due to the bacteria or chemicals on your skin and clothing merging together which can create a yellow hue (1).
  • Bleaching is also a reason why your white clothes might be yellowing. This is especially true for synthetic garments (2). Chlorine bleach can break down the outer coating of color, and turn the fabrics yellow or grey (3).
  • Using too much detergent and not enough water can also yellow your whites. It will leave residue on your clothes. If you put them in a hot dryer, it can set these stains.

How to Choose a Laundry Whitener

There are lots of laundry whiteners to choose from. You can also use natural remedies like baking soda or lemons if you want to be extra eco-friendly when whitening laundry.

But there are some great products out there that will really help get clothes whiter. We’ll talk you through the most important factors to consider when choosing a laundry whitener.

Type

Laundry whiteners come in three different types.

You can get a liquid whitener which can be added the same as regular detergent, depending on your machine.

Powder whitener is the most common type and is super effective.

The last kind are pacs or pods. These are convenient and pre-measured, so they might be your personal preference.

Bleach or Bleach-Free

While bleaching whites can be useful from time to time, we’ve already mentioned that it can damage fabrics. Plus, constant exposure to bleach can be hazardous. It might lead to coughing, delirium, irritation, and stomach pain if ingested (4).

While bleach is effective at whitening laundry, there are many laundry whiteners formulated without bleach. And they work just as well, if not, better than bleach formulas.

Number of Loads

We recommend always looking at the number of loads a product can do. This helps you plan ahead and know how long the product will last in your household.

You can also set up subscription services with some products so that you’re always prepared when you run out.

Color Safe

Although you’re buying these laundry whiteners to get clothes whiter, it’s helpful to look at whether it’s color safe.

Some laundry whiteners can also brighten colors. They might even remove stains, too.

Temperature

Lastly, check if the laundry whitener can be used at any temperature. Some people like to use cold water mostly as this saves energy. Make sure that the whitener you’re going for will work in these temperatures.


The Best Laundry Whiteners of 2020

We’ve spent hours researching each product, customer reviews and expert advice. Comparing the products and using our own insight, we have a comprehensive list of the best laundry whiteners to brighten your clothing.

1. OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener

Best Overall Laundry Whitener

OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover, 3 Pound
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The OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder is the best overall laundry whitener in our opinion. It has 40% more whitening power than chlorine bleach does. With this product, you can go from having dingy whites to bright clothes that look as good as new.

This is recommended for sheets, t-shirts, underwear, sportswear and much more. It’s safe to use in every single load. Or you can use it sparingly, if you’d prefer. It’s also great for pre-soaking clothes to really tackle tough stains.

It’s also safe on colors. It will help to brighten them, restoring them to their original hue. This also ensures that you won’t have white bleach stains on any of your clothes. OxiClean White Revive is formulated without bleach or chlorine.

So get back your brilliant whites with your next laundry load using OxiClean.

Pro Tip

Use the warmest water possible with this product. Check the care labels on your clothes to see the hottest temperature the item can withstand.
PROS:
  • Whitens whites and brightens colors.
  • Useful for each load.
  • Can be used as a pre-soak treatment.
  • Chlorine-free.
CONS:
  • Strong scent (made with synthetic fragrances).
  • Not as effective in cold water.

Additional Specs

TypePowder
Bleach-FreeYes
Number of Loads45
Color SafeYes
TemperatureWarm water recommended

2. Savvy Green Oxygen Brightening Powder

Best Laundry Whitener Powder

Savvy Green Oxygen Brightening Powder, 2.5 Lbs
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Savvy Green Oxygen Brightening Powder is a top recommendation for a whitening powder. It is oxygen based — a good bleach alternative — that works to boost your detergent’s cleaning powder. It leaves you with brighter, whiter and cleaner clothes.

It’s an eco option, being fragrance free and containing no phosphates or chlorine.

We love that it works in any kind of machine: HE, top or front loading. No matter what temperature you choose, Savvy Green works fantastically!

Also — it’s a good stain remover. It has the power to remove stains and deodorize items. Not just clothes, too. You can use Savvy Green round the house. It works on mold, mildew, soap stains and scum stains. You’ll find good use for this product in the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom.

To use this with your normal cycle, sprinkle it onto your clothes in the machine. One small scoop is recommended for lightly soiled clothes. Two for moderately soiled, and three for heavily soiled garments.

PROS:
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Brightens, whitens and cleans clothes.
  • Great stain remover.
  • Useful for around the house.
CONS:
  • To eliminate stains, you need to treat the garment overnight. This can take a while.

Additional Specs

TypePowder
Bleach-FreeYes
Number of LoadsAt least 32
Color SafeYes, with colorfast fabrics
TemperatureAny

3. Molly's Suds Oxygen Whitener

Best Natural Whitener

Molly's Suds Oxygen Whitener - 41.09 oz
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Molly’s Suds Oxygen Whitener is our top pick for a natural option. It’s formulated with only earth and plant-derived ingredients that are also biodegradable. There’s no chlorine, bleach, optical brighteners, ammonia or other typical bleaching ingredients.

This option is a good one for anybody, whether you’re young, old, or have sensitive skin. And just because it’s an eco option doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. This stuff whitens whites, brightens colors and fights stains.

It also has other uses around the house including brightening carpets and removing water stains from toilets, sinks and baths.

With only four ingredients in Molly’s Suds Oxygen Whitener, you know what you’re getting. Plus, it’s beautifully scented with lemon essential oil.

It’s compatible with any type of washing machine. Just note that you need to pre-soak the items in the washing machine before using your regular cycle.

Warning

While you can use this on swimwear, lingerie, athletic clothes and vintage wear, do not use it on wool, leather or silk.
PROS:
  • Natural and eco-friendly.
  • Good for sensitive skin.
  • Brightens whites beautifully.
  • Works in other areas of the home.
CONS:
  • Not compatible with wool, leather or silk.
  • You need to pre-soak the items before washing.

Additional Specs

TypePowder
Bleach-FreeYes
Number of LoadsUp to 80
Color SafeYes
TemperatureAny

4. Nellie's Oxygen Brightener Powder Tin

Best Laundry Whitener for Sensitive Skin

Nellie's Oxygen Brightener Powder Tin, 2 Pound - Removes Tough Stains, Dirt and Grime
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Everybody gets stained or discolored whites, even people with sensitive skin. This is especially true for baby clothes — they need a good clean while still being comfortable for your young one. That’s where Nellie’s Oxygen Brightener Powder whitener comes into play.

This chlorine-free formula is hypoallergenic so you can be comfy in your whites again! Plus, it’s color-safe and septic-safe as well as biodegradable.

Mix together the hypoallergenic ingredients with the powerful whiteners and you get a fantastic product. You can restore your clothes to their original state. Your worn out clothes will look fresh again.

Customers love using this for general loads of laundry or washing muddy clothes. It’s also great for washing toddler or baby clothes, including cloth diapers.

Just note that there is only one tin size (2 pounds), so if you use this a lot, there are no options to upgrade to a bigger size.

PROS:
  • Freshens up worn-looking clothes.
  • Hypoallergenic and biodegradable.
  • Can be used for machine washing or hand washing.
  • Removes stains on clothes or carpets.
CONS:
  • Not for wool, silk or leather.
  • Only one tin size — two pounds.

Additional Specs

TypePowder
Bleach-FreeYes
Number of LoadsUp to 60
Color SafeYes
TemperatureWarm or hot water

5. OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener Paks

Best Laundry Whitener Pacs

OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover Power Paks, 24 Count
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Laundry pacs are convenient for many people. They come pre-measured and are easy to transport. For the best laundry whitener pac, we recommend the OxiClean White Revive Whitener Paks.

Like the OxiClean White Revive Powder, the pacs provide 40% more whitening power than chlorine bleach. Simply add a pac to the drum before adding your clothes. You can use this for every single load, or just whenever you feel your clothes need the extra boost.

It’s great for bringing brightness back to your whites. But you can also use it for brightening colors! Make sure it’s a colorfast fabric before using though.

The formula is said to break down and remove the toughest of stains. But customers found that the pacs do not get out stains including menstrual, food, and sweat stains. So keep in mind that for tough stain removal, you might need to add in an extra step and product here.

However, the formula is bleach-free. So, you don’t need to worry about white bleach stains if you add in a colored item to your load. Finally, don’t use this product on wool, silk or leather.

PROS:
  • Convenient pac design.
  • Safe on colorfast items.
  • 40% more whitening power than bleach.
CONS:
  • Doesn’t effectively remove tough stains.

Additional Specs

TypePacs
Bleach-FreeYes
Number of Loads24
Color SafeYes, with colorfast fabrics
TemperatureWarmest water possible

6. Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods

Best Non-Bleach Laundry Whitener

Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods, Unscented/Free & Clear, 60 Loads, Non-Chlorine Bleach, Fragrance Free
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If you’re trying to stay away from bleach, then the Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods are an efficient option. Free from chlorine bleach, Grab Green uses naturally-derived ingredients to whiten your clothes.

All the ingredients are derived from natural sources, and the pods are fragrance-free. You’ll love this if you have sensitive skin and are looking for an eco alternative to bleach.

Not only does this bring your whites back to super white, it also neutralizes odors. These pods work at all temperatures, are hypoallergenic and guess what — they’re safe on colors!

The Grab Green pods are safe to use on colors. They won’t brighten them, but you can rest assured that these pods won’t fade or bleach them either.

These little pods are pre-measured and concentrated so you only need one to do a good job. They are convenient, especially if you’re travelling or visiting the laundromat. Just pop them into a bag — in a dry spot — and take them with you.

PROS:
  • Bleach-free, made from naturally derived ingredients.
  • Brightens whites and is color safe.
  • Convenient pod form.
  • Fragrance-free to be kind on the skin.
CONS:
  • Customers find it doesn’t effectively remove tough stains.
  • Pods might open in the bag.

Additional Specs

TypePods
Bleach-FreeYes
Number of Loads60
Color SafeYes
TemperatureAny

7. Summit Brands White Brite

Best Laundry Whitener for Dingy Whites

4 lb. 12 oz. Bottle OUT White Brite Laundry Whitener
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For dingy whites, especially those caused by rust or yellowing, you’re probably desperate to get them sparkling clean again. The Summit Brands White Brite is a great solution for dingy whites.

This product is ideal if you live in a region with high iron or red clay. If these stains get onto your clothes often, the White Brite is proven to help. It will brighten your whites and remove some of the stains that bleach can’t.

You can use this on white and colorfast clothes for amazing results. It’s also safe for delicates. Customers who live in areas with red clay and hard water areas find that White Brite works wonders on their laundry.

If you have a lot of dingy whites, you might find that this is a must-have in the laundry room.

PROS:
  • Great for dingy whites.
  • Gets out rust, red clay and color bleed stains.
  • Works on delicate clothes.
  • Great if you live in hard water areas.
CONS:
  • Extremely strong smell.
  • Not made with eco-friendly ingredients.

Additional Specs

TypePowder
Bleach-FreeYes
Number of Loads30
Color SafeYes, with colorfast fabrics
TemperatureAny

Laundry Whitener Comparison Chart

ProductBestTypeBleach-FreeNumber of LoadsColor SafeTemperature
OxiClean White Revive Overall WhitenerPowderYes45YesWarm
Savvy Green Oxygen Brightening PowderPowderPowderYes32YesCold/Warm
Molly’s Suds Oxygen WhitenerNaturalPowderYes80YesCold/Warm
Nellie’s Oxygen Brightener Powder TinSensitive SkinPowderYes60YesWarm
OxiClean White Revive PaksPacsPacsYes24YesWarm
Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative PodsNon-BleachPodsYes60YesCold/Warm
Summit Brands White BriteDingy WhitesPowderYes30YesCold/Warm
Jump to the Full Laundry Whitener Reviews

How to Use OxiClean Whitener for Clothes

OxiClean is a bleach-free and chlorine-free powder to get clothes back to pristine white. Whitening laundry is easy. Follow these steps for amazing results:

  1. Add ¼ cup of the powder directly into the drum of your machine. This is for front and top loading machines.
  2. Add your detergent as you normally do.
  3. Add your clothes.
  4. Wash clothes in the warmest water the garments can handle.

Heavily Soiled Garments?

Pre-soak them in hot water with a scoop of OxiClean powder. Soak for six hours before washing normally.

Back to White

With our top recommendations for the best laundry whiteners, get your clothes white again. Brighten up those sparkling sheets, t-shirts and towels. If you choose wisely, you can also use them on colored items too — this might bring back the original hue.

Always be sure to check how many loads each product does so you know how long the product will last. If you want a bleach-free product, then any of these options will do! But for a natural option — we recommend going for the Molly’s Suds Oxygen Whitener.

However, the OxiClean White Revive is the best whitener overall.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!
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