6 Secret Laundry Ingredients

Separate out your whites, your darks and those special clothes you’re taking home to mom. Each bag is printed with directions to help make laundry day simple. Laundry Bags from Pottery Barn ($49.00)

Get whiter whites and darker darks with these ingenious additions to your laundry. Our Attentive Housekeeping experts share their six secret laundry ingredients for chemical free, whiter whites and darker darks.

Whiter Whites

Do your white T-shirts tend to go grey? White socks look dirty no matter how many times they’re washed? Try one of these tried and trusted methods for making whites stay white.

1. Baking soda: Soak in a solution of 4 liters water and 1 cup baking soda.

2. Aspirin: Soak in hot water in which you’ve dissolved 5 aspirin tablets (325mg each).

3. Vinegar: Add 1 cup white vinegar to the washing machine’s rinse cycle.

Blacker Blacks and Darker Darks

While faded and distressed-looking garments are sometimes the height of fashion, you may prefer not to look as if the last time you went clothes shopping was in the 80s. Here are some tips for keeping black and dark-colored clothes looking like new.

4. Coffee or tea: For black clothes, add 2 cups brewed coffee or tea to the rinse cycle.

5. Salt: For dark colors like navy blue or plum, add 1 cup table salt to the rinse cycle.

6. Vinegar and salt: To keep denim from fading quickly, soak jeans in salt water or a 50:50 solution of water and white vinegar before the first wash. Turn the jeans inside out before putting them in the machine and turn the temperature setting to cold.

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