Clean Clothes: Add This to Your Washing Machine for Surprisingly White Results

By incorporating these 'secret' ingredients into your laundry routine, you can effectively eliminate stubborn stains.


Lemon Juice

According to Marieke van der Graaf, founder of Laundrylicious based in California, you can add lemon juice to your washing machine to remove stains from your clothes.

The natural whitening properties of lemon will help brighten cotton underwear, remove stains, and leave them with a refreshing lemon scent.

Note that you should only add lemon juice when washing white clothes, as it can fade colored garments.


Brandi Winch, owner of HomeMaid Home Solutions in Kalamazoo, Michigan, says that salt can be effective in removing certain stains.

However, the use of salt depends on the type of stain.

For example, clothes with blood stains should be soaked in cold water with salt.

If the clothes have grease stains, sprinkle salt on them to absorb the grease before washing.

Baking Soda

Adding baking soda to your washing machine can help eliminate odors from your laundry.

Baking soda is a natural, economical, and safe laundry booster.

Simply sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda along with your detergent at the beginning of the wash cycle.


Imagine if your gym socks could smell as fresh as your breath after using mouthwash. It’s possible!

Simply add a cup of alcohol-free mouthwash to your regular wash cycle to eliminate bacteria and odor from your workout clothes.

You can also add 1/2 cup of mouthwash to the washing machine during the rinse cycle.

Additionally, van der Graaf suggests that mouthwash is also a great way to clean your washing machine drum.


You can use vinegar in the fabric softener compartment, as this is the most effective time for vinegar to work, as it helps remove detergent residue and build-up.

Simply pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser right before the final rinse cycle.

Common Laundry Mistakes

Washing Swimwear in the Washing Machine

Swimwear, bikinis, or any non-absorbent fabric should not be washed in a washing machine. Due to their non-absorbent nature, it’s difficult to thoroughly clean them in a washing machine. Instead, hand wash them with cold water.

Washing Windbreakers and Hooded Jackets Incorrectly

To properly wash windbreakers and jackets with hoods, place them in a mesh laundry bag. This will help protect the structure of the garments and create more suds for the washing machine.

Ignoring Zippers and Buttons

This is an important step before washing your clothes. Pull up the zipper to prevent them from damaging other clothes. However, for buttoned clothes, unbutton them all to allow the washing machine to effectively clean the stains.

Incorrect Stain Removal

Scrubbing your clothes excessively can cause tears and create holes where the stains are. It will quickly damage your clothes.

For delicate and easily torn fabrics, it is best to sprinkle some detergent directly onto the stain, then soak them in water for a while before gently hand washing.

Using Fabric Softener on Face Towels

The face is a sensitive area and can easily have allergic reactions to chemicals. Therefore, you should not use fabric softener on face towels, no matter how fragrant they are. Furthermore, they also reduce the absorbency and soapiness of the fabric, resulting in less effective cleaning.

Using Strong Detergents and Stain Removers

As mentioned above, chemical detergents often have a negative impact on the skin. And not every expensive detergent or strong stain remover will make your clothes cleaner.

You can use salt to make your clothes whiter and help remove stains, and lemon juice will make your clothes smell fresher and feel softer.

Using Too Much Laundry Detergent

Using too much laundry detergent will create excess foam, which can reabsorb dirt in places like collars, making the clothes even dirtier.

Additionally, excess foam can overflow from the washing machine, causing moisture to damage the circuit board. Therefore, only use a moderate amount of detergent as instructed by the manufacturer.

Using Excessive Stain Remover

Stain removers often weaken the fabric and quickly fade the color of the clothes due to their strong cleaning properties. Try using a little lemon water by boiling it and applying it to the stain before washing.

Leaving the Washing Machine Damp and Odorous

Do not close the washing machine immediately after it finishes washing. Let it sit for a while to dry out and allow any lingering moisture and odor to dissipate.

Also, clean your washing machine once a year by running a cycle with warm water and vinegar. This will remove dirt, detergent residue, and help improve the performance of the washing machine.

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