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 April 8, 2005
Dilemma of the Month: August 2004
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Can you help us to solve this fellow viewers household dilemma?

If you have suggestions, please reply below. We'll pick a select number of replies to post and one of them may be yours!

This month's dilemma:

I have 5 boys under age 13. When I wash their white socks they still look dirty. I soak them in washing soap and bleach and very hot water for 30 minutes and when the washing is all done they still look dirty! I have tried many cleaners and nothing seems to work. Please help!

Asked by Renee from NV.


Try a good bleach and lots of hot water.  Add a touch of Biz Works every time if not already stained.  Rhonda Riggs

Fill washer with hot water, and, while filling, add Tide w/bleach, 1 scoop of OxyClean, 1/2 cup of Calgon, and approximately 1/2 cup of white vinegar (this is for a full load).  Add clothes, let agitate a minute or so, let soak for an hour, and then let washer run its course.  All of my whites are really white by using this method, although it sounds time consuming. - Bev from VT

I have soaked whites in a bucket with OxyClean and water. Works very well. - Kathy, MI

I have found that it is all in the detergent brand you use. I have used every brand on the market and I found that the only ones that works for my family is GAIN w/bleach and Clorox 2 and Clorox Bleach. I have a 12 yr. soccer player and a 16 yr. Basketball player, both girls. However, they get just as dirty as the boys do. I have found that washing with the above items in HOT HOT water, all of the whites stay white. Hope it works for you. Good Luck!! - Arlene, NV

Something that works great to get your whites white and also works awesome on sneakers especially ones with canvas is Cascade dish washer POWDER.  Alot of times bleach will make things appear yellow but Cascade makes things look new.  I just put a scoop in with my whites and it works great! - Crystalyn, WV

That's a problem I've had in the past with whites, until I started using 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar (any brand) line dry in the sun once a month.This has kept my whites whiter and the colors bright. This is great for hard water (well water). - Bre, LA

When I have this problem I add a cup of Dishwashing powder to the water as the machine is filling . This is in addition to your regular detergent.I use warm water and just let the washer go through it's normal cycle. I've had great results with this method. - Joseph L., MS

As a nurse back in the olden days, we wore white uniforms.  By keeping them starched and ironed, cotton uniforms were easy to keep white. But those wonderful, easy care polyester uniforms were nortorious for blood stains , perspiration stains, ring-around-the collar, and they became dingy looking.  So I took a bucket, like a plastic mop bucket, filled it half full of the hottest water I got from the tap, and added 1 cup of Clorox and 1 cup of a jel or liquid type dishwasher detergent. Stir it up real good then put in the white garments and let them soak overnight.  Then wash on a regular cycle in your washing machine. - Peggy, TN

After moving to a rural/waterfront area with well water I was shocked to find brownish whites.  Go ahead and soak in clorox but also add Mrs. Stewarts, old fashion blueing to your load.  Since I started adding it to my whites, it's the whitest they have been, inexpensive too.  Also,  adding 20 mule team borax along with your detergent seems to soften the water and make cleaning more effective. - Ro, WA

To whiten white socks, etc. either spray with 409 before adding to washer with detergant or add a little to the whole load.  Whites come out beautiful. Also, takes out grease and many other stains when sprayed first before washing. Personally, I just add 409 to my washer loads, and wash as usual. - Joyce, OH

I've tried the hot water, bleach, and soak method, and it really works well if you add a bluing agent to the rinse water like Mrs Stewart's Bluing. This was a trick that I learned from my grandmother! Works everytime. - Donna, OH

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