How to Keep Your White Linens White

Well I am slowly getting back into the swing of things following SNAP! Between getting things back in order around the house, getting caught up with work and trying to spend a little extra time with the kiddos, there hasn’t been a whole lot of blogging time this week!
The end of April is quickly approaching, however, and I am trying to get all of the tasks checked off my April To Do list for The Household Organization Diet.  Since I was already washing all of the bedding in the master bedroom, I figured that I would do a good clean on the kids’ bedding too.  A little extra cleaning never hurts! :)
I always wash our pillow cases when I clean the sheets but I often forget about washing the actual pillow. I absolutely LOVE my pillow and I take it with me whenever I travel.  I am really due for a new one but I just cannot find another pillow that I like.  {If you have any pillow suggestions, let me know!}  Anyways… my point is that my pillow really needed a good washing.  Pillows should really be cleaned twice per year.  Make sure you double check the label, but most down and synthetic pillows can be washed in the washing machine.  Always place two pillows in the wash {preferably with nothing else} to balance things out.  I run mine through with some Norwex laundry detergent and about 1 cup of vinegar and then run it through one more short cycle without anything added {or just the rinse cycle} to make sure that they are fully rinsed.
I realize that washing your linens is pretty straight forward but I have always had trouble keeping our mattress covers white.  They always seem to get a nice yellow tinge to them even after adding bleach to the wash  – not exactly my vision of “clean”!  So…when I saw this recipe over at One Good Thing by Jillee, I thought that I would give it a try.  I altered mine slightly to make it a little more concentrated since I was washing them in our bathtub rather than the washing machine.
Here’s what you need:
  • 1 cup of regular powdered laundry detergent or 1/4 Cup Norwex laundry detergent
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered dish washer detergent 
  • 2 cups of bleach
  • 1/2 cup borax
Since I do not have a top loader washing machine, I loaded up our bathtub with the hottest water possible and added a kettle and a large pot full of boiling water as well.  You just want enough water added to the tub to completely cover the mattress cover.  Too much water will dilute the cleaning solution! We have a large bathtub so I actually did our queen size cover plus a single cover from one of the kid’s beds at the same time.  Using a wooden spoon I stirred things around a bit and came back every 30 minutes or so to mix things around.  I left it for approximately 4 hours until the water had completely cooled.
After squishing as much water out of it as possible, I placed the mattress pads in the dryer and gave the bathtub a nice cleaning!  And this is what I ended up with…

I know it doesn’t really look like a big difference in the photos but let me tell you, white is REALLY hard to get a good picture of!  I promise that it is whiter!!!  I tried to use a new white towel to give you a better idea of the color difference but I don’t really think that helps too much {and I really don’t think the mattress cover was EVER that white!}.  Anyways, despite the photos, it did make a fairly big difference in the color and I will definitely be doing this again.  I think that I will cut down on the water in the tub a little more on my next attempt and try agitating it a little more frequently when the water is really hot.  Anyone else have any tips?
For those of you that are working on your master bedrooms this month, you can also check out this post on Spring Cleaning the Master Bedroom {that would also be great in all of your other bedrooms too!}.  I even have a checklist for you!
{You can download a copy HERE}

 This post is part of my Household Organization Diet series.  You can join in anytime – just start with these two posts here and here.  If you are looking for past projects, you can find them all on my Pinterest board.




  1. says

    I’m definitely going to try this. I have a front end loader and I feel like it doesn’t get my whites very white. Thanks for the tip! Visiting from

  2. says

    1 cup of regular powdered laundry detergent or 1/4 Cup Norwex laundry detergent
    1 1/2 cups of powdered laundry detergent

    Question… Is that 2-1/2 cups powdered laundry detergent then?

  3. says

    I love these checklists. Since I’m a teacher, I save some “spring cleaning” for summer, and try to tackle a room each day to deep clean. Since I am a clutter-phobe, things stay pretty tidy and organized, but if you don’t put “wipe down ceilings” on a list, it won’t happen! Thanks!

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