Several products, such as Clorox and OxiClean, are designed to remove yellowing and stains from white clothes. Alternative solutions include the use of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
Yellowing of white clothes can be caused by sweat, improper washing or exposure to the elements. A common misconception about removing the dull, yellow tint found in white clothing is that it can be removed by washing the item in chlorine bleach. Using chlorine bleach can actually cause yellowing if it used too frequently or if too much bleach is used. An oxygen-based bleach, like Clorox 2, OxiClean or Purex 2 Color-Safe Bleach, is a more effective solution. Soaking the white garments in the oxygen-safe bleach prior to washing them can increase the effectiveness.
Adding one-half cup of distilled vinegar to the wash cycle can also help brighten white clothes. If there are yellow sweat stains, like those often found in the armpit area of white shirts, baking soda may be used to remove them. Applying hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to the area and letting it soak in for a few minutes may also remove the stains. After using any of these methods, clothes should be washed normally. If possible, the clothes should be allowed to dry in sunlight for some additional brightening.