The 6 Best Laundry Whiteners of 2022

Keep your clothes white and bright

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The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Have you ever eyed a gorgeously crisp white shirt at the store, but put it back because you were worried about upkeep? Or do you have a pile of sheets and towels that used to be bright-white but have withered to a dingy yellow or gray? Don't give up hope quite yet! Whether you're looking for detergent to maintain your clothes' appearance, bleach products to help give an added brightening boost, or a stain remover that won't ruin an all-white garment, these are some of the best options. As always, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions, and remember that chlorine bleach should always be used in a well-ventilated area while wearing gloves.

Here are the best laundry whiteners on the market.

Our Top Picks
This thicker formula not only whitens clothes but protects your skin and clothes from splashes.
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This powder can be added straight to your washing machine along with detergent, or you can create a paste to pretreat stubborn stains.
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These pods use baking soda to brighten colors, eliminate odors, and regulate your water's pH level.
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This mineral-based detergent offers a pleasant smell thanks to a mix of lily of the valley, jasmine, sandalwood, and citrus.
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This bleach alternative uses various enzymes to break down vegetable, starch, and protein stains.
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This effective formula uses sodium hydroxide to dissolve super-stubborn stains like grease and oil.
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In This Article

Best Overall: Clorox Splash-Less Bleach

This splash-less version of Clorox bleach was designed to protect your skin and clothing from errant sprays and splatters. To use, add one-third of a cup to your washer's bleach dispenser or, if you don't have one, wait five minutes after the water has started filling before pouring it in. This concentrated formula is not intended to sanitize or disinfect items like medical scrubs; it's for cleaning everyday bleachable items. Never use bleach on wool and silk.

For the best results, some laundry nerds with lots of time on their hands prefer to wash their whites first to remove the proteins from sweat (when mixed with bleach, it might cause yellowing) and then run a second cycle with bleach. Whatever your process, remember not to combine it with products like vinegar, ammonia, or other bleach products, as this could cause a dangerous chemical reaction.

Best Powder: OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover

OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover

Oxygen bleaches, like this popular option from OxiClean, are more environmentally friendly alternatives to chlorine-based products. You can add OxiClean powder to your washing machine along with detergent. For best results, add the OxiClean before you drop in the colorfast clothing. Or, for extra-stubborn stains (think ground-in dirt after soccer practice), create a soaking solution of one scoop of OxiClean in one gallon of warm water and allow the garment to sit for six hours before washing as usual.

OxiClean shouldn't be used on items such as wool, silk, leather, or dry-clean-only fabrics. This 5-pound tub should last for about 75 loads.

OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover

 The Spruce / Stacey L. Nash

Best Pods: Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 5-in-1 Power Paks

Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-IN-1 Power Paks

If you're looking for convenience, this detergent and oxygen bleach combo comes in handy tablets that you can easily toss into the washer. Baking soda—this detergent's primary ingredient—has long been a secret weapon in the laundry game as it's able to brighten colors, get rid of odors, and help regulate the water's pH level, which helps detergent do its job more effectively.

The packets also contain OxiClean and a scent-boosting product that one customer agrees isn't too overwhelming. To help keep the packets away from curious children, Arm & Hammer has designed an especially strong zippered plastic bag, but you should, of course, store your detergent pods well out of reach of little ones.

Best Smelling: The Laundress Whites Detergent

The Laundress Women's Whites Detergent

Reviewers love this bleach-free product for its ability to keep their whites looking fresh without causing any damage. It also has a pleasant floral scent, which the company describes as a mix of lily of the valley, jasmine, sandalwood, and citrus.

Instead of bleach, the two main brightening, mineral-based ingredients are the preservative sodium gluconate and calcium chloride, a type of water-soluble salt. This product can also double as a detergent for hand-washing delicate items, reducing your need to buy that too.

Best for Colors: Tide Plus Bleach Alternative Liquid Laundry Detergent

Tide Plus Bleach HE

Since this no-fuss liquid laundry detergent is made with a bleach alternative, you can use it to keep both white and colored clothes in tip-top shape. Shoppers rave about the fresh smell, and some say they've been able to eliminate regular bleach from their routine altogether.

To help fight stains, Tide Plus Bleach Alternative contains various enzymes designed to work on vegetables, starches, and proteins, as well as an ingredient that helps neutralize the chlorine found in water, preventing colored fabrics from fading. This formula is safe to use in all HE (high-efficiency) washing machines.

Best Spray: Shout Triple-Acting Laundry Stain Remover Spray

Shout Triple-Acting Stain Remover Spray

One issue with many stain-removal products is that they work best if you treat the spot and then wash immediately. However, that isn't the case with Shout's Triple-Acting Laundry Stain Remover. You can apply this powerhouse formula to tough messes like red wine on a white shirt, and then your garment can sit in the hamper for as long as a week before being washed. It's safe on any colorfast item.

"Triple-acting" refers to the way the formula works. It penetrates stains once applied, clings to stains during the wash cycle, and lifts stains away. It's made from sodium hydroxide, a compound known for its ability to dissolve grease and oil, and it has sodium borate, an ingredient that helps remove stains gives detergents a boost. 

Final Verdict

The best laundry whitener for you depends on a few factors, including how bad your stains are and your preferred application method. If you want a concentrated bleach that you can add to your washer's bleach container, we love Clorox's Splash-Less Bleach (view at Home Depot). If you're after convenience, Arm & Hammer's Plus OxiClean 3-IN-1 Power Paks (view at Walmart) and Clorox's Bleach Pens (view at Walmart) couldn't be easier to use. 

Why Trust The Spruce?

Lexi Dwyer has written about recycling bins, clothes hangers, and patio tables for The Spruce. She is a lifelong Tide fan who loves the challenge of getting out tricky stains and considers Home Comforts author Cheryl Mendelson the go-to laundry expert.