The 8 Best Laundry Whiteners to Buy in 2018

Keep your clothes white and bright

Studio shot of laundry basket
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White linens and clothing are so crisp, bright and light… until they’re not. Over time our whites often become less than bright and turn to a dull, drab grey. Fortunately, there are laundry whiteners that can help you ditch that dinginess.We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.

Sure, you could just grab the bottle of bleach, but it’s harsh and can damage fabric fibers, not to mention what happens when you drip or spill it on colored clothing. Laundry whiteners on the other hand are a gentler alternative, and many of them can be used on colored clothing too. They come in a variety of formulas to match your needs. Here are eight great laundry whiteners to help you keep your clothing and linens looking their best.


  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: OxiClean White Revive Stain Remover

    OxiClean is a powerhouse in laundry rooms, and this whitener of theirs is no exception. It’s so powerful, in fact, that it promises 40 percent more whitening power than chlorine bleach. While it helps remove stains and brightens white cloth, it’s also safe for colored clothing as well.

    You can use it to pre-soak clothing before washing or add it right into the machine. It’s safe for both regular and high efficiency (HE) machines, so it’s versatile, and customers swear by it for whitening up everything from football practice pants to greying t-shirts.

  • 02 of 08

    Best for Dye Transfer: Rit Dye Laundry Treatment White-wash Stain Remover

    While we typically associate Rit Dye with putting color into clothing, this laundry treatment actually takes unwanted colors out of clothing. Customers say it’s great for removing dye transfer stains. For example, if your red socks made it into your white laundry load, this helps prevent you from having to wear all pink.

    Made for clothes that can’t take the harshness of bleach, it’s a great alternative when you need to remove stains, including grass, grease, lipstick and rust or to brighten up dingy fabric.

    It comes in powder form and can be used on any white fabric that can be washed in hot water. You simply add it to the laundry along with your regular detergent for whiter, brighter fabrics.

  • 03 of 08

    Best for Dingy Whites: White Brite Laundry Whitener

    If you can’t or don’t want to use bleach, but can’t bear the sight of dingy whites, this liquid may be just what you need. Made to banish rust stains, color bleeds and even baby formula stains, you simply add it along with your regular laundry detergent. It can be used with any white fabric that’s washable, and it won’t damage your fabrics.

    Some customers say it works even better than bleach to keep undershirts and other items their brightest and whitest. The only thing you have to lose is dinginess.

  • 04 of 08

    Easiest to Use: Tide Brights and Whites Rescue Laundry Pacs

    There’s no measuring or pouring necessary with these Brights and Whites Rescue Laundry Pacs from Tide. You simply toss one in along with your detergent, and you can expect whites that are up to three shades whiter.

    They can be used on colorful clothes too, not just whites, without fading them. They work in front and top load washing machines and those that are high efficiency or regularly efficiency. Basically, they work with anything you’re washing and any way you’re washing it.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Natural Whitener: Molly's Suds Oxygen Whitener

    For a natural whitener, this one by Molly’s Suds gets the job done It contains no bleach or harsh chemicals, but rather just four natural ingredients: sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate, citric acid and pure lemon essential oil. It’s vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free to boot.

    This whitener is safe for all fabric colors and types, except wool, leather and silk. You can add it to your washing machine along with your detergent or use it to pre-treat tough stains. It can also be used to clean your carpets and whiten your toilet bowl, sinks and bathtub.

  • 06 of 08

    Best Powder: Nellie's All-Natural Oxygen Brightener Ti

    With a fun, retro-inspired tin, this all-natural oxygen brightener from Nellie’s packs a safe but powerful punch of brightening power. You just add a tablespoon (more for larger loads) to your laundry along with your regular detergent, or you can use it for pre-soaking or hand washing. It also works as a carpet spot remover and a general stain remover for counters, floors and other water washable surfaces.

    While you shouldn’t use it on wool, silk or leather, you can use it on colorful clothing. It’s also safe for septic systems, is hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly and biodegradable, so you can whiten and brighten your clothes with a clean conscience.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Blue Whitener: Mrs. Stewart's Bluing

    When you want white, sometimes it’s blue that you need to do the job. This bluing agent from Mrs. Stewart’s has been “whitening whites since 1883,” so it has a devoted fan base who have used it for years. While it sounds crazy, there’s actually science behind why the color blue makes whites look whiter, and this product can be used in a variety of other ways too, including to brighten swimming pool water and for drug testing. Who knew?

    To use it to brighten your white laundry, you mix a few drops with some water to dilute it, then add it to your water during washing or the final rinse cycle. It’s nontoxic and biodegradable as well as gentle on fibers, so it won’t harm your fabrics. 

  • 08 of 08

    Best for Sensitive Skin: Eco-Me Natural Laundry Whitener Brightener

    For whiter, brighter clothing without a whiff of chlorine or flowery scents, there’s this natural laundry whitener and brightener from Eco-Me. Made with food-grade and plant-based ingredients, this fragrance-free formula doesn’t contain any sulfates, dyes, colorants or preservatives, so it’s great for sensitive skin. It’s also safe for the environment and isn’t tested on animals, so you can feel good about that.

    It can be used on both white and colored fabric. Just add a capful of the liquid to your laundry (more for larger loads) along with your detergent to give your clothing and linens a boost.