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Offline Lorunna

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Why do my white clothes go yellow?
« on: 02/10/2009 12:30:03 »
Lorunna asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I and millions of other have a huge laundry problem. 

Our white cotton and polycotton clothes and linen go yellow in places if stored for a while, a month or longer.  I've tried washing detergents, bleaches, lemon, bicarb, nothing takes the colouration out. 

What causes it, and how do I go about getting the things white again?

Regards Lorunna.

What do you think?No one has come up with a solution to the problem yet,  once it has o cured. What is bleach water?  I've tried bleaches, sometimes over night, it does not work, in fact it makes some cottons go even more yellow. 
« Last Edit: 05/10/2009 09:44:02 by Lorunna »


 

Offline Mr. Scientist

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Re: Why do my white clothes go yellow?
« Reply #1 on: 04/10/2009 08:33:44 »
Lorunna asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I and millions of other have a huge laundry problem. 

Our white cotton and polycotton clothes and linen go yellow in places if stored for a while, a month or longer.  I've tried washing detergents, bleaches, lemon, bicarb, nothing takes the colouration out. 

What causes it, and how do I go about getting the things white again?

Regards Lorunna.

What do you think?

What causes it i haven't the foggiest. It could be a number of variables.
But to get them white again is not a difficult task. Submerge the cloths in bleached water for a couple of hours. Viola!
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Why do my white clothes go yellow?
« Reply #2 on: 04/10/2009 10:43:14 »
It is usually caused by detergent residue on the clothes. This can also be the case with new clothes, since the fabric will have been washed before CMT (cut, make & trim). Good rinsing, without fabric conditioners and storing in acid free tissue can help. Strangely, I gather that a final rinse in a very weak vinegar solution can also help.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Why do my white clothes go yellow?
« Reply #3 on: 04/10/2009 13:24:11 »
"Submerge the cloths in bleached water for a couple of hours. Viola!"
How do you bleach water?
Anyway the OP said that bleach didn't work.
 

Offline Mr. Scientist

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Re: Why do my white clothes go yellow?
« Reply #4 on: 05/10/2009 09:33:32 »
"Submerge the cloths in bleached water for a couple of hours. Viola!"
How do you bleach water?
Anyway the OP said that bleach didn't work.

Lol

I don't know if anyone else has ever heard the expression 'bleached water'...? Must be a thing from where i come from.
 

Offline BenV

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Why do my white clothes go yellow?
« Reply #5 on: 05/10/2009 10:41:05 »
It sounds like the optical brighteners have been washed out.  White clothes are usually a bit yellow, but blue-ish optical brighteners make them look white (this is also why white clothes glow in UV - the brighteners are there to take in the UV we can't see and re-emit as light we can, making the clothes look whiter).

How to get them back? Not sure - there may be whitening detergents on the market that will do it though...
 

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Why do my white clothes go yellow?
« Reply #5 on: 05/10/2009 10:41:05 »

 

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