How to get whites their whitest: remove stains without bleach.

Do you know how to get whites clean without bleach ….in fact it works better than bleach….in my opinion.

Several months ago I shared a post about caring for my white slipcovers and keeping my sons football pants white. In the post I mentioned the awesome tip an umpires wife shared with me about her husbands umpire pants and why they were always the whitest on the field. (I mean get out the sunglasses white lol) She told me the reason is because she soaks them in Electrasol after every game.  I always wondered how to get whites their whitest and how to get those tough stains out without using bleach. I developed an allergy to bleach, but not only that, bleach wasn’t working for me, my whites seemed dingy and the tough stains weren’t coming out.  So I took the sweet ladies advice and started soaking my son’s football pants in Electrosol to get the stains out. I couldn’t believe the difference…  Stains  were gone and fresher than white pants, socks, and tees were the result. It works better than bleach in my opinion, and gets clothes whiter than anything I’ve tried. That was 8 years ago and I still use Electrosol today to get out those tough stains and brighten my whites. I’ve never tried other dishwashing detergents but they might work just as well. Oh, don’t forget to look for a coupon to save money on Electralsol…there are plenty of them available.

I do have to say, the soaking process isn’t as easy for me since we purchased a front loader. I never considered that issue when we decided to purchase the front loader….Man do I miss that soaking option!!! It is so much more of a hassel in the big sink!! Next time we purchase a washer ….I’m going back to the top loader, for sure!!  PS.  If it isn’t working, you aren’t using enough Electrasol.

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  1. Lynne Ledom says

    That is a great tip! How much electrosol do you use? I have a front loader with a soak option. Now I’m curious to how much I should use. Also do you then wash as normal? Thanks for the info!

  2. says

    This is great! I, too, have an allergy to bleach, as does my son. I have tried using oxiclean, peroxide, baking soda, etc to brighten my whites but they still look dingy afterwards. How much do you use? Does the water temp have to be warm or hot or can you soak in cold water? Do you recommend soaking overnight?
    Thank You so much!!!


  3. says

    I just use reg water temp …I don’t use hot when I’m soaking because it can set the stain. The lady who gave me the tip never told me exactly…I just kind of poured some in, I’m not stingy with the amount. Try a cup and if it doesn’t get them as white as you want try more. …it also will depnd how much water you use. When I had my toploader it was great ….I would just let it fil to a low setting (when I was just doing my sons pants and socks) and just after it started to churn I would lift the lid, pour in the powder or liquid in, put the lid back down, let it churn to mix it up, add his pants, let it churn just a bit…lift the lid and let them soak, go back let it churn a bit…sometimes I’d leave them over night if I had time. I think the longer they soak the better. One problem you can have is things tend to float to the top of the water. You need to find something to keep it under. I used a plastic broom handle before….

  4. says

    Does the water fill totally full with the frontloader or just halfway? I don’t have that option so I am curious. I am kind of concered unless everything can get under the water if it will work well. I wouldn’t want part of the garmet to get white and the other part to be a different color…. I hope that makes sense. You might have to do what I do and soak in a large paint bucket or laundry tub.

  5. says

    Love this! I just had two pair of my son’s baseball pants soaking today in bleach, which did nothing. I will surely try this out! WOW!

  6. says

    I know what you mean about the bleach soaking, never did a thing for my son’s pants either!!! I hope this works as well for you as it did for me. If a cup doesn’t work try a cup and a half. For me it was kind of like a recipe I never measured…just did it until the results were good!! …..You can use the liquid Electrasol too… what ever you use mix it up well…. I don’t think the powder dissolves as fast..

  7. says


    Thank You so much for your compliments on Kyle’s curtains. To answer your question: my son and I both have asthma so even the smell of bleach (and ammonia) sends us both into an attack. Even if the scent is on laundered items- like if we use towels or sleep on sheets at other people’s houses. I have had to go to all natural cleaning products. We have been using Method for years, as well as good ‘ol baking soda, lemon juice, etc. As far as chlorine goes- we can get in the pool but as soon as we are out we have to shower or we get a rash that is similar to hives. We still end up with a fine rash even after washing the chlorine water off- just not as bad. If the pool was just treated it’s a no go altogether due to the smell. Needless to say, we don’t go swimming all that often. :(
    Love your blog!

  8. anke says

    Hi Rene!
    What a wonderful tip!! Can you combine your whites along with white-background prints (flowered sheets, for instance)? Have you heard of any other dishwashing detergents that work the same way? I use Finish for dishes.Thanks so much for your help!!

  9. HB says

    Since they discontinued/rebranded Electrasol as “Finish” I went to pick some up this afternoon at my local Target. However, they didn’t have the powder or liquid, just the gel packs and the “power balls.” Have you tried either of these as a replacement? From your last response I am guessing that Cascade powder didn’t work too well for you.
    Thanks for the tip. We’ll find something that will work.

  10. says

    Hi HB, I tried Finish powder and it didn’t work. I am very disappointed. Let me know if you find something that works…..would
    love a replacement. I use to use it on my white slipcovers and it worked great!

  11. Diane says

    Did you ever find a replacement for the Electrasol? I haven’t seen a box of it, in years.. and I miss how well it performed.