White garments look fresh and bright when they're new, but they can become dingy as they age. Simply washing dull whites with laundry detergent generally does not significantly brighten their appearance. Although bleach is an option for whitening whites, it contains chemicals that can cause eye damage, skin irritation and other health issues. Ordinary white vinegar naturally brightens white garments and helps disinfect them. Vinegar is also nontoxic.
Pour 1 gallon of water and 1 cup of white vinegar into a large pot. Heat on the stove until it reaches a boil.
Remove the pot from the heat. Submerge the dingy white garment in the hot vinegar solution using tongs. Let the garment soak overnight.
Launder the white garment in your clothes washer with 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 oz. of laundry detergent. Use cool water and the washing instructions recommended on the garment's care tag.
Hang the white garment outdoors to dry in the sun. Natural sunlight also naturally whitens whites.