This post has been sponsored by Four Monks. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If anyone would have told me years ago what a struggle it would be to keep white laundry, white. . .I wouldn't have believed them. Growing up, my mom would soak socks in bleach before washing them in a hot water wash. We did laundry on Mondays and Thursdays, and I'm pretty sure our family had some of the whitest socks on the planet. I mean, put your sunglasses on, friends, and do not look directly at them!
So, bleach does work well if you can babysit it and take it out after 5-10 minutes. I did forgot once and I lost a ton of socks - all the elastic went out in the socks due to the chemicals in the bleach and I had to toss them out. Today, I use a more natural laundry solution to whiten my whites and I'm assuming that's why you're here, too - because you're looking for a better solution.
Before we begin, however, can someone tell me how kids can get their athletic socks so dirty? In winter they're changing from boots to shoes and then back from shoes to boots multiple times in the school hallway. That means they're stepping in wet puddles of dirt, snow and sand. . .every day. In spring and fall they're jumping in mud puddles with rain boots that aren't 100% waterproof. In summer, they're running outside to talk to their friends without bothering to put on shoes. This is a year-round challenge, the struggle is "real," and their poor socks go from bright white out of the package to dirty and dingy in 24.0 hours.
Rant over. Luckily I found a solution that made me want to start using vinegar in all of my cleaning recipes again.
Remember when I shared my recipe for Lemon Lime Vinegar? I'm really not a fan of the scent of vinegar which is why I've always doctored it up. That is, until I found a vinegar that doesn't smell like vinegar. Yep, it's true.
Four Monks™ Cleaning Vinegar is made with distilled vinegar from corn, water and natural flavor, and get this - it's 20% stronger than traditional vinegar! Perfect for deep-cleaning and stain-fighting. It comes in two scents, Aroma Controlled and Citrus Mint. The scents aren't overpowering at all; they're really quite pleasant.
Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar is all-purpose, non-toxic, environmentally-friendly and safe for my family. THAT'S the type of cleaner I'm looking for. Check, check, check and check.
So, because I like to multi-task, I have a lot of things going on in my home at once. I may be doing laundry, making dinner, helping kids with homework and letting the dog out to go potty all at the same time. If you have a family and your household isn't like this, I'd be surprised and you need to let me in on your secrets. There are only so many hours in a day and there's a lot to get done. And that's why I love this method for whitening whites. . .because you can set it. . .and forget it for 24 hours! Do you hear angels singing?
DIY Natural Laundry Whitener
Ingredients and Materials
- Stock pot
- 1 cup Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar
- Dingy socks or other whites that have lost their brightness
- Fill the stock pot about half way with warm water and set on stove burner.
- Pour in the Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar and heat stock pot on high heat until water begins to boil.
- Add socks or clothing to stock pot and stir to cover clothing completely with the vinegar solution.
- Remove the stock pot from the burner and allow to sit for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, wash clothing as normal with detergent using hot water and dry outside on a line or in the dryer.
Bonus Tip: If you can hang your laundry outside in the sun, the whitening effect will be even greater. The sun acts as a natural "bleach" and paired with the vinegar it can have awesome effects.
So, are you excited to see the results? I wanted to throw a brand new sock in the mix for comparison so you could see the real difference of before and after the treatment. While the treatment didn't bring the sock back to looking "brand new" I think it did a heck of a job brightening it up and extending its life.
Want to see the process in action? Of course you do! So, here you go. . .a video just for you!
Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar spray bottles are available at select grocery stores and mass retailers nationwide, including the vinegar aisle at Walmart Supercenters and in the natural cleaning section at HEB stores.