Use Toothpaste to Whiten Your White Clothes!

Use Toothpaste to Whiten Clothes

Use Toothpaste to Whiten Clothes!

(I can’t believe it worked!  This looks great!  I think I will wear it tomorrow!)

I know what you’re thinking. What is the world coming to now! Did she say use toothpaste to help whiten her clothes? I did. I was tooling around the house trying to come up with different stuff that I could try to whiten my white clothes. I thought, “Try some toothpaste. Why, not?” My reasoning is that if we use it to whiten our teeth, then why not use it to whiten our white clothes.

Seriously, this is a white shirt that I am so in love with and of course it had that dingy look. I have been trying for the last two years to whiten or brighten it back up. I refuse to throw it away. The last thing I tried was the lemon and salt mixture. (Squeeze about 12 lemons, add a cup of salt, mix and then soak the shirt for a while. Hang in bright sunlight until it becomes bright white. Umm…….no.  Didn’t work. Save your time for something else.) That was just one of the things I tried.

So, sitting in the kitchen, I decided to stir some stuff in a bowl. Kind of a like a mixture of different stuff I have tried over the years, with the exception of the secret weapon….TOOTHPASTE!  (I call it secret because it’s the new thing I added.)

Even my daughter was like, “Ma, we need that toothpaste for brushing our teeth.  You’ve already used up one tube on that other shirt.”  I had to test it out twice.  Didn’t take before pics on the first white shirt.  Plus, it wasn’t my favorite white shirt.  Test out first on a non-favorite shirt and then when it works, test it out on the favorite shirt.


  • 1 6.4 oz tube of Colgate Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste (paste, not gel)
  • 1/2 cup of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • About 2 cups of vinegar  (depending on how large your clothing item)



Squeeze the entire tube into a large bowl.


Pour in baking powder.


Pour in salt.

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Then, again with the bubbly effect.  Pour in the vinegar and wait for that bubbling explosion.  Stir, quickly.  After the bubbling stops, stir to mix together. The mixture of that toothpaste and vinegar causes it to rise again as you stir.  It gets bigger.


Then, put shirt into the bowl and soak for a couple of hours.  I let this shirt soak for 3.5 hours.  No specific reason for that specific number.  I had to leave the house to pick my teenager up from school and it took a while to get back.  Soak it as long as you like.


Then, wring and hang outside in the sun.  If you’re hanging on the deck, like me, put a towel or something down so that you won’t have the toothpaste mixture dripping on the deck. Though, I didn’t notice any at all, especially if you wring it out tightly.  Try and do this experiment when it is hot and the sun is bright. Again, I am hoping to work with the sun.  Remember that lemon and salt thing I tried.  Hopefully, the bright sun and the salt that is mixed into this experiment will help also.  I put mines outside when the sun was on the back of the house.  After the sun went down, I brought it in and let it hang in the basement overnight.  Don’t put it in the washer until in the morning. That way, it will be able to dry in the sun during the early part of the day.  For your info, this toothpaste mixture has a smelly odor.  That is why I’m hanging it in the basement.  Don’t worry about the smell because it will not stay in the clothing after it has been washed.  Actually, it is going to smell so fresh after it has been washed.


In the morning, put it in the washer.  Throw in another 1/2 cup of baking soda, along with your regular detergent.  After all, we bought a box of baking soda, might as well use it all up. Plus, I’m determined to give this white shirt all the help that I can.

Hang it back out in the sun.  Let it stay in the sun until it dries completely.  Then, check out the results!  P.S.  This shirt smells FABULOUS! I’m sure it’s the toothpaste that has it smelling so fresh.  This seems like a long process, but trust me, you’ll love the results and you can now wear that white piece of clothing with a bright smile…..

Of course, you will want to use this toothpaste concoction on a shirt or clothing item that you just refuse to give away or stop wearing.  Now, this is going to be the start of a bright summer!

Well….what do you have in your closet that you would want to try to brighten with this toothpaste concoction?  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!


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  1. Hi I came across this post and I really want to re-brighten my white shirts.
    May I know if you have any updates to this recipe?

    I would like to refresh my three white shirts, two pair of white jeans again.

  2. I had problems getting my white top white again do i decided to try some toothpaste after i had already scrubbed it with baking soda and Epsom salt. The baking soda and Epsom salt wasn’t whitening my top do i grabbed some toothpaste and starting scrubbing and it worked. My top is white. Then i decided to go on line too see of any one else had tried toothpaste to whiten stuff and saw this website! I guess you can say great mind think alike!

  3. They say that anything that will stain a white shirt will stain your teeth so it logically follows that anything that will whiten your teeth will whiten a white shirt. Great tip!!
    Alison Palmer recently posted…How Often Should You REALLY Clean Your Oven and Fridge?My Profile

  4. Cool! I have just tried as your saying, I hope it will be workable tommorrow!

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  6. Can I use this for my creme pink color hoodie ? The color of it faded and got dark, as of the rest of my clothes for some reason. It looks like this

  7. This is awesome! Your white shirt is beautiful. I am glad you came up with this idea. Thanks for sharing.
    Judy Haughton-James recently posted…The Pimento Flavour – Creative Monday Blog HopMy Profile

  8. This is a fantastic blog, I am a mum of 6 so this tip will come in handy
    Emma white recently posted…I Finally Get It: I Know What I AmMy Profile

  9. this is a great idea.Thanks for sharing,I will try this with white clothes
    Amila recently posted…How to Create an Eye Catching Facebook Page BannerMy Profile

  10. Umm, when you used the lemon recipe did you boil the water with the shirt in it, then let it soak until the water turned cool, then set it out in the sun wet? I never heard about using salt with the lemons, hmmm.

    Anyway, I never would have thought of the toothpaste solution! Brilliant!

  11. I can see how this works because toothpaste is known to have some bleaching properties, however this the first time I have ever heard of this. It is a good tip and will definitely be trying it out 🙂
    Janene recently posted…The 5 Best and Must-Have Ice Cream Scoops AvailableMy Profile

    • I just happen to whip it up one day because I truly wanted to wear my favorite white shirt again. And, it just happened to work like magic. I wore my white shirt proudly…..

  12. Oh, my I need to try this with some of my whites! Pinning it!
    Theresa @DearCreatives recently posted…Last Minute Diy Projects & 2 Printables for Mother’s DayMy Profile

  13. Can’t believe no one has ever thought of this! Your a genius Sharon!
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Dysfunction Junction
    Katie recently posted…Linkin with my Ladies Thursday hop # 14My Profile

  14. Wow!!! I am impressed. I am going to try this. Stopping by from SITS.
    Keiunta recently posted…#SoftScrub Mold & Mildew Stain Remover Giveaway & Review-Household Cleaning ProductsMy Profile

  15. Have you joined Lets Get Social Sunday this morning??? If not, lotsa new friends and followers are waiting on you. See Ya There!

    @ My Turn for us
    Evelyn @ My Turn for us recently posted…Lets Get Social Sunday #19My Profile

  16. You’re fearless! Great inventors have that bravura. I’m gonna keep coming back and read what I missed, having just now discovered you—thanks for visiting my toilet tube streamer tutorial.
    Scrollwork recently posted…Shooting Stars Streamer: a Toilet Paper Tube TutorialMy Profile

    • Thanks! Loved your toilet tube tutorial…. Thanks for stopping in and sitting a spell. Will definitely be stopping by often to see what new things that you have come up with.

  17. Good to know!
    Akaleistar recently posted…Night MovesMy Profile

  18. Wow, this is terrific!! Great tutorial – I will definitely try it on my white shirts!! Just in time for summer 😉
    Rebecca Rider recently posted…Win a Spa Giveaway Worth $315 from Chill & Relax Spa and CoWork+Play for Mother’s Day!!My Profile

  19. WOW! It is much whiter. Great tip!! Stopping by from Naptime Review hop. Diane at Stop by and leave me a comment on my blog for a chance to win a Chick-fil-A gift pack. I look forward to following you.

  20. That’s awesome! I’m totally pinning this!
    Heather recently posted…Happy Baconmas! A Bacon Themed PartyMy Profile

    • Thanks Heather! I can’t wait to try this on my daughter’s school shirts since it worked on mines. Thanks for pinning!

  21. You are awesome! I would have never thought of that! Wow. I liked you back on FB.

  22. Wow! That is pretty cool! Who would’ve thought? Thank you so much for sharing this @ The Show Off Blog Party!

    The Wondering Brain
    Jessica recently posted…A Monday Shout Out to Four Awesome LadiesMy Profile

  23. Oh wow…going to have to try this for some of hubby’s shirts. I don’t wear much white, but he does.

    thanks for hte tip.
    karen recently posted…Am I not a Good Catholic?My Profile

  24. That’s pretty cool. Besides brushing teeth, I had only used toothpaste for sticking bows to bald babies’ heads before photos.

    Although I brush regularly, my toothpaste now lasts me a long time because of something my dental hygienist told me. Did you know we only need to use a dot of toothpaste the size of the end of your pinky each time we brush? Those commercials lather it all the way across the brush to sell more. I only use a dot and get plenty of lather, plus great check ups. If you do this, you’ll have more paste left to whiten shirts!
    Joyce recently posted…#AtoZ X for eXpelling GasMy Profile

    • Hi Joyce! Thanks for the info on the toothpaste! We do use a lot of toothpaste when brushing. I guess we believe that cleaner teeth means using more toothpaste.

  25. What a fabulous idea! It looks great. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll be putting this to use this weekend.

    Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.
    misssrobin recently posted…Tell Me What You Know About GodMy Profile

  26. no freaking way! i have always been scared to use bleach on my whites – but i am so trying this out on my dingy whites!! thanks for sharing can’t wait to try it!
    Amanda recently posted…Meatless Friday’s: Leftover Baked SpaghettiMy Profile

  27. I am pretty stoked about this! I have a couple old white shirts that need some freshening up. I am also impressed that you just figured this out. I never would have thought of it. recently posted…Save Money With a Low Flow ShowerheadMy Profile

    • Hi Vanessa! I am so loving this idea too! I’m always trying to conjure up something to post on my How-to blog. I am so happy to be able to wear my white shirt again….

  28. NICE! Now does this concoction work on those dreadful sweat stains too?
    Angela @ recently posted…Eclectic, Green Art and Decor in the Great LakesMy Profile

  29. So you don’t rinse the shirt before you hang it in the sun the first time?
    Kim recently posted…I Need to Move-it, Move-it!!My Profile

    • Hi Kim! No, don’t rinse it when you hang it out the first time. The mixture needs to set in and do it’s job. Plus, hopefully the sun and salt will help out in this process.

      • I know this is a very old post, but I just came across it today.. I actually thought of this, too, out of desperation.. had on white pants at work and dropped under-eye concealer on them while doing a touchup in the bathroom. Don’t have stain remover of any sort at work, so I rifled through my cabinet and came across some Arm & Hammer baking soda toothpaste I’d brought to work a couple of years earlier. I thought “why not, worth a try” and then googled it out of curiosity to see if it was a thing. Your post was the only thing about that I could find, and to be honest it seemed so obvious that it’d work that I was surprised to not see more about it! I had a terrycloth hand towel that I wet with water, then put the toothpaste on and scrubbed. It definitely took the stain out, but I hadn’t experimented with cleaning an entire article of clothing with it. Since you’ve had a few years to test this out, how often do you need to do this intensive cleaning? Do you wash it with regular detergent most times and then do an intensive toothpaste cleaning every so often?? Thanks for your experimentation and for sharing your results!


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  3. […] her blog after discovering a natural knack for handiwork. She gives great life-hacking advice, from whitening your favorite blouse with toothpaste to medicine cabinet […]

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