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Rit Whitener & Brightener - About.com Laundry Guide Product Review

Brighten Your Laundry

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Rit Whitener & Brightener - About.com Laundry Guide Product Review

Photo: MML

All of us make laundry mistakes - too much detergent, washing mixed colors together, forgetting to turn clothes inside out before washing - that leaves whites and colors looking dull, yellowed or gray. Rit Whitener and Brightener is promoted to help remove the dull and brighten your laundry.

Rit Whitener & Brightener

This laundry treatment from Rit whitens whites and brightens colors without using chlorine bleach. This makes it safe to use on printed fabrics or white fabrics with colored trim. It is safe for all washable colorfast fabrics like cotton, polyester, polyester blends, nylon, rayon, wool, linen and silk. The product can be used to hand-wash or in a washer. You will receive optimal performance by using with the hottest water recommended for the fabric. Check the care label to see what temperature is recommended.

The product is available in powdered form in three sizes: 1 ounce package $2.49; 8 ounce package $3.99; and 5 pound package $75.00. The recommended amount for a normal size load of laundry is one ounce. Stated directions are to add the Rit Whitener & Brightener with your regular laundry detergent as the washer is filling with water. Then add clothes or fabric and complete cycle as usual. For hand-washing, only one-half ounce should be used and dissolved thoroughly in the sink or washing bucket with the detergent. Clothes should be added and allowed to soak for five to ten minutes before completing the washing task.

The content ingredients are listed as:

  • Sodium Chloride (salt)
  • Optical Brighteners

    The product is listed as an eye irritant. In case of eye contact, immediately flush with water for fifteen minutes and call a physician.

  • The World of Rit

    The Rit Dye Company began in Chicago, Illinois with an entrepreneur, Charles C. Huffman. Mr. Huffman created a formula of dye and soap that would color fabrics and wash them at the same time. The name came from his friend, Louis Rittenhouse, who invested in the company and became its first vice-president. In 1917, the company opened with the slogan: "Never Say Dye...Say Rit!" As America went through the Great Depression, Rit Dye was there to help women extend the life of clothes and household goods.

    In the 1940s new fabrics were hitting the marketplace and Rit developed a new all-purpose formula that would dye nylon and other synthetic fabrics as well as natural fibers.

    The 1960s signaled the hey-day of fabric dye as tie-dyed fabrics become the uniform of the counter-culture movement. Rit Dye is now popular in crafting circles for use on fabric, paper, wood and plastics.

    Additional laundry treatments like Rit Brightener & Whitener, Rit Super Stain Remover, Rit Fixative, Rit Rust Remover, Rit White-Wash and Rit Color Remover have been added to the basic line of dye products.

    Rit is a product brand of Phoenix Brands, LLC based in Stamford, Connecticut.

    Laundry Guide Recommendation

    I gave Rit Whitener and Brightener a try with some nylon garments that had become dingy through the years. I washed some in the washer following the directions on the package. Others I washed by hand varying the directions somewhat.

    For the clothes washed in the washer, I did not see a discernible difference in the brightness of the garments. When I compared them to the unwashed clothes, there was no difference after just one washing.

    However, for the hand-washed items, I varied the instructions and allowed the nylon garments to soak for an hour (much longer than the recommended five to ten minutes). After the longer soak, I could see a difference in color. The nylon garments were whiter. I would recommend a longer soak with the product in the washer which should produce better results.

    Rit Whitener and Brightener is also significantly more expensive per use than other non-chlorine whiteners like Oxi Clean, Tide Stain Release and Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach. I would not recommend it as a product to use for every load of laundry.

    Specific questions? Just ask here.

    Your Thoughts

    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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