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How to Whiten Grayed Nylon

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By Virginia Meyer

My Laundry Question

Ex-Officio underwear turns dingy gray.

Share a Little Background Info

Ex-Officio travel underwear turns dingy gray. It's designed to be handwashed, quick drying travel underwear. Can also be machine washed. But after a couple of months of travel use, it is now dingy gray. Any solutions?


Virginia Meyer

Lessons Learned

  • Tried bleach during machine wash but no effect.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

94% Nylon; 6% Lycra

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

The graying is due to detergent residue left on the nylon that redeposits soil onto the fabric. Never use chlorine bleach on nylon. It can both destroy the fabric and cause the threads to turn yellow. To whiten the nylon, mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (OxiClean, Clorox 2, Country Save Bleach, Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach) and cool water. Follow the package directions as to how much product per gallon of water. Completely submerge the garments and allow it to soak for at least eight hours. Check the color. If it is white enough, wash as usual. If it remains grey, mix a fresh solution and repeat.

Good luck!

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