Saturday afternoon I put a load of white and off-white clothes into washer only to return to find all of them a not-so-nice dark gray. (Two shirts, a black and a navy, both new and unwashed, had slipped in unnoticed and left their extra dye on everything.) I was devastated. Ruined were two bath mats, a pillowcase, a kitchen towel, and, worse, a white cotton embroidered broomstick skirt and a white button vest that goes with it.
But ... I was able to save it as it turned out. Here's how: Here is what I did after I did the initial wash that blackened the entire load:
(1) Wash in cold water with 1 1/2 cups of bleach.
(2) Wash in cold water with 1 cup of bleach.
(3) Wash in plain cold water.
(4) Wash in plain cold water.
(5) Wash in cold water with laundry detergent.
(6) Wash in plain cold water.
(7) Wash in plain hot water.
Dry in hot dryer.
Everything including the bath mats and skirt, which were dark gray, are white again! They even smell nice. And clean.