today i wanted to wash a load of white laundry (i rarely sort my laundry; cold water uses less energy and the load rarely includes brand new stuff anyway) and i was kind of hoping to make my whites brighter, or some other bleach commercial-worthy sentiment.
here is the secret (the internet told me about this and it was correct!): one cup of baking soda dissolved in the water before you add your clothes, then one cup of vinegar added to the rinse water. it didn't even smell vinegary, but it got some blue stains out of several white items (that whole not-sorting-laundry thing is almost always just fine. almost.) and maybe it's my imagination but the whole load seems whiter and brighter.
and now you know.