I hate the smell of bleach. It actually makes me start gagging so I don't like to use it if I don't have to. But I also have very messy five year old twins.
Thankfully Martha Stewart has a bleach-free trick to get your whites so white.
--Check the garment’s laundering instructions.
--Separate the whites (they should never be washed with other colors)
--For whites use water as hot as the fabric can stand. According to Martha, you can even skip bleaching agents—the hot water will do the work.
--If you absolutely need to use bleach, take her advice and use oxygen-based formulas, instead of chlorine iterations (these can weaken the fabric).
--Be sure to apply the bleach and the detergent simultaneously for the best results.
--For stubborn stains, like those soy sauces, red wines, and vinaigrettes, use a pretreating solution on your fabrics before putting them in the wash.