‘But I love my bleach! Why should I give it up? I normally can get it cheap, it works great and well…I’ve always used it. So why switch?’ Yes this was me. Kicking and crying not wanting to give it up.
When you research liquid bleach, and products that contain it, you’ll find they have a diluted solution of sodium hypochlorite. Sodium hypochlote is a skin irritant and can cause burns or blisters. The fumes can be irritating to the lungs (it should be avoided by those with respiratory or heart conditions). It can irritate eyes, causing redness and burning.
‘Oh! So that’s why I have to spray my Bleach Bathroom Cleaner while holding my breath, run away as quickly as possible and wait for the air to clear (cough cough).’ I don’t know about you but this alone is enough reason for me to consider an alternatives.
Ever wonder why your towels and wash cloths don’t last very long? With regular use of bleach in your laundry the fibers will start to break down. If not properly rinsed out the residue will continue to break down fibers in the presents of humidity.
‘Ok so I’ll consider giving it up. What can I use instead?’
- Sunlight is one of the cheapest (can’t beat free) ways to whiten your laundry. Try adding lemon juice as a spot treatment. This will boost the whitening power of the sun.
- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide is a great spot treatment. It is milder than chlorine bleach and can be used on most fabrics. (please test a small area first) Apply with a cotton swab, allow the area to dry and reapply if needed.
- Vinegar is a mild bleach that is safe for most fabrics. I use vinegar as a fabric softener as well. Use as a presoak for heavily soiled clothes. Add one cup to the presoak cycle. Vinegar brightens and deodorizes. Vinegar can make cheap dyes and fabrics run and fade. Please test a small area first.
- I also use a bleach alternative I found here. I’ve used this great recipe on all fabrics. I liked it so much, I made my Mom a batch. Thanks Frugally Sustainable for this great recipe.
1 ½ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
– ½ cup white vinegar or lemon juice
– Pure water to fill gallon jug
– 10 drops lemon or lemongrass essential oils (optional/omit if using lemon juice)
Pour hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or lemon juice, and essential oils in gallon jug. Add water to fill. Cap and store.
-This is a color-safe bleach alternative.
-Add a cup of homemade bleach alternative to the wash for brighter, softer clothing.
-May be used in bath, tub, and toilet cleaning.
-No need to dilute.
-For tough-on stains soak clothing in a bucket with this solution. You may also spray on stains prior to washing.
UPDATE From Frugally Sustainable: I humbly admit that I was unaware of the resulting product created when combining hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. In their purest and most concentrated forms, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide form a compound called Peracetic acid. Known for it’s santitizing properties, I consider it still an excellent alternative to bleach. However, there is conflicting research regarding it’s use. This recipe utilizes a very diluted form of Peracetic acid and our family has used it without harmful effects. Research this, learn and determine what is best for you and your family. A nice alternative to this alternative (smile) is to substitue lemon juice for the vinegar. And please feel the freedom to join in the discussion concerning this topic so we can all learn together. Please share with us all what you discover!
Discover a cleaner way to clean…