When we do a load of white laundry we might have a habit of adding a splash of bleach to make our whites brighter, but have you ever stopped and wondered what the health risks of using bleach are? Using bleach can pose numerous health risks, especially to children, when used around your household. Thankfully, whether you use it for disinfecting surfaces or for whitening your clothes, we’ve got a couple of bleach alternatives that will do the job without the harmful side effects.
Vinegar is great for a lot of things, and one of those includes replacing your bleach. It can disinfect, brighten your clothing and even help remove soap residue. It's around 80% effective against viruses and mold bacteria, which makes it a great choice for a natural disinfectant. For laundry, pour into your washer machine as you would with bleach or simply soak your clothes in a mix of vinegar and hot water to help lift stains.
2. Baking Soda
If you want a great whitening agent, baking soda will do the job. Baking soda is great at fighting those hard to get out stains. You can add it to your load for a boost in your laundry detergent's performance. It’s also known to soften your clothing and deodorize. This makes it a great fabric softener replacement.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has a variety of uses thanks to it’s properties as a disinfectant. You probably already have some in your first aid kit to clean up a cut, but it can do much more than that. Hydrogen peroxide is great for treating fungal growths, bad odors, and whitening your laundry whites. As with other methods you can add about a cup to your laundry to use it as a bleach alternative. If you usually use bleach to disinfect surfaces, grab a cloth and apply a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide to kill many types of bacteria including salmonella.
When life gives you lemons, you can make more than just tasty lemonade. They are also used in a variety of cleaning DIYs. This is all thanks to the citric acid in the lemons! They help break down stains and are actually safe to use on your colored clothing, unlike bleach. Add about a cup of lemon juice to your laundry to see your clothing come back to life!
5. Tea Tree Oil
This essential oil is a good one for disinfecting and it won’t leave your home smelling like harsh chemicals. You can use tea tree oil in many ways, you can add a few drops to your DIY surface cleaner, or add a few teaspoons to your laundry. Tea tree is a powerful natural anti-fungal essential oil that will most definitely replace your bleach in a heartbeat. Trust us, there's an essential oil for everything!
6. Castile Soap
Castile soap is a one in all product that has a variety of uses. If you’re not a fan of bleach or using anything too strong around your home, you can count on castile soap to help you keep almost everything clean. It is vegetable based, natural, and a very gentle soap that is safe to use around children and pets.
Now, this might sound weird at first but the sun can actually be an awesome bleach alternative and a great disinfectant. The good old hanging your clothes out to dry can have the benefit of whitening your whites just by being under the sun. If you want to limit your dryer machine use to help cut down on the electric bill, and have the space to hang your whites, try it out! It is a natural way to dry your clothing while sanitizing and brightening them all at the same time.