Even the word “bleach” sounds abrasive. You might think that having bleach in your home is an absolute must, but there are many alternatives to this evil chemical that actually work.
Bleach just seems so wrong doesn’t it? There’s a reason this cheap cleaner has such a bad rap. Did you know that prolonged exposure to bleach can cause new asthma? In fact, in 2012, the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics named bleach an asthmagen. This means that bleach can actually CAUSE asthma, not just cause an attack in someone who already has it. Looks like bleach plays the long game.
Bleach is also known to cause inflammation in the lungs as well as irritate the eyes and skin. In 2011, bleach was the cause of 34,000 calls to U.S. poison control centers. Little does everyone know, there are many alternatives to bleach that work just as well, if not better, AND aren’t dangerous to use.
Have you ever used one of those stain remover sticks from the convenience store? Do you want to know what that magical liquid is made of? It’s 100 percent pure hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is considered to be a “mild antiseptic” and is safe to use directly on the skin. Put a dash of it into your white load of laundry and revel in how fresh and white they look! It sounds crazy, but you can even bleach your body parts! Now don’t go putting it in your eyes. It can hurt just like any liquid does. Try lightening your hair with it or even whiten your teeth by swishing a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water in your mouth for about a minute each day.
2. White Vinegar
A great way to get your clothes fresh and white again is to soak them in a white vinegar solution overnight before washing them the next day. Fill a large pot with water and add about one cup of white distilled vinegar. Add in your stubborn whites and leave them to soak overnight. You get that same fresh and clean feeling you would have normally gotten from regular bleach except this time, no one’s at risk for asthma.
3. Baking Soda
This isn’t rocket science, you know…we have all heard that baking soda can be used as an alternative cleaner. What makes this white powder so powerful is its alkalinity. When baking soda comes in contact with dirt it causes it to dissolve almost instantly when mixed with water. Add 1/2 cup to your laundry to get that baking soda-fresh feeling all week long. You probably won’t be hearing that in commercials any time soon, but now you know the truth.
Everyone has that hippie friend who puts lemon juice in their hair to dye it blond. Lemon juice, although probably the most expensive alternative, will give your laundry that lemony fresh scent that money simply cannot buy. I wouldn’t use it as a cleaner since there is a small amount of fruit sugar in it and therefore it can get a teeny bit sticky. When you use it in the wash, it’s mixed with soap, so that’s totally fine. Add about a 1/2 cup to your laundry and get a good sniff in afterwards.
5. The Sun
Yes, the sun is the ultimate bleach machine. Drying your whites in the sun will keep them looking bright and fresh for a long time. Think about what the sun does to your skin, or your favorite rug. Although it will do nothing for stains and dirt, sunlight brightens up everything it touches — even our point of view. Aw.