Is there another way to get white clothing and bedding bright without using bleach? Recently, I’ve been searching for a healthier alternative because the toxins in chlorine bleach scare me a little. For years, my mom used chlorine bleach to get the stains out of our white linens and it worked like a charm. Little did I know that chlorine bleach, often labeled as “sodium hypochlorite,” can irritate the lungs and cause chronic respiratory problems. Usually these conditions occur if you’re storing your chlorine bleach in poorly ventilated rooms and breathing in its toxic fumes.
Now that I’m on my own, I decided to make a Bleach/Brightener Substitute to save money and stay healthy. I added tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) to the recipe for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Though the substitute didn’t get all the spots out of my whites, it did make them very bright. I’m still on the hunt for a healthier homemade stain remover, but for now I’ll use this recipe to make my whites glow.
Photo by Taylor Miller
• 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
• 1 1/4 cup lemon or grapefruit juice
• 12 cups water
1. Mix together and store in a 1 gallon container.
Recipe from Clean, Naturally: Recipes for Body, Home, and Spirit by Sandy Maine. Interweave Press, 2001.
For more information on cleaning your home naturally, visit our blog series Naturally Clean.