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House Cleaning Blog

5 Effective Natural Alternatives to Bleach

  Jonathan Teall  |    13 June 2019  |    Laundry Room

A Bleach Free Life, It Means No Worries

Completing a load of laundry makes you feel great. You know that your clothes are going to feel clean and fresh during your daily wear over a busy work week. However, have you ever opened up your dryer only to find the dismaying surprise of bleach speckled clothing? It happens to the best of us. One day you'll be bleaching your towels, bed linens, or even your clothing - and the next time you go to use your washing machine you've completely forgotten about the prior cycle. The leftover bleach does its dirty work and ruins your favorite articles of clothing.

In this article we are going to look into natural, color safe alternatives that you can use to replace the process of routinely bleaching your clothing. Traditional chlorine based bleach is a known irritant of your respiratory system and your skin. You deserve to be able to breathe safely when you're completing your laundry, and especially when you're cleaning your home. You've Got Maids makes it a priority not to use bleach on any of your household surfaces when our maids clean your house. We only use environmentally safe cleaning products on your surfaces, and especially your flooring. If you have a small child in your family, you obviously want them to be safe and healthy the entire time they are in your home. If they're crawling around on flooring cleaned with a chlorine based bleach, you never know what sort of sensitivity they may incur. Let's take a look at how bleach chemically interacts with your clothing. We'll follow that up with a list of natural bleach alternatives that are sure to make you feel safe and healthy.

Start making decisions that allow your home to be even healthier, and ultimately happier than it already is. These tips will make you feel great about completing your weekly laundry, The Ultimate Guide to an Efficient Laundry Room.

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How Does Bleach Work?

The bleach that you may currently use in your laundry cycles contains Hypocloric acid. This whitens your clothing by working as an intense oxidizing agent. The oxidizing properties of the Hypocloric acid work against the dye, or stain composition in order to render them colorless. It targets stains, colored dyes, and odors since these usually have conjugated double carbon bonds. This sort of bond has electrons that are mobile, allowing for them to interact with light. This is actually what produces the color in your garment, as well as the visibility of a possible stain. Chlorine based bleach interacts with the dye, stain, or odor by directly incorporating chlorine into the compound. When the chlorine is added, the double carbon bond is almost always broken. This enables the offending stain to be removed, or at least greatly lightened during the cycle of your washing machine. This all sounds like a great thing for your clothes, right? However, bleach is harsh enough that you have to greatly dilute it when you add it to your clothes for a reason. The active ingredient, Hypocloric acid, has a wide variety of other intense uses. This same acid is used to remove rust from iron and steel during the production process, known as the pickling method. It's also frequently used for breaking apart calcium deposits when bricklayers accidentally get too much mortar on the bricks they're installing. It literally melts the mortar off of the bricks that make up your home. That's why You've Got Maids stays far away from bleach based products, and that's exactly why you should as well.

Healthy Bleach Alternatives

  1. Baking soda - this common kitchen pantry product has a multitude of uses, especially when it comes to cleaning. It whitens, cleanses, acts as an abrasive when it isn't diluted in water... all around, it's the oft-forgotten powerhouse of your cleaning supplies repertoire. Try adding a half cup of baking soda to your washing cycle the next time you need to whiten your whites, remove a stain, or neutralize an offensive odor. It's safe to use in high efficiency washers as well as standard washing machines. 
  2. Vinegar - presoaking your clothing in a mixture of vinegar and water before you begin the washing cycle will also whiten your clothing, and remove offending odors. It's a great solution to making those dirty gym clothes smell great again. 
  3. Lemon juice - this natural, non-toxic acid provides a healthy, organic alternative that doesn't stain your clothes. One cup of lemon juice brightens your load of whites and makes them look new again. Similar to vinegar, the acidic property of the lemon allows it to perform like bleach, but without the harsh chemical side effects.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide - this is a safe way to whiten and brighten your clothes when washing your favorite clothing pieces. Just to err on the side of caution, use one cup of the 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide in your load of laundry, and pour it into the bleach dispenser in your washing machine. Try not to pour the peroxide directly onto your colored clothes, as it may remove speckles of color. However, if it's properly diluted, and handled safely and smartly, hydrogen peroxide is a safer alternative to bleach. If you pour it on your wounds to disinfect them, think about the great disinfecting qualities it will have for your clothing!
  5. Dishwasher Detergent - as strange as it sounds, this soap for your dishes can actually be used to whiten your clothes. Use 1/4 cup of chlorine-free dishwasher detergent and mix it in with your regular laundry detergent to thoroughly clean your clothes and brighten your whites.

You've Got Maids uses eco-friendly cleaning products that are completely free of harsh chemicals, and we never use bleach in your home. If you want to feel comfortable allowing your children to play on the freshly cleaned flooring, book our maids today. Request your free estimate by pressing the button below.