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Keeping Your Whites White: 7 Gentler Alternatives To Bleach

May 15th, 2013

There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your bright white clothing get dull, dingy, and – ew! – yellowed as time wears on. And bleach, as efficient as it may be, isn’t always the safest or most healthy approach to keeping your whites light and bright.

But for many, the bleaching process is a super important step during laundry time. To help you keep your whites, well, white without the harsh chemicals of bleach, we’ve compiled these 7 easy and more gentle alternatives to bleach that will keep your white clothes and linens bright and fresh.

1.) Baking Soda: Adding 1/2 of a cup of baking soda to your normal detergent will add a surge of cleaning power to your wash. Baking soda not only whitens, but it also softens fabric. If you need a powerful cleaner for spot stains, mix baking soda with water to create a spot stain paste that you can apply directly to the stain.

2.) Dishwasher Detergent: If you have dishwasher detergent on hand, add a 1/4 cup to your usual laundry detergent for a boost of whitening power.

3.) Distilled White Vinegar: If you want an all-natural whitener, freshener, and softener, add 1/2 of a cup of distilled white vinegar to your regular detergent. You can also spray it onto spot stains or on underarm stains to neutralize yellowing and odor.

4.) Lemon Juice: To freshen and brighten your clothing naturally, add a 1/2 cup of undiluted fresh lemon juice to your normal wash detergent.

5.) Hydrogen Peroxide: Functioning as a non-chlorine bleach, 3% hydrogen peroxide is a powerful whitener when you add 1/2 of a cup alongside your normal laundry detergent.

6.) Lemon Pre-Soak: For an efficient pre-wash soak to whiten and freshen laundry, treat your clothes to an all-natural lemon pre-soak. First, fill a large part with water and a whole sliced lemon. Then bring to a boil, turn off heat, and add  in your items, allowing them to soak for at least an hour before putting them into a normal load of wash.

7.) Sunlight: For a completely 100% natural, product-free, and chemical-free whitening, harness the power of the sun by hanging out your laundry to dry in the sun. Natural sunlight not only brightens and whitens, but it will keep your clothes smelling fresh and natural.

 Will you be trying any of these bleach alternatives?