It is a well-known fact that it takes a great deal of effort to keep our whites looking clean and sharp. On top of the potential mud and grass stains, or stains from clothing or drinks, even our own personal sweat and oils are enough to stain white clothing, causing them to lose their fresh, sharp glow.
Often, we reach for the best-known solution, bleach, however, have you been educated on the many risks that are associated with using bleach? Often relied upon not only for keeping your clothes looking their whitest white but also for removing mold and mildew from showers and tubs, as well as for its disinfectant abilities.
However, all it takes is a few minutes reading the label of any bleach bottle to realize that it may not be the safest choice. Highly corrosive, it is cited as being an irritant for the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Inhalation of bleach fumes has been connected with the deterioration of the lungs as well as the lining of the esophagus. While these reactions will not likely be seen on your first use, these effects come to be with repeated exposure to the chemical.
We all want what’s best for our families, protecting them from unnecessary harm and chemical exposure within our own homes. For this reason, here are 10 natural alternatives for your next laundry day:
- Pass on the Detergent
With each load that you wash your favorite detergents and dryer sheets add residue to your clothing. This residue will add a yellowish tint to your white clothes, causing them to lose their brightness. Good Housekeeping recommends that every few loads you run a cycle free of detergent, adding only a small amount of ammonia to the load. This will clean your clothes of the residue build up.
- Add a Little Vinegar
White vinegar has been found to have many benefits for your laundry. Adding vinegar to your laundry load will work to brighten your clothing and soften the fabric.
- Dishwasher Soap Can Do Double Duty
Your favorite dishwasher detergent may also serve another use in your home – helping to whiten your whites! Blend a small amount into your laundry detergent and wash your whites like normal. Note: Only use eco-friendly dishwasher detergents for this purpose.
- Pick Up Some Borax
Borax has long been relied upon for its magic in the laundry room. Adding a bit of Borax to your laundry load will work to remove residue from any staining, restore color and brightness, and soften the water.
- Harness the Power of Citrus
The use of citrus has long been acknowledged for its cleaning properties, often added to everything from household cleaners to floor polishes. Martha Stewart suggests that you boil your whites with lemons, allowing them to soak in boiling water for approximately an hour will keep your whites looking clean and fresh. Adding lemon juice to your regular wash cycle will also help provide a little boost.
- Create a Soak out of Baking Soda
Combine 4L of water with 1 cup of baking soda to create a homemade baking soda soak. Allow our clothes to soak prior to cleaning in order to remove stains and restore your whites to nearly new condition.
- Trust in the Sun
Rather than dropping your clothing into the dryer, hang your freshly washed whites out to dry. The Keeper of the Home states that the sun will naturally whiten your clothes by bleaching them, without the smell and build up of conventional chemicals.
- Whiter Whites with Hydrogen Peroxide
According to PopSugar, hydrogen peroxide works as an oxidizer, bringing your whites back to life. Adding a little to your laundry load will dissolve residue and brighten your whites with the effectiveness of a store-bought whitening agent.
- A little Aspirin Can Clear Your Laundry Headaches
Does laundry give you a headache? Aspirin can bust that headache in more ways than one! Dissolve 5 white aspirin into a tub of water (colored aspirin may stain your clothes), then add your clothes and allow them to soak. The aspirin will work to break down the dirt and grime that causes the yellowing of your whites. After a good soak, toss them into your washer and wash like normal.
- Always Separate Your Loads
Always ensure when doing your laundry to separate your whites from the rest of your clothing. Washing your whites with other clothes, even light colors, will cause the color to transfer giving your whites a grayish appearance.