If you’ve checked the tags on the back of your clothes recently you’ll see that a lot of light clothing has a “no chlorine bleach” line on them. So how can you keep those white’s looking clean without adding bleach to your wash cycle? Here are some tips and tricks to improve your household laundry management without the harsh chemicals.
1. Solar Power
No, you don’t have to invest in photovoltaic cells for this one, just an old-fashioned laundry line. It turns out that just letting your whites hang out in the sun for awhile can bleach them naturally.
2. Baking Soda
Make up a mixture of 4 liters of water and 1 cup of baking soda, drop in your whites and let them soak for awhile then wash normally. The baking soda soak will get your clothes fresh and bright.
Put your whites into your washing machine, fill with water, add 5-7 aspirin (white, NOT color coated!), and let soak for several hours. The aspirin breaks down the elements that cause the yellowing of your clothes.
This is an old-fashioned, tried and true method for whitening whites. You can find a bluing agent at your local grocery store in the laundry aisle. Kids have been using this stuff to do science experiments for years, but it’s got a longer history as a laundry aid. Just make sure your follow the instructions carefully or your whites may actually turn blue!
Borax is a natural water softening agent and when added to your regular wash cycle can help remove built up stains and whiten your laundry. This is an old method that still works today.
6. Ammonia rinse
Over time, detergents and softeners can build up in the fibers of your clothes and linens. Sometimes all that’s needed to get your whites white is to rinse all that junk out. Try running your clothes through a wash cycle without detergent. Just add in a small amount of ammonia to the wash and then dry normally.
7. Lemon Juice
Adding a cup of lemon juice to your wash can also brighten your wash. The acidic nature of the juice helps to break down stains and chemical build-up. The bonus to this method is your clothes come out smelling lemon fresh.
8. White Vinegar
Vinegar is a natural softener and can not only brighten your whites but also make your clothes more comfortable to wear. Try adding a cup to your next wash cycle to perk up your whites.
9. Dishwasher Soap
Most households have a dishwasher so this easy bleach-free option is probably sitting under your kitchen sink. Just mix in a few tablespoons with your regular detergent and the dishwashing soap can brighten up your whites and light clothes.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide
You might not know this, but hydrogen peroxide is the genius ingredient behind the wild success of the “oxygen” cleaning agents. Try adding a cup of this readily available, inexpensive cleaner to your next batch of laundry and see an improvement in the brightness of your clothes.