Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chlorine Free Bleach Alternative

Many chemicals have been documented to have disastrous effects on both the environment and on the physical health of our bodies, including chlorine bleach. For some time I realized that my journey to wellness would need to include ditching all my harsh chemical cleansers.  I had wanted to do that for a while, but I procrastinated. Likely because I had no idea what to use instead of them.  The other thing was that they worked so well I didn't want to give up something that worked only to replace it with something that didn't.  So in a nutshell, it was more 'convenient' for me to hang on to those old chemical based potions than it was to find an alternative. In recent months I bit the bullet and ditched them all - cold turkey.  First I stopped using them and just kept them tucked away in the back corner of my cupboard.  Then I completely got rid of them by giving them away.  Bleach was one potion that I just used up.  ...and now, a couple months later I was wondering what I would use to get my dingy whites white again.  

I found my bleach alternative.  Simple, but effective.  It comes from a blog called Thank Your Body

Thank Your Body's recipe calls for:
- 1 1/2 Cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 1/2 Cup lemon juice
- 10 - 20 drops of lemon essential oil
- 1 gallon distilled water.

Thank Your Body's Instructions:
1. Mix all ingredients together in a gallon jug. Gently shake to combine.
2. Use one cup of homemade bleach in your washing cycle to whiten whites. 

I hardly ever follow a recipe to a T.  This time was no exception.  I didn't have lemon essential oil on hand...so I didn't use it.  I also didn't have 1/2 a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice....so I used bottled lemon juice....I also didn't have a gallon jug....so I used an empty 1 litre juice bottle. My proportions were also different.  1 litre water, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 cup hydrogen peroxide...no essential oils.

Before throwing this in with a whole load of whites, I decided to try it on a single t-shirt.  I diluted a couple cups of the 'bleach' alternative solution in a bowl with some water and added my dingy T.  After letting it sit for a couple of hours I came back and gave it a rinse out.  The t-shirt is whiter - for sure.  But it isn't a miracle solution as it did not take the pit stains out (you know, those unsightly yellowed areas under the arm from deodorant and sweat). Well, bleach never got rid of these little yellow stains either, so I suppose that's ok.  I'll have to keep searching for a solution for that.  As a whitener of whites, it was a success. So now I have  new bottle to add to my homemade solutions in the laundry room - clearly labelled and sitting pretty on the shelf.


Anonymous said...

I love peroxide. I disinfect our toothbrushes with it regularly, and buy it by the gallon at the Independent to use in the bathroom and laundry.
I have a tip for preventing the yellow stains - spirulina. It truly is a "super food". Say bye-bye to body odour, which means no more deodorant that has chemical reaction and stains. It takes about a week of regular use, but it really does work!
Nice work on ditching the chemical cleaners.

Gluten Free Mom said...

I had no idea it was available by the gallon. I will definitely be looking for it now. I soak our toothbrushes in peroxide too. Great to kill all the germs...
Spirulina huh? I don't use deodorant much these days but I'd still be willing to give the spirulina a go.