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These Bleach Alternatives Whiten Clothes Without Harsh Chemicals or Overpowering Odors

Like gasoline-powered cars, harsh, chemical-filled cleaning products are slowly being replaced by forward-thinking, eco-friendly solutions. In the same way that electric cars are a greener answer, these cleaning products are often made with natural, eco-friendly ingredients which are less damaging to the environment and have a lower risk of skin irritation. Bleach has been a go-to cleaning product for hundreds of years, but its toxins, pollutants and the potential side effects of using it, are now good motivation to avoid it. Given this, cleaning brands are shooting for a greener future and safer products, meaning the prevalence of bleach alternatives has never been greater.

You may have already come into contact with some of the best bleach alternatives, as many of the non-chemical-based options rely on nothing more than a different approach, often with everyday products you never realized could do the same job. Here are some of the most popular and most effective bleach alternatives:

  • Sunlight – An alternative to bleach can be as simple as hanging your whites out in the sun. The sun’s UV rays work to whiten your clothes in the greenest way possible. Not only does this bleach alternative avoid harsh chemicals, but it also provides a greener alternative to the dryer, further reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Baking Soda – A baking soda boost to your laundry detergent can deliver much brighter results. It should be placed directly into the drum of the machine before adding your dirty laundry on top to help ensure it dissolves properly during the wash.
  • Distilled White Vinegar – Pre-soaking white items in a distilled white vinegar mix can do the same job as bleaching. The recommendation for an ideal solution mix is one part vinegar and six parts warm water.
  • Citric Acid – Lemon juice is a naturally sourced bleach alternative that can provide similar results to bleaching with vinegar. In addition to producing whiter whites, lemon juice can also be used to wash your hair, too.
  • Oxygen-Based Bleach – This option is particularly effective when it comes to whitening your linen or garments. And unlike chlorine bleach, you can use oxygen-based bleach to clean colored garments, too.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Hydrogen peroxide is both tough on stains and great for whitening clothes. It’s also much kinder to the environment than chlorine bleach. This versatile product can also be kept in your first aid kit as well as in the laundry room. For best results, add it into the automatic dispenser to ensure it’s distributed evenly throughout the wash.

We’ve rounded up the best nine bleach alternatives to traditional bleach. These cleaning hacks are better than chlorine bleach for a number of reasons including odor, cost and damage to the environment. Next time you have cleaning products on your shopping list, ensure you choose one of these handy alternatives.

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1. Solimo Hydrogen Peroxide Topical Solution


Solimo Hydrogen Peroxide Topical Solution is an Amazon brand with over 2,000 five-star ratings. In addition to bleaching clothes, it works great as a floor cleaner and is particularly effective for cleaning up pet accidents around the home. It’s suitable for use on almost every solid surface and can also be used to spot clean upholstery. To top it off, hydrogen peroxide is often found in first aid kits as it is a powerful disinfectant for small wounds. This multi-use product is a handy addition to every home.

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2. Mrs. Stewart’s Concentrated Liquid Bluing


Mrs. Stewart’s Concentrated Liquid Bluing is a concentrated solution that should be used in small amounts. A little goes a long way with this bleach alternative so be sure to only use a few drops per load. Despite the small amount of solution required, this clothes whitener can deliver outstanding results and is capable of giving your old linen a new lease of life.

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3. Lucy’s Family Owned Lemon Juice


Save on squeezing time and elbow grease with Lucy’s Family Owned Lemon Juice. This bottled lemon juice makes a fantastic all-natural bleach alternative for lightening your laundry and your hair. This is because the citric acid in the lemon juice acts as a bleaching agent. To top it off, lemon juice has a pleasant fresh smell, which is much kinder and less offensive to your nose than that of chlorine bleach.

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4. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda


Arm & Hammer Baking Soda can be used for baking, cleaning and deodorizing. This affordable bleach alternative is made with natural ingredients, making it free from harsh chemicals. It’s a safe and user-friendly way to clean your home as well as your laundry. Simply sprinkle some baking soda onto a damp cloth and begin cleaning.

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5. The Laundress New York All-Purpose Bleach Alternative


The Laundress New York All-Purpose Bleach Alternative can be used both around the home and in your laundry. It can create a powerful pretreatment for your garments that is able to tackle tough stains and target particular areas you want to clean. Similarly, you can pre-soak pots and pans as well as clothes prior to a machine washing to achieve the best results. For more general use, add a cap full of this bleach alternative to the drum of your washing machine prior to loading the laundry.

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6. Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods


Grab Green Natural Bleach Alternative Pods are both fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. These eco-friendly pods are made in the USA using imported products and are completely cruelty-free. Safety is at the core of the pods’ design which is why they have a plain appearance, naturally sourced ingredients and are intentionally too large for small children to swallow.

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7. Riveda Retractable Clothesline


The Riveda Retractable Clothesline is the laundry accessory you need to make the most of the ultimate natural bleach alternative, sunshine. With one of these straight-line clotheslines in your backyard, you can hang all sizes of linen and garments from their corners to avoid any unwanted marks during the drying process. For the best results, it’s recommended you add lemon juice to the machine for washing prior to hanging everything outside for drying.

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8. Molly’s Suds Natural Oxygen Whitener


Molly’s Suds Natural Oxygen Whitener combines four naturally sourced ingredients, namely sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate, citric acid and pure lemon essential oil. This concoction of earth-derived ingredients is ideal for whitening your bathroom surfaces including sinks, toilets and bathtubs. It also makes a great laundry booster and can be highly effective when spot cleaning a carpet. All in all, this oxygen-based whitener is a versatile bleach alternative.

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9. Lucy’s Family Owned Natural Distilled White Vinegar


With over 6,500 five-star reviews, Lucy’s Family Owned Natural Distilled White Vinegar is a tried-and-tested bleach alternative, backed by existing customers. Once diluted with water, the solution makes a great cleaning spray and can be used to tackle deep odors or stains on carpets in just 15 minutes. Furthermore, it’s highly effective as a sanitizer on both countertops and garments.

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