Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Alternatives to using bleach

These are some of the tips for cleaning without bleach that I found. 

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The main purposes for bleach are to whiten and disinfect. So here are some tips:
  • To whiten stained spots on clothing: put some lemon juice on the spot, rub in a bit of salt, and leave it in the sun for an hour or two. It lifts the stain.
  • To clean spills from health contaminants (raw meat or eggs in the kitchen, urine in the bathroom): Straight vinegar is a great disinfectant. I advise keeping a sponge with vinegar near your cutting boards for frequent use.
  • To whiten laminate counter tops: Bon Ami - it’s a powder found at the grocery store in a canister - usually right next to Bar Keeper’s friend (which also works relatively well. But we prefer Bon Ami - it uses less elbow grease, and less elbow grease means more cleaning stamina!). We’ve removed coffee stains, raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry stains, and marks from the bottom of pots and pans.
  • To disinfect:
    • Borax: buy it in the supermarket where they sell detergents - in my grocery store it’s next to the powdered dishwasher detergents. Borax is a powder and is safe to mix with virtually anything. Combine it with some vinegar, lemon juice, or just plain water to clean virtually anything. It’s completely harmless and safe to use. Gloves and ventilation not required (as opposed to bleach).
    • Vinegar: it disinfects, kills mold, bacteria, and germs. (As an aside: bleach does not kill mold - it just whitens it so you don’t see it. But bleach will leave living mold spores that will continue to grow.) Vinegar’s potency is released when combined with salt, so for a nice strong disinfectant add some salt to your vinegar, dilute with water if you’d like, and spray away. I just used it to clean the toilet seat in the bathroom where my little girl is potty-training. It works remarkably well.

Tip: After clothes have spun dry in the washer, hang them to dry in the sun. Sunshine is a natural bleach.


Finally, adding 1/4 cup of washing soda or borax to a load of wash will whiten whites and brighten colors.


 For household disinfecting, the best alternative to bleach is borax. Borax, baking soda and lemon juice combine to form an excellent cleaner and disinfectant. For bleaching clothes, dry oxygen bleach work well, as does borax. Or try adding 1/2 cup of white vinegar to your laundry load. If these fail to do the job, try non-chlorinated bleach.

If you are still sold on chlorine bleach, remember the following:

  • Never mix bleach with other cleaners
  • Always wear protective gloves when using bleach
  • Use only in well-ventilated areas with plenty of fresh air
  • Store bleach in a well-ventilated area away from children

These are a few recent pictures of Rylie.

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Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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1 comment:

ljat1 said...

I've been phasing out the harsher chemical cleansers.  Seems the older I've gotten, the harder they are to be around!  I've switched to vinegar primarily.  I didn't know that business about bleach not killing mold -- only bleaching it.  Thanks for these tips!  Hope you're having a great day!  Linda