Do you use pesticides when laundering your clothes and linens? Chlorine bleach remains America’s go-to laundry solution for whitening clothes and removing stains. Yet, the US Environmental Protection Agency classifies Chlorine Bleach as an antimicrobial pesticide. The task of washing clothes does not require the use of harsh chemicals. In the journey to provide more natural, health enhancing products and surroundings for our loved ones, the products we place on our laundry room shelf must be carefully selected for reasons beyond what gets socks the whitest.
What’s Wrong with Chlorine Bleach?
There are no government guidelines, testing, purity standards or requirements of companies making household cleaning products. Checking the label for ingredients won’t suffice as companies are not required to fully disclose its product ingredients. The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires warning labels on products that are irritating, flammable, corrosive, toxic and combustible. The commission has banned some drain cleaners, and a few other products, but bleach remains on the grocery shelves and in our laundry rooms, even though there are thousands of emergency room visits each year due to bleach skin and eye burns, and children swallowing this poisonous and corrosive chemical. Chlorine bleach is irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory system. When inhaled, bleach can cause damage and deterioration of the esophagus and lungs. It is just as corrosive and damaging to fabric, but we are convinced that everything should be bleached white. And for those with septic tanks, the use of chlorine bleach should be avoided.
While we do not know all the ingredients in household chlorine bleach, we do know that it is dangerous and toxic to our health, our families and the environment. The good news--There is a safer bleach alternative you can make and use in your washing machine, without the potential health or injury risks.
DIY Bleach Alternative
1 ½ cups 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/2 cup lemon juice
Water to fill a gallon jug
12 drops lemon essential oil
Place a funnel in the top of a gallon jug and pour in the hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice. Remove the funnel and fill the jug with water. Add the lemon essential oil. Cap the jug and shake to combine.
Add one cup of the bleach alternative solution along with your cleaning liquid to washing machine with whites. The clothes will come out of the washer with the fresh, clean fragrance of lemon.
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Naturally Living, a freelance writer and the author of the full-color book, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats: 55 Fresh-from-the-Blender Recipes. It is available on Amazon and Here.