In 1913, America’s first bleach factory – the Electro-Alkaline Company – was founded. The company began manufacturing its industrial-strength bleach in 1914 and named its product Clorox. [Source]
Three years later, Clorox started becoming a part of American households after it was marketed to consumers at the California State Fair.
Bleach does sanitize and disinfect. It purifies water and removes odors. But it’s corrosive. It burns skin and damages the esophagus and respiratory, eyes, and lungs.
Sodium hypochlorite, the active ingredient in chlorine bleach, reacts with many cleaning products [Source]:
- If paired with ammonia, the combination will create toxic chloramine vapors.
- If mixed with certain cleaners – like some toilet bowl cleaners, window cleaners, drain cleaners, dishwasher detergents, or vinegar – chlorine gas will be produced.
As a homemaker, I’d rather avoid using a product that is known to cause harm. Because there are safe disinfecting alternatives, I’m happy to use them.
Hydrogen peroxide is my go-to natural bleach alternative.
Many oxygen bleach products are also rated as safe (they’ve received A’s from the Environmental Working Group), so when I need to whiten my laundry, I use them.
As another way to whiten and brighten laundry, try white vinegar as a bleach substitute.
Tea tree oil also is an effective natural disinfectant, and I’ve heard that clove, lavender, lemon, peppermint, and rosemary essential oils all have disinfecting properties.
In my own home, I use my Norwex microfiber cloths to disinfect surfaces. (Disclosure: I am an Norwex independent sales representative – because I love and use their microfiber products) The microfiber removes germs and dirt from surfaces, then the silver in the antibac cloth purifies the microfiber by destroying bacteria cells.
How do you naturally sanitize your home – or brighten your laundry – without using bleach?
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