Sunday, October 9, 2011

Homemade Bleach Alternative

When we clean our bathroom, kitchen, or laundry we certainly have expectations that must be met. We expect that mold, grime, odor, and stains all be removed, right? We especially want our clothes to smell nice and fresh. Unfortunately, we are beginning to learn that commercial product producers are using harsh, toxic chemicals in order to meet our expectations.

For those of us concerned with providing for the overall health of our families, this poses a serious problem!

One of those products is in fact a traditional household cleaner…bleach. This may not be a surprise to you as the harmful side effects of bleach have been known to consumers for many decades. However, it remains as one of the leading poisons found in most homes.

Harmful effects of using bleach include, but are not limited to:

· Irritation to the eyes
· Respiratory system irritation
· Throat irritation
· Severe allergic reaction with skin contact

There is a more natural, safe alternative. The homemade bleach alternative.








Homemade Bleach Alternative

- 1 ½ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
- ½ cup white vinegar or lemon juice
- Pure water to fill gallon jug
- 10 drops lemon or lemongrass essential oils (optional/omit if using lemon juice)

Pour hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or lemon juice, and essential oils in gallon jug. Add water to fill. Cap and store.

Notes:

-This is a color-safe bleach alternative.

-Add a cup of homemade bleach alternative to the wash for brighter, softer clothing.

-May be used in bath, tub, and toilet cleaning.

-No need to dilute.

-For tough-on stains soak clothing in a bucket with this solution. You may also spray on stains prior to washing.



UPDATE: I humbly admit that I was unaware of the resulting product created when combining hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. In their purest and most concentrated forms, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide form a compound called Peracetic acid. Known for it's santitizing properties, I consider it still an excellent alternative to bleach. However, there is conflicting research regarding it's use. This recipe utilizes a very diluted form of Peracetic acid and our family has used it without harmful effects. Research this, learn and determine what is best for you and your family. A nice alternative to this alternative (smile) is to substitue lemon juice for the vinegar. And please feel the freedom to join in the discussion concerning this topic so we can all learn together. Please share with us all what you discover!

Leave us a comment letting us know your thoughts on bleach? Have you ever used a bleach alternative? What were your results?

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You can see this post and a host of others like it here: Homestead Barn Hop, Homemaker Mondays, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, New Nostalgia, Tip Junkie, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Growing Home: Teach Me Tuesday, Healthy 2day Wednesdays, Homemaking Link-Up, Simple Lives Thursday, Your Green Resource, Living Well

28 Comments:

At October 9, 2011 at 11:25 PM , Blogger Penniless Parenting said...

I love this idea!! Thanks!

 
At October 10, 2011 at 4:29 AM , Blogger daisy said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. I've been thinking about doing it, and now you've made it easy! Blessings...

 
At October 10, 2011 at 5:59 AM , Blogger Simply Maye said...

Thank you so much for sharing this!

 
At October 10, 2011 at 7:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can this be used on colored clothing?

 
At October 10, 2011 at 7:25 AM , Blogger Andrea said...

@Anonymous Absolutely! This is a color-safe product. You may use it in the wash with colors or you can even soak colored clothing in the solution for tough-on stains. Great question:)

 
At October 10, 2011 at 8:02 AM , Blogger Cammie said...

http://www.michaelandjudystouffer.com/judy/articles/vinegar.htm

The end of this article says not to mix vinegar and HP... I thought I had head not to do this. Anybody have any info on the safety of mixing these?

 
At October 10, 2011 at 8:47 AM , Blogger mommy2_5 said...

Thanks so much for this recipe. I've been looking for an affordable bleach alternative. Does this recipe lose effectiveness if stored longer than a couple of weeks? Thanks!

 
At October 10, 2011 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Andrea said...

@Cammie Thank you for bringing this to light! I was unaware of this and after doing some brief research on this topic I have ammended the post information slightly! I am not all that concerned honestly because this is a super old recipe used for many, many decades. It is a quite diluted form of Peracetic acid (which is a weaker acid than the two on their own). And my family has used it without ill effects for a while now. It's still considered by most as an safe, effective disinfectant. Nonetheless, a nice substitution for the vinegar would be lemon juice:) I would love for this discussion to continue so that we may all continue to learn from each other and our research.

Thank you again for commenting on this!

 
At October 10, 2011 at 9:02 AM , Blogger Andrea said...

@mommy2_5 The recipe if used with vinegar is shelf stable for up to a year. However, if you are using the lemon juice it may go rancid and I would estimate a shelf life of 3-4 weeks. Thank you for your question:)

 
At October 10, 2011 at 9:56 AM , Blogger Eliza J said...

I can't wait to try this! Thanks so much.

 
At October 10, 2011 at 11:33 AM , Anonymous Jen said...

This is a super awesome idea! I can't wait to try this! I love the fact that I can "bleach" and it will smell good and not be toxic! Yea . . .

 
At October 10, 2011 at 1:35 PM , Anonymous Nichole said...

This is going on my "to do" list of homemade cleaners to make! Thanks :)

 
At October 10, 2011 at 6:16 PM , Anonymous KirstineC said...

Excellent! My little one's cloth diapers look new! I soaked them overnight, washed, & line dried in the sun...thank you so much!

 
At October 10, 2011 at 6:40 PM , Blogger Simple Pleasures said...

Hi,
I just found your blog and love it! I can't wait to try this recipe! Please stop by and visit me. I am your newest follower.
Michelle

 
At October 11, 2011 at 12:34 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

LOVE this and can't wait to try it out! I have "greened" up nearly everything in my house with the exception of my occasional use of bleach. Thrilled to have found a possible alternative! Thanks for sharing!

 
At October 11, 2011 at 7:57 PM , Blogger Angela said...

Here's another alternative: H2O2 and baking soda. You only need a little of each. I've used this for years. I just keep them separate in the laundry room and add them in the wash. I let it agitate for a few moments then turn off the washer for about 20 minutes for really tough stains. For a regular wash I just keep letting it wash. It works best in warm or hot water. Also, if you use vinegar or lemon juice in the rinse you can sun bleach much faster. Once my Father-in-law had some clothes that had been his as a baby covered in mold. I was able to get it all completely clean and stain free again after a few washes this way. Some of it was crochet things so I had to be very careful with them.

 
At October 12, 2011 at 1:38 AM , Blogger artemisinva said...

Regarding the concentration issue of the vinegar and H2O2, that wouldn't apply in this instance since we are adding water???

 
At October 12, 2011 at 6:26 AM , Blogger Andrea said...

@Artemisinva Correct. At least that is the way I understand it from my reading:) It is quite diluted, yet effective!

 
At October 13, 2011 at 9:38 AM , Anonymous Andrea @ The Greenbacks Gal said...

I was just thinking the other day how I'd love a recipe for this! Bleach was recommended for a grouting project we have and I don't buy it and didn't have a substitute for it - so thanks!

 
At October 13, 2011 at 9:22 PM , Blogger artemisinva said...

I put some together today but I only had 2 liter bottle to use. Despite the different amount of water I am happy to report it works great!!!

 
At October 19, 2011 at 5:44 AM , Anonymous Erin@TheHumbledHomemaker said...

Congrats for being featured in today's Healthy 2Days Wednesday link-up! I am guest hosting the hop today for Rachel, and she let me choose the top 3 posts! Thanks for entering, and I hope you will visit and link up today! :)

 
At October 19, 2011 at 5:03 PM , Blogger Amy said...

Does it need to be lemon EO? I clean almost exclusively with EOs, but I don't think I have lemon on hand. I'm assuming that other EOs would be beneficial as well, but I thought I'd ask =)

Thanks for the recipe, I'll try it out in tomorrow's wash!

 
At October 19, 2011 at 5:14 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

@Amy Good question:) It does not need to be lemon essential oil. Use anything you have on hand!

 
At October 26, 2011 at 12:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have severe chemical allergies and cannot use bleach in any form. Therefore we use a cleanser made from 2 parts vinegar, 2 parts borax, 1 part lemon juice and 1 part fine grain salt. The recipe looks something like this: 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup borax powder, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup salt. Mix the vinegar and borax together first, then add the lemon juice and salt. This removes 99% of the grime, mold, mildew and stains. It doesn't do much for rust stains, though. It also makes a great sub for laundry soap when you are out. We also will use the vinegar and peroxide solution, but spray them from separate bottles to avoid creating the Peracetic Acid. I use this after preparing raw meat and for disinfecting the compost can and trash cans.

 
At November 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM , Blogger Ilene said...

I'm glad to see this recipe, thanks for posting it! I use homemade laundry soap and while everything smells clean, it leaves a little to be desired in removing stains. Chlorine bleach is bad for the septic tank AND it rots the fabric eventually. It's especially hard on anything that has elastic. One question though. I've been told that peroxide loses its effectiveness when stored in a container that allows in light. Would that be the case with this mixture, or would the fact that the addition of the vinegar has changed its composition be the difference?

 
At December 8, 2011 at 1:59 AM , Blogger Vicky S. said...

Interesting information. As a former Master Food Preserver and Food Safety Educator we used vinegar and Peroxide to sanitize cutting boards. Just keep them in separate spray bottles, and when cleaning spray one then the other till it runs off the board into the sink. Let sit for 5 minutes then finish washing board off. I will have to try this for my wash now too.

 
At December 15, 2011 at 5:18 AM , Anonymous HardestyMom01 said...

I just wanted to thank you for posting this recipe for bleach. i just ran out and refused to buy chlorine bleach again, and I am so happy I found yours. I have made and used mine for cleaning and laundry. I love it! i told my mother about it and will be making her some today. Also, I hope you do not mine, but I placed this in my cleaning recipe book which I hope to pass on to my daughters some day.

 
At December 17, 2011 at 12:02 PM , Anonymous Jennifer McMaster said...

We use bleach in our pool instead of the chlorine tabs; anyone know if this solution would sanitize a pool?

 

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