I love to picture myself in a field of lavender, in a flowing white dress, bare feet in the dirt, soaking in the glory of the sun. In reality, I’d look like a dirty hobo. I am a dirt magnet. I do dirty things, often. I am also very accident-prone. (I consider that a wash though, because of course people who do more stuff than other people are more likely to have stuff go wrong!) Anyway… I also love white. I have thrown away many white shirts in my life, possibly enough to clothe a small country. You may be wondering, “uh, haven’t you heard of bleach, you hippie?” Hmm…
The bleach commercials these days are so adorable. Then there’s one that says “If you want clean it has to have bleach in it.” Yeah, that’s a lie. I won’t even call it a white lie to be funny (which would be funny), because there is nothing funny about all the harm bleach can do, or the danger of using it in your home. Bleach is a combination of lye and chlorine. This mix definitely kills germs, whiten whites, removes many a household stain. It is also corrosive to your skin and lungs, which is live organic matter just like that mold in the shower. When mixed with other chemicals, bleach creates some very caustic fumes called VOC’s a.k.a. Volatile Organic Compounds which are toxic. Bleach exacerbates asthma, allergies and even causes new cases in many children. It can slowly build up in the air in small spaces and larger ones, like, say, during hot and cold months when homes are not being aired out. It’s just dangerous. That’s all this hippie needed to know. No bleach in my house.
If you just thought, “Please, tell me, you can kill germs, whiten whites, and remove stains from colors with gentler non toxic cleaners that will not endanger my loved ones,” then you are in luck my friends, keep reading. I have been searching high and low and tried several recipes. On this journey, I have found a mix that works for all of my cleaning needs. This is a remodeled version of a few other recipes, made just to my hippifications.
This color-safe bleach alternative I am promising you the recipe to literally takes some stains out on contact. I am impressed, to say the least. I keep wanting to clean things to see what it will do. It is cheaper than buying real chlorine bleach. There is no odor to burn your nose and lungs, there is no strange sensation if it sits on your skin too long, it will not eat hole in shirts when left on too long (I have done it, many times, as I so dislike laundry). So, let’s get to it!
3/4 C peroxide
1/4 C lemon juice
10-15 drops lemon oil
3/4 C baking soda
7 C water
This will bring you a yellow cloudy mixture which may have some bubbles. Once the mix sits overnight it is clear to white, and over another day will look completely clear. You can use it immediately. Do not be alarmed if using the mix while still yellow to scrub a stain out makes a yellow spot, it will wash out.
For laundry, I add one cup per load, for colors and whites. You can add same amount as you would bleach. I put full strength in spray bottles to clean mini blinds, cabinets and counters, the tub and shower, the base boards and the kitchen sink! I dab onto food stains prior to laundering, most of which are invisible before the item hits the water. The best I’ve cleaned so far was char stains from the grill, boy, they are stubborn. I did a pre-soak on my rags and they are good as new. I keep looking for things to clean!
Need lemon oil? Of course, I’ve got you covered. Shop here: