Many people think bleach is a miracle cleaner that gets rid of germs and stains on white laundry and effective cleans and sanitizes areas around the home. However, bleach is dangerous and not nearly as effective at cleaning as many think. At Prestige Cleaners, we always recommend rather than using bleach on clothing to bring your items into one of our eight Scottsdale locations so that we can properly whiten and brighten them without damage.
Why don’t we recommend bleach? Here’s why:
Have you ever used bleach products and coughed or felt a burning in your throat? What about that slimy feeling of bleach on your skin? Both are signs of bleach reacting in negative ways with human cells. It’s highly corrosive to the skin, lungs, and eyes, and can cause chemical burns and ulcerations. But, those are not the only concerns. Did you know?
- Chlorine is a gas at room temperature. In its gaseous form, chlorine can create dioxins, a known cancer-causing compound related to infertility, diabetes, birth defects, immune disorders, and more
- Chlorine and dish soap create mustard gas, a deadly gas used in World War I.
- Chlorine is especially harmful to pets because of their small air capacity
- Chlorine increases asthma and allergy symptoms if inhaled
- Chlorine and ammonia combined create a toxic gas that can stop lung function. Urine contains ammonia, so if you use bleach in the toilet, it can create this gas
Meanwhile, not only is bleach harmful, it isn’t an effective all-purpose cleaner. It doesn’t contain surfactants and therefore will not lift and remove dirt and grime. So, if you’re using bleach to sanitize, it has to be used on a clean surface or else it’s not effective. Plus, you’ll have to let it sit on the surface for about 10 to 15 minutes to kill germs, increasing the chances of fume inhalation. Also, bleach can damage many surfaces, including wood, metal, and fabric.
With that in mind, here are some natural bleach alternatives for laundry that can also be used for all-purpose cleaning around the home
- Baking soda: Baking soda freshens, whitens, and softens fabrics. Combine ½ cup of baking soda along with your regular laundry detergent. For spot stains, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply directly to the fabric.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide can be used in the kitchen, laundry room, and even the bathroom as a hygienic aid. To brighten laundry, add ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide with laundry detergent. Mix in a spray bottle with a bit of water and use it in your kitchen to clean surfaces and even vegetables of bacteria.
- Lemon juice: The acidic properties of lemon make them a non-toxic way to disinfect things like cutting boards and trays, while leaving behind a pleasant scent. Lemon juice also brightens and freshens fabrics. Add ½ cup of lemon juice along with your regular laundry detergent.
Keep in mind that many fabrics need special care and that the above natural bleach alternatives may damage certain clothing. Spot check before use and/or bring your items into one of Prestige Cleaners’ eight convenient Scottsdale locations so that we can properly address your concerns and clean your clothing properly.