Bleach was one of the tougher things for me to let go of. I didn’t think I could do loads of white laundry without it. It was one of the later things I tried to replace or just remove. I knew it had to go but kind of ignored how toxic it is so I could hang on to it a bit longer. More on the toxicity of common bleach later but here’s the scoop:
⚠️ Bleach is an asthmagen, according to The Association of Environmental and Occupational Clinics (AOEC). This means it can contribute to and exacerbate asthma symptoms. It also contributes to respiratory issues and has been connected to respiratory cancers.
I once bought “chlorine free bleach” and when I got it home I looked at the ingredients. It’s basically peroxide but costs a lot more. So I switched to buying bulk peroxide and using that instead of bleach.
I learned that fabrics look bright white when they’re first purchased due to being dyed with a touch of blue. The blue reflects more light causing the white to appear brighter. Have you ever put a brand new white shirt next to one that has been washed a number of times? There’s a difference. That blue has been washed out.
I remembered my mom used liquid bluing in our hair as kids when it turned green after spending a lot of things in chlorinated water. I found the bluing and tried it with my clothes and, boom! Brighter white clothes WITHOUT BLEACH!
Liquid bluing is a blue iron suspended in water. It has a very small amount of biocide to prevent bacterial growth. One bottle like this lasts me a year or more. I’ve been a bluing girl for years and years now and have not had one instance where I felt the need to return to bleach for laundry. Or anything else, but more on that another time.
For instructions for your particular machine, check the Mrs. Stewart’s website. It’s linked in my laundry highlight and I show step by step how I use it in my beloved and ridiculously beat up and dinosaur era top loader with agitator.
Essentially it’s going to be something like: add 1/4 tsp bluing to a quart of water and mix well. Pour that into your full machine or bleach dispenser. Make sure there aren’t blue droplets because they will stain. Do a test run on to be safe