I was so used to using chlorine bleach in my home thinking it was the only way to clean effectively. What I didn't realise was the impact it had on my health, my family's well being and the environment. Corrosive and harmful Chlorine bleach has become commonplace in the home, we’ve been sold a dream of easy cleaning unknowingly putting ourselves at risk.
Why is Chlorine bleach harmful?
Chlorine bleach, especially made for home cleaning, is generally a mixture of synthetic chemicals, the main component being sodium hypochlorite. When used in consumer and industrial products it is used to kill bacteria in our drinking water and swimming pools, to bleach paper and to make PVC. It was used as a chemical weapon in WW1, the Syrian Civil War and Iraq, it is extremely toxic.
This toxic chemical can be harmful in many ways, not to mention exposure causing coughing, sneezing and fatigue. A 30 year Harvard study has shown that regular use of the product (at least once a week) can pose a 32% increase in developing fatal lung disease.
Upon discovering this information it became paramount to me to find an alternative bleach.
What is oxygen bleach?
Oxygen bleach (Sodium percarbonate) is made from sodium carbonate and oxygen. When exposed to water it releases oxygen which works to release stains and dirt, there is little that these wondrous little beads can’t tackle. This environmentally friendly alternative is the perfect replacement for your usual bleach products without sacrificing your cleaning effectiveness. Unlike chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach is non toxic, non abrasive and can be combined with other cleaning products.
How to use Alternative bleach
Here’s a list of my favourite ways to use Alternative bleach:
- Whiten your laundry naturally- Use together with detergent, I add two capfuls to my load to whiten my children’s bibs and clothing. Always use hot water to activate the solution.
- Sanitise and lift stubborn stains: add a capful of alternative bleach to hot water and soak items for half an hour, or overnight if possible to combat those ingrained stains that just won’t budge.
- Dirty dishes: Add half a cap to our dishwash for a thorough clean of your dishes, great for those stubborn bits of grime that are determined to stay put.
- Clean tiles and grout: Combine 2 capfuls to scented Vinegar for a deeper clean, the combination will provide beautifully shiny tiles.
- Freshen Upholstery and carpets: I often sprinkle this on my dog’s bed, carpets or upholstery for a minimum of half an hour or preferably overnight for the best result, then vacuum to soak up nasty odours.
- Cleanse the dishwasher: Add one capful to the bottom of the machine to get rid of nasty odours and limescale build up. I tend to do this every couple of weeks, it keeps my kitchen fresh and the dishwasher working as it should.
- Effective floor cleaner: Add two caps to hot water, mix into a solution to clean floors effectively and thoroughly, being fragrance free you won’t be left with that overwhelming chemical smell.
- Stain remover: use a teaspoon and just enough water to turn into a paste to cover the stain then simply pop in with your normal load to remove those tougher blemishes and for targeted stains. Avoid using it on delicate fabrics such as silk, leather or wool.
I love to learn and I'm often researching natural alternatives for a healthier lifestyle for me and my family. I hope that by sharing my own findings that you too, will benefit from learning about the uses of alternative bleach, not to mention a healthier impact on the planet. Do let me know if you have any other uses, I would love to hear how you use alternative bleach and how it’s impacted your cleaning habits.