The global chaos, expensive products and numerous health warnings have made a growing number of people aware of the possible dangers of the regular use of potentially dangerous products, and they are slowly replaced with natural substitutes.
Namely, there are more natural solutions as for chlorine blanch and optical brighteners.
Numerous studies have shown that chlorine blanch may cause serious health conditions and its improper usage can result in the formation of poisonous gases and dioxins, which can additionally cause respiratory complications, kidney damage and certain cancers.
Furthermore, in order to brighten the clothes, a lot of people use laundry detergents that contain optical brighteners. These products remain on the clean clothes as a covering of microscopic fluorescent particles.
In fact, these optical brighteners are synthetic chemicals that make fabrics appear to glow in the presence of ultraviolet light and give the impression that they are extremely clean.
However, a lot of optical brighteners are derived from benzene, which is quite dangerous substance; it does not break down in the environment and stays in the water where it poisons the fish and other aquatic life.
These optical brighteners may cause an allergic reaction in individuals known as phototoxicity, which occurs when we wear clothes treated with optical brighteners. To be more specific, the chemicals from these products enter into the skin and they start to react on the daylight, which causes irritation and rash which can look like a sunburn.
Fortunately, you do not have to give up perfectly white clothes just because you have decided to avoid optical brighteners and chlorine blanch.
The best natural option to substitute these potentially harmful products is the lemon juice. It can be used in two ways:
- This is the easiest way to use it: simply add a cup of lemon juice in the washing machine in the middle of the rinse cycle when washing your clothes. After washing, hang the clothes out to dry in the sun.
- Place the white clothes in a big basin full with hot water. Add a large amount of lemon juice in the basin, and then put the white clothes and leave them to soak overnight. Do not leave the clothes in the lemon juice for a long period of time.
The next day, remove the clothes from the basin and put them in your washing machine with the detergent you usually use for washing the clothes. Repeat the procedure as many times as needed if it does not bring positive results the first time. Your clothes will be whiter than ever!
In addition, the juice of lemons can be extremely beneficial in your home, it can also be used to substitute acid cleaners, for example: dissolving wax buildup, cleaning wood, hard-water stains and tarnish. In combination with salt, it can effectively remove rust stains from clothes and other fabrics.
All you need to do is to squeeze lemon juice on the stain and then sprinkle a greater amount of salt. Rub the cloth together until the stain disappears. Afterwards, use water and soap to completely clean the stain. Repeat the procedure until the stain is completely gone.
The following are other effective methods which can be of great help in whitening your clothes:
Distilled white vinegar:
Add ½ to 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to your usual laundry detergent, and do not worry about the odor, since it will be gone after drying. Also, use vinegar to spray it on spots, collar and armpit stains.
Hydrogen peroxide (3%):
Hydrogen peroxide (3%) is non-chlorine bleach,so you should add ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide in your regular laundry detergent and you will obtain fantastic results.
Add ½ of baking soda in your regular laundry detergent, and it will make your clothes fresh, white and soft. If you need to remove stains, prepare a paste of baking soda and water and apply it directly on the fabric.
You can use your dishwasher detergent to whiten your clothes, but only if it is eco-friendly. You should add ¼ cup of dishwasher detergent in your regular laundry detergent.Moreover, note that it is advisable to choose chlorine- and phosphate-free detergent.