6 natural laundry whiteners – eco alternative to bleach

If you want to make your whites even brighter, there are natural ways to whiten your laundry without using toxic chemicals. Try these natural laundry whiteners as an eco alternative to bleach and please let me know how you get on.

Soda crystals

Soda crystals are great for removing grease. Just add a scoop to your normal laundry detergent. If you need to do a spot treatment, make a paste of crystals and water, apply and leave for 10 minutes before washing as normal. Buy from Ethical Superstore.

Bicarbonate of soda

Another one of my favourite household cleaning and washing products (read The wonder product for your green cleaning cupboard). Apply as a paste for 30 minutes to remove butter and oil marks from items such as tablecloths. Then just wash as normal. I also use bicarbonate of soda as a deodorising treatment if clothes are a bit smelly by just adding some to my laundry detergent.


It's also possible to buy biodegradable bleach clothes whitener from natural, eco-friendly companies such as:

Lemon juice

This citrus fruit is great for cleaning and can even get rid of tough stains such as rust. Saturate the stain with lemon juice, leave to dry and wash as normal. (Read my other posts related to lemon juice.)

White vinegar

I always have loads of white vinegar in the house because it can be used for so many things in a green home. White vinegar contains acetic acid which has deodorising and whitening properties. Add half a cup along with your usual laundry liquid or washing powder to revive your whites. Don't worry about smelling of vinegar as the scent will disappear once the items are dry. (Read: Eco ways to remove limescale from your toilet)

Borax substitute

A borax substitute can remove red wine and fruit stains. Sprinkle it onto the affected area and flush through with water. Only use this method on whites as it will fade coloured fabrics. Make sure you use a borax substitute as pure borax is on the EU's list of Substances of Very High Concern. Borax imported to EU must therefore be labelled with warnings “may damage fertility” and “may damage unborn child”.

Have you got any other suggestions for natural laundry whiteners?

Please post in the comments below if you use any other natural laundry whiteners.

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