6 Eco Friendly Alternatives to Bleach

bleach copyChlorine bleach is very toxic to not only people, but it’s also bad for the environment.  Bleach releases dioxins and other chemicals in the air when you wash with it.  It’s not something you really want to have around your house if you can help it.  Unfortunately, many people use bleach as a disinfectant and brightener for clothes, as bleach has been around for many years.  It does work well, but it’s not something I want to use on a regular basis.  Every time I think of bleach and the environment, I think of the coral reefs in Australia that are losing their color.  Sad news!

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to chlorine bleach, and many of them work well to disinfect and whiten whites.  Here are some eco friendly alternatives we use instead of chlorine bleach.

Sunshine.  The sun is a powerful whitener and brightener.  We hang our whites outside to dry.  Not only does it save us from having to use the dryer, which saves us money, but it also will help remove spots out of clothes.  I actually had a colored shirt of Penny’s that was badly stained that I laid out in the sun wet, and by the afternoon the spots were gone!  I seriously couldn’t believe it.  The sun can also help kill germs, which is a nice added bonus.

Peroxide.  Our midwife swears by peroxide, and now we do too!  It actually gets blood out of fabrics without bleaching them.  Sometimes when our whites are looking a little dingy I’ll soak them overnight in hot water, laundry detergent, and 1/2-1 cup of peroxide.  It helps get stains out of Mr. Money’s chef coats as well.  Remember how when you used to get a cut and your mom would pour peroxide on it?  That’s because it helps kill germs too.  Sometimes when our cloth diapers get a little funky I’ll do a rinse with some peroxide and it really helps!

-Seventh Generation Non-Chlorine bleach.  It only contains natural ingredients: natural oxygen safe bleach, oxygen bleach stabilizer, and deionized water.  It is non-toxic, color safe, and biodegradable.  We’ve used it with great results!

Ecover Non-Chlorine Bleach. Ecover non-chlorine bleach is 100% sodium percarbonate, which is biodegradable and non-toxic.  I like that this product does not contain fillers like certain other brands.  When you buy the Ecover non-chlorine bleach, you’re spending money on the product, not fillers.

Vinegar.  We use vinegar in pretty much all of our homemade cleaning products.  I love that it kills germs and makes things feel so fresh and clean.  Vinegar can be very helpful in killing mold in the bathrooms!

Tea tree oil.  Tea tree oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities.  While tea tree oil will disinfect, I don’t think it will help whiten and brighten clothes as well as some of the other options.

These are some of our favorite ways to avoid traditional chlorine bleach. We do keep some on hand for emergencies (you never know when you may need it!) but for every day use we try to skip it.

Do you use chlorine bleach in your house?

*post contains Amazon Affiliate links


The Best Homemade Natural Ant Killer

antkiller For some reason, the ants this year have been especially bad in our kitchen and bedroom. I make sure all the food is put away and the counters are clean, but they still love to make their ant trails all over my house. It seems to get worse in the summer.  Annoying! We’ve been using Terro liquid ant killer, and it works really quickly, but I don’t want the chemicals in my house. I worry that Penny might get a hold of one of the traps and that wouldn’t be good. Obviously, we make sure they are out of her reach but you never know with a kid around!

My mother in law mentioned that she’s had really good luck with a homemade natural ant killer.  I decided to give it a try, and it works really well!  Here’s how you make it:


-1/2 cup of water
-2 Tablespoons of borax
-1 cup of white sugar

Mix 1/2 cup of water, 2 Tablespoons of borax (the same kind you use in your laundry detergent recipe!), and 1 cup of sugar.  Boil it in a pot for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Allow the mixture to cool and thicken.  When the homemade ant killer is cool it’s ready to use.  We use small plastic containers to put it in.  Just set it on the counter or anywhere in the area that the ants are and let them go to town!  What’s really neat is that borax is actually an ingredient in the Terro liquid ant traps.

The ants love the mixture because it’s nice and sweet, and the borax is like a secret little potion that ends up killing them.  I think it’s very interesting how the ant killer works.  The ants eat the homemade natural ant killer and take it back to the queen for her to eat.  After she eats it she dies, and that should start the demise of the ant colony.

I feel much better about having sugar and borax traipsed around my house versus the chemicals in the Terro liquid ant killer.  There’s been controversy about whether or not borax is safe, but I look at it as a better option over using something that I’m not 100% sure what’s in it.  There are a few options if you’d like something a little easier than making up a liquid ant killer.  You can use cinnamon sticks or peeled garlic cloves near where the ants come in.  For some reason, they do not like either of those scents and it makes them not want to return.  White vinegar also has been rumored to keep ants away.  Just put some in a spray bottle and spray where the ants are coming it.  It should deter them from returning.

Personally we’ve had great success with the homemade ant killer liquid recipe above.  It only has a few ingredients, takes a few minutes to make, and really works!  Give it a try and let me know how well it works for you!

Do you have an ant problem?  Does it seem to be worse at certain parts of the year?

*post contains Amazon affiliate links.



Are CSAs Worth the Cost?

A few months ago we purchased a Groupon for a service that works similar to a community supported agriculture program (CSA).  I was excited because for $15 we would receive a box worth $35 that contained mostly local and organic produce.  The first time it arrived, we were excited to get into it and see what we got.  Right off the bat we noticed that the organic strawberries were all moldy and inedible.  I told Mr. Money to email them a picture explaining what we got and see what they would do about it.  They said they would credit our account $5 toward our next purchase.  As you probably guessed, I hadn’t planned on purchasing another box due to the cost and the fact that they sent us rotten strawberries.

We decided we would give it another try, and in two weeks we were charged $30 for the box (they took the $5 credit off).  The box was much better this time, with no rotten produce.  However, I decided that for the price we could do much better if we purchased the items in the store.  One of the things Mr. Money liked (that I coincidentally didn’t) was that when you get the unique ingredients you’ve got to figure out what to make with them.  Me? If it’s not something I normally eat, I’m not as likely to get creative and dive in.  Bad, I know.

Of course, the next week we forgot to cancel it and received a $35 box of produce.  Fine.  I made sure that before the next time we received a delivery that I canceled our standing order.  The deliveries are made on Thursdays.

On Friday I came home and realized there was a box on the front porch.  I was livid. First of all, I had canceled the service.  Secondly, now I have spent $35 on a box of produce that may or may not be good because it’s sat outside in 100 degree heat.  I took the box inside and luckily everything looks fine.  That didn’t stop me from sending them a nice email telling them that we had canceled and still received a box.

Here’s what we received in our box for $35.

-14-16 oz of yellow crookneck squash
-1 cantaloupe melon
-1 lb. of strawberries
-6 oz of local blackberries
-24 oz of red potatoes
-1 broccoli
-3 yellow peaches
-1 cucumber
-1 green bell pepper
-1 bulbing fennel
-1 lb of roma tomatoes

I don’t think that’s a good value for $35.  I guess I would feel differently if this was an actual CSA from a local farm.  I’d feel much better about supporting them. I don’t like that we’re purchasing this from a corporate company that I don’t know how fairly they are paying the farmers for their produce.  I’m also disappointed about the quality of some of the produce we’ve received.

Do you think it’s a good value?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...FacebooktwitterrssinstagramFacebooktwitterrssinstagram