Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cook your Clothes - Insane and Unheard of?

In Europe Bleach is unheard of. How do Europeans get their whites white? They cook their laundry. And you can too. Here is how.
First of all, I would like to point out that Bleach is one of the most toxic substances any of us come across in our whole lives. So, stop using it. If you would like to know more about the toxic effects of bleach read more here.

Alternatives to Bleach: of course bleach is not that expensive, just bad for you - but these are all better.

1.Hydrogen peroxide
5.Lemon Juice

Two Choices:
1. Add one of the first five to your regular white wash. Wash in the highest temperature available. Hang in the sun to dry.
or for the slightly more daring:
2. Take out your biggest spaghetti pot, add your whites - go ahead no one is looking - and now add water. Chose ONE of these Either 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, OR ½ cup of salt, or ½ cup borax (do not inhale) or 1 cup vinegar or 1 cup lemon juice and boil! Just like the spaghetti. Turn off after about 3 minutes of a rolling boil and let it cool down. Rinse with fresh water. Done.
For even whiter whites hang your boiled clothes into the sun and let sunshine do the rest. I know this is another goofy idea - but it works!

Of course the types of fabric you can boil are limited - please don’t do this with wool or you will turn your wardrobe into elves couture. Try it, let me know what you think.


Tabitha said...

I've wondered how to get my whites white but don't use bleach because I always ruin something in the process. Therefore, I haven't been using anything and not happy with how my whites look.

I've also wondered about borax and didn't want to buy it and then find out it's not safe.

I think I have all the other items so I'll be able to experiment to see which I like best.

moni said...

Great! That's what I like too! - Using something I already have.
Borax- is generally considered safe - BUT - this is what Karen Logan has to say about it in her book: Clean House, Clean Planet.
Quote: Borax: I don't consider it non toxic, since it is a strong alkaline, an eye irritant and toxic if swallowed. Also you should not get Borax in open cuts, because it is readily absorbed into the system. I limit my uses of Borax to cleaning situations where I don't have to touch it: In the laundry, in the toilet, in the garbage can. End of Quote.
So, it is not without problems - and I would only recommend buying it, after you have tried every other item on the list. It is found in many supermarkets in the laundry aisle - and I thought that would be somewhat reassuring for the hesitant.
Also here is the link for Karen's excellent book - I devoured it in one day!

Henna said...

Hmm... I have never heard that some Europeans would not use bleach. At least we in Finland (in the northern Europe) use bleach: some washing powders contain bleach and others not. We just don't have a separate bleach. :)

moni said...

Hi Henna!

Welcome! I grew up in Austria and I can honestly say I had never even seen Bleach until I came to the States and the washing machines in Austria have a cycle called "Kochwaesche" which literally means "cooking laundry". That's what inspired me to make this suggestion.

Aaron Aiken said...

not only is this method better for the environment, but it is a small money saver, which will add up over time. thanks for sharing!


ABIJAH said...

This is really great tip. Thanks for sharing.