Clorox is an effective substance for disinfecting and bleaching. There are some disadvantages to using Clorox, however. Clorox can leave bleach spots on colored clothes if it accidentally comes in contact with them. Also, bleach contains strong chemical agents that can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory system. When Clorox is mixed with certain substances, the fumes can be deadly. In order to avoid these hazards, consider using some alternative to Clorox.

Light Laundry Solutions

Instead of using Clorox to lighten dingy white clothes, try a few natural home remedies instead. For light stains and discoloration, add one to two cups of vinegar to your load along with your regular laundry detergent. Another effective alternative to bleach is baking soda. Try soaking your whites in a solution of water, laundry detergent and a half-cup of baking soda for 30 minutes before completing the wash cycle. The vinegar and baking soda should help restore brightness to your clothes, and they'll also help remove odors from the fabric.

Heavier Stain Solutions

For tougher stains on white clothing and towels, soak the fabric for 30 minutes in a solution of one-half cup vinegar, one-half cup lemon juice and a few tablespoons of salt. After soaking, hang the items out in bright sunlight for six to eight hours. Sunlight, lemon juice, salt and vinegar are safe and effective for getting your whites bright, and they aren't caustic like Clorox.

Disinfecting

Handling raw foods and not washing your hands, utensils, counters and sinks properly can cause serious illness. Having a sick person in the house can lead to the rapid spread of viruses if you don't disinfect common areas. Natural disinfectants, such as combinations of vinegar and baking soda, can kill some of the harmful germs in your house. However, a 2000 study reported in the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology journal cited that these natural remedies are much less effective than other substances such as bleach and Lysol. If you want to avoid using Clorox, try Lysol spray disinfecting products. Be careful, though. Even though Lysol technically is an alternative to Clorox, it also can irritate the eyes, skin and the respiratory system. If you do not like the harsh scent of Clorox, try using Lysol with caution.