Things You'll Need
Besides vinegar, you can add other products to your wash as safe and natural alternatives to bleach. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda along with your regular detergent, or use 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice. These are all natural and safe, but use only one at a time. Do not combine them.
Chlorine bleach can keep white clothes looking their whitest, but it is also harsh on skin, eyes, lungs and the environment. But you can clean and whiten your household fabrics without the use of household bleach, substituting safe and natural alternatives that boast impressive results.
Pour hot water into a large bowl or bucket, and add several lemon slices. Soak your white garments in the bowl or bucket for one to two hours. The combination of hot water and citric acid will help dissolve stains and restore whiteness to the garments.
Let your washing machine fill with water. Add 1 cup of your regular laundry detergent, and 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar. Add your white clothing to the washer, and wash the garments as normal. The acetic acid in the vinegar will help whiten and soften your fabrics.
Hang your white garments to dry in the sun. Sunlight can further whiten fabrics.
Chris Anzalone has been writing professionally since 2001. He is a former staff writer and associate editor for Opposing Views, a popular news media website that tackles issues of the day from multiple perspectives. Anzalone holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Riverside.