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.