How to Make Your Own Non-Toxic Bleach Alternative


Regular chlorine bleach is no picnic to use in the home. It’s pretty toxic stuff, and when combined with other common household items (like ammonia, certain soaps and some organic (natural) materials) it can form highly toxic (sometimes fatal) gases/substances.

We haven’t used bleach in a long time.

So what do we use for cleaning? How do we keep whites their whitest?

We used to rely on store-bought, natural oxygen bleach, which is pretty effective but it can be pricey. Plus, it’s packaged in plastic bottles which aren’t refillable (at the store) and create extra waste.

So, now we make our own bleach alternative that can be used in the laundry OR put in a spray bottle for cleaning. It has just THREE ingredients- and you probably have everything on hand right now.

Want to make your own natural, non-toxic bleach alternative? Great! And you’re in luck, because it’s super easy!

Just mix: 3 quarts fresh water (spring water is best) with 1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh is best, but the bottled stuff works in a pinch) and add 1 cup hydrogen peroxide (the kind that you find at the drugstore).

We store it in a half gallon glass jar for use in the laundry (adding about 1 1/2-2 cups per load of whites) and in a spray bottle for cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms.

It smells fresh and clean and doesn’t contain harmful ingredients or create toxic fumes. Remember, clean doesn’t smell like chemicals- chemicals smell like chemicals!

Want a color-friendly version? Sub white vinegar for the peroxide. You might still want to test it on a smaller load or with certain fabrics, but I’ve found it to be pretty universal.

What natural cleaners do you use in your home? Have you tried natural bleach alternatives?

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  • This sounds great! Just one question though, I make my own raw cat food so I need something that will kill bacteria from raw meat. Would this be strong enough? Thanks!

    • Hey Janelle. Thanks for your comment. It’s great that you feed your cat a raw diet- our dogs are also on a raw diet and thrive with it! Hydrogen peroxide is a popular natural disinfectant, as is lemon juice. I would feel comfortable using this in place of chemical cleaners to clean my kitchen counters, no problem! I’ve also seen just lemon juice applied to cutting boards, allowed to dry, then rinsed for use again. Neat, huh?! Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This sounds great! Just one question though, I make my own raw cat food so I need something that will kill bacteria from raw meat. Would this be strong enough? Thanks!

    • Hey Janelle. Thanks for your comment. It’s great that you feed your cat a raw diet- our dogs are also on a raw diet and thrive with it! Hydrogen peroxide is a popular natural disinfectant, as is lemon juice. I would feel comfortable using this in place of chemical cleaners to clean my kitchen counters, no problem! I’ve also seen just lemon juice applied to cutting boards, allowed to dry, then rinsed for use again. Neat, huh?! Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • There are various herbal essential oils that have strong antibacterial actions. I don’t have time to re-find & post the research studies right now, but they’re out there. I use rosemary & thyme in my cleaning solutions. Smells good too.

    • Very true, Kelly! We use essential oils quite often as well. Thyme is great used in a mixture for a natural waterless hand sanitizer. They do smell great!!

  • There are various herbal essential oils that have strong antibacterial actions. I don’t have time to re-find & post the research studies right now, but they’re out there. I use rosemary & thyme in my cleaning solutions. Smells good too.

    • Very true, Kelly! We use essential oils quite often as well. Thyme is great used in a mixture for a natural waterless hand sanitizer. They do smell great!!

  • We have hard water, and it’s a killer trying to keep clothes clean. I use a soap nuts concentrate but really needed a good brightener and stain fighter. I have just starting experimenting with peroxide, so I’m going to whip up a bottle with your recipe (subbing ACV for lemon) and go attack my laundry. Thanks!

    • Great! We use soapberries (soap nuts) too! I read somewhere not to mix vinegar and peroxide, so you might research that before blending. I know you can sub vinegar FOR the peroxide, and use water and lemon juice.

  • We have hard water, and it’s a killer trying to keep clothes clean. I use a soap nuts concentrate but really needed a good brightener and stain fighter. I have just starting experimenting with peroxide, so I’m going to whip up a bottle with your recipe (subbing ACV for lemon) and go attack my laundry. Thanks!

    • Great! We use soapberries (soap nuts) too! I read somewhere not to mix vinegar and peroxide, so you might research that before blending. I know you can sub vinegar FOR the peroxide, and use water and lemon juice.

  • Personally, I could not care less about “whiteness”. But my husband brings home some nasty-smelling biological entities on his clothes from his work. Detergent doesn’t touch it. Neither does oxyclean. We’ve tried vinegar and baking soda, as well as soaking. Nope. We’ll try this. I just wanted to point out that not everybody uses bleach for cosmetic reasons!

    • Thanks for sharing, Linda! Hope it works for you! You might try adding some essential oils to your wash to see if that helps as well.

  • Personally, I could not care less about “whiteness”. But my husband brings home some nasty-smelling biological entities on his clothes from his work. Detergent doesn’t touch it. Neither does oxyclean. We’ve tried vinegar and baking soda, as well as soaking. Nope. We’ll try this. I just wanted to point out that not everybody uses bleach for cosmetic reasons!

    • Thanks for sharing, Linda! Hope it works for you! You might try adding some essential oils to your wash to see if that helps as well.

  • Hydrogen peroxide breaks down quickly in light, so I dont think storing it in clear glass or plastic containers would be good for it.

  • Hydrogen peroxide breaks down quickly in light, so I dont think storing it in clear glass or plastic containers would be good for it.

  • Hydrogen peroxide in lower concentrations is unstable, so don’t make up a huge bottle. Otherwise, it keeps longer in the fridge. Great idea though, will try it.

  • Hydrogen peroxide in lower concentrations is unstable, so don’t make up a huge bottle. Otherwise, it keeps longer in the fridge. Great idea though, will try it.

  • I just have to ask this, because I know when you do the mix for skunk shampoo (totally different mix than this) you cannot store it in a jar, it has the potential to burst.

    this won’t happen, right?

  • I just have to ask this, because I know when you do the mix for skunk shampoo (totally different mix than this) you cannot store it in a jar, it has the potential to burst.

    this won’t happen, right?

  • Is this known to kill viruses such as flu or norovirus? I’ve only known bleach to effectively kill those viruses..

  • Is this known to kill viruses such as flu or norovirus? I’ve only known bleach to effectively kill those viruses..

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