Want to Disinfect Your Laundry Without Bleach? Consider These Alternatives!

Though bleach is one of the strongest disinfectants available, it has some drawbacks that make it an unpopular choice. If not used properly, bleach can damage your clothing while its harsh chemicals and fragrance cause skin irritation and respiratory issues. There are many alternatives to bleach that can keep your clothes clean and bright white. The alternatives are also safe to use and will not harm your clothes, which include:

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a very effective disinfectant. Adding ½ cup of white vinegar to your laundry will eliminate germs and bacteria that can lead to unpleasant odors. It also acts as a deodorizer, removing unpleasant odors that are not caused by germs or bacteria. Therefore, your clothes will smell good while looking bright.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Add approximately one cup of hydrogen peroxide to your laundry to keep your whites looking fresh and clean. Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties, so it may damage your colored clothes if it comes in direct contact with them. Therefore, pour the hydrogen peroxide into the water to dilute it before adding any colored clothes.


Add ½ cup of borax to your washing machine as the water begins to fill the washer. You will need to use warm to hot water so that the borax crystals will dissolve completely, activating their cleaning properties. Borax has been used for decades as a powerful detergent and additive and is great for removing grass stains.

Pine Oil

Pine oil is an effective disinfectant. Adding a cup of pine oil solution (containing at least 80% pine oil) will effectively clean your clothes and remove odors and germs. Ensure the washer is at least half full to distribute the oil through the water. Don’t use this oil with pets around, as they can be allergic to them.


Sunlight is a natural bleaching agent. After washing, hang your clothes outdoors to dry. The sun will brighten your whites and minimize any stains that you may have missed.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are amazing as a laundry disinfectant. They make your clothes smell clean and look fresh and also eliminate bacteria. Two teaspoons of 100% tea tree oil will eliminate odors and kill germs. Lavender oil is an excellent antibacterial agent and gives your clothes a clean, fresh smell.


Heat is a natural disinfectant and works to eliminate odors. You can start by using hot water in your washing machine. The heat exposure in the dryer will also help to kill germs and other pathogens.

Bleach can cause damage to colored fabrics and may weaken white fabric if too much is used. Some people simply don’t like the smell. Therefore, you can choose from the alternatives given above to have your clothes smell and look their best without bleach.

If you are looking for more tips on disinfecting your laundry without bleach, contact the professionals here at Fresh and Clean Laundromat. We have answers to many of your laundry-related questions. Stop by our office or call us to find out how we can help you keep your clothes looking and feeling new.

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