If you’ve ready my introduction/welcome page, you know that I have 3 little boys. And, if you know even a little about little boys, you know that I am sharing this cleaning series with you FROM THE TRENCHES of laundering and cleaning house! Now that we’ve all been reminded that I do a lot of laundry, it goes without saying that I use a lot of laundry soap, spray cleaner, and color safe bleach. A few months ago, I ran out of color safe bleach and went to the store to buy more. I was shocked to find that it was $4-7 a bottle (depending on the brand). At this point, I was making most of my other cleaning solutions, so I scoured the labels on the different brands of color safe bleach, looking for any clues I could find about its ingredients. Then, I came home and looked up color safe bleach recipes online. To my surprise, color safe bleach is simply diluted hydrogen peroxide with fragrance added to it…and, perhaps, a little dish soap (which the label will call “surfactants”)! Do you know how inexpensive this stuff is?! I’ve been using this for about 6 months now and I don’t notice any difference between this homemade color safe bleach and store-bought varieties.
3 cups water
3 cups hydrogen peroxide
a little (1-2 Tbsp.) dishwashing liquid (like Dawn, which is my preference), optional
Preparation and Use
Mix the ingredients together in a dark, opaque bottle. Remember that using a dark, opaque bottle is important because hydrogen peroxide is sensitive to temperature and light. And, the hydrogen peroxide will break down into water and oxygen if it’s exposed to too much heat or light. Use your homemade color safe bleach the same way you would the store bought variety (this translates to about 1/3 cup per load in my machine).
Dishwashing detergent and soaps are used for cleaning because pure water can’t remove oily, organic soiling. Soap cleans by acting as an emulsifier, allowing oil and water to mix so that oily grime can be removed during rinsing. Detergents are primarily surfactants, which lower the surface tension of water, making it ‘wetter’ so that it is less likely to stick to itself and more likely to interact with oil and grease. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer, making it useful as a color safe bleach or cleaning agent. Hydrogen peroxide is also safe for the environment because it simply breaks down into water and oxygen! Hydrogen peroxide is a great natural cleaning agent due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mold and anti-mildew properties.
The cheapest store-bought color safe bleach costs about $4-6 for 45 ounces ($0.09-0.13 per ounce). The stain remover presented here costs about $0.81 for 48 ounces ($0.017 per ounce…$0.75 for 24 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, $0.06 for 1 ounce of dishwashing liquid)! And, it doesn’t contain any mystery “fragrances”!