In a Greener World, Can a Whiter Shade of White Be Had?

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I believe our culture is obsessed with making white things whiter. From our teeth, to the whites of our eyes, to Aunt Edna’s antique linens, we want white!

Consider laundry – achieving the culturally-desirable level of whiteness, while avoiding harsh bleaches, blueings, and chemical whiteners is no easy task. I know of what I speak: I own many a white tennis outfit. I sleep soundly between pristine white sheets. However, I have a pair of black & white cats who trample their paws wherever they please, which is usually all over the pristine sheets and most frequently after I’ve just had them laundered.

Truth be told, I have had difficulty finding a natural solution that whitens quite as effectively as bleach. I know there are far too many important reasons to avoid the use of the chemicals found in bleach – from groundwater contamination to marine sustainability to health. So if, like me, you simply must whiten your whites, look to your fruit bowl. This simple solution makes use of leftover lemons that have gone a touch too bumpy for food use, and I’ve been happy to say goodbye to bleach since discovering this easy tip.

To get your whites sparkling:
slice the lemons, boil them in a large saucepan or soup pot, remove the container from heat, and soak your sheets or tees for an hour or two in the cooling liquid. Then launder as usual for that fresh, clean feeling.

Martha Stuart Living via Apartment Therapy Chicago
– Image: Ahmed

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