Many of us, ah hem, ‘clean freaks’ need to be reassured that our homes stay nice and tidy for our kids – and we often turn toward bleach as our trusty germ-killer. But studies suggest we may want to rethink how much faith we should put into that bleach bottle. The journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found a 20 percent increase in influenza and 35 percent increase in tonsillitis in homes that use bleach for regular cleaning. The study also noted an 18 percent increase in infections among kids between the ages of 6 and 12. Are you listening yet?

Good. We know once you break that bleach habit you’ll be looking for an alternative cleaning product, so how about one that is truly the jack of all trades? We’re hooked on a non-toxic, biodegradable, and eco-friendly alternative that leaves our homes sparkling clean from bathroom to kitchen, and does wonders on baby diapers and burpees and clothing.

Yoreganics Brighten and Whiten Pure Living

There are so many possible uses for an all-purpose bleach product made by Yoreganics, a company born out of a holistic momma’s mission to find healthier alternatives to everyday products. Brightens and Whitens, Yoreganics’ bleach alternative, works wonders as a detergent, stain-remover, fabric care cleaner and home-cleaner that is eco-friendly and efficient.

Brightens and Whitens is color safe, chlorine and fragrance-free, biodegradable, and a nontoxic alternative to store bought bleach ($12 for 1.5 lbs.).  Try using it to remove these stubborn, set-in stinks and stains:

  • FOOD & DRINKS – berries, coffee, tea, juice, soda, wine
  • MOM & BABY – makeup, cloth diapers, yellowed linens
  • WORK & PLAY – grass, dirt, dingy socks, armpit stains
  • DOWN & DIRTY – blood, sweat, tears, pee, poo, barf

Try the entire Yoreganics Laundry line with a starter kit. It includes Brightens and Whitens, Soap Berries (check out all the raving reviews on these amazing laundry nuts!), and a Stain Remover.

Not your thing? Don’t sweat it. Remember vinegar also works well on just about everything, as does lemon and baking soda. Turn these everyday (harmless) ingredients into germ-fighting machines and toss that bleach bottle for good.

If you just can’t seem to break the bleach habit, use it sparingly and remember to:

  • Open windows and keep a fan blowing in the house.
  • Water down the solution. Lower concentrations are more helpful than you think!
  • Immediately wipe down surfaces with water after being in contact with bleach. This helps lower the concentration on the surface to help reduce the amount available for skin contact.