Chemical bleaches may be useful in removing stains, however they are harmful to the environment, can be bad for your skin and can ruin your clothes if you aren't careful. Fortunately, there is a safer, more natural and more cost effective way to bleach your items – sun bleaching.
Here's how you do it:
- Wet your clothes. Many people find sun bleaching is more effective when the clothes are wet rather than dry (although even dry items will still be sun-bleached to some degree). The easiest way to prepare clothes is to wash them as you normally would, and instead of putting them in the dryer, put them out in the sun. You can do this with any white fabric including towels, tablecloths, bed linen and white shirts.
- Lay clothes out as flat as possible. It's important to make sure that every part of the fabric is receiving direct sunshine and not overlapping. It is the sun's rays that are doing the bleaching so if the rays can't get through, the item won't get bleached.
- Try adding lemon juice for an extra boost. If you need extra bleaching power, mix up lemon juice with water (about 60ml lemon juice and 475ml of water) in a spray bottle and spray directly onto stains. The lemon juice reacts with the sun to whiten even more effectively.
- Don't leave clothing in the sun for too long. Usually two to three hours will do the job. If you want the item even whiter, try a few hours again another day. However, keep in mind that leaving things out for days at a time could weaken and damage the fabric, particularly if they are sensitive fabrics.
Note: Do NOT attempt this on delicate items and materials. If you are uncertain, please test on a small area before sun bleaching the whole item. It may take two to three times for this method to work on really dark stains.