Why You Should Add Lemon Juice To Your Laundry

Whether you love it or hate it, washing your laundry is a task everyone has to do at some point. For the most part, laundry is one of the more straightforward chores out there — put your clothes in the washer, add some detergent, and press start. However, things get a touch more involved when it comes to whites, delicates, etc.

Bleach is, of course, one of the more popular cleaning supplies used alongside laundry detergent, with the intention of brightening your white clothes and linens, as well as removing stains. That being said, those who are striving to be more environmentally-conscious may want to cut bleach out of their laundry routine. According to Sani Professional, the production of bleach and solutions containing it releases airborne toxins that can damage the ozone layer. Bleach also combines with water in your washing machine, and when it's dumped it can harm animals and other wildlife. Plus, mixing the wrong chemicals with bleach can create chlorine gas, chloroform, etc., making it dangerous to keep around young children. Luckily, there's a natural substance that has similarly potent stain removal and whitening properties.

Lemon's natural lightening properties

Lemons, and by association lemon juice, are an incredibly potent ingredient to have in your natural cleaning arsenal. As BLANC explains, lemons contain a high amount of citric acid, which is what gives them their sour taste. This is also what makes them such powerful cleaning agents, not only able to lift and remove stains, but also sanitize areas and kill bacteria.

Using lemon juice (which is high in acid) may seem counterintuitive as a bleach replacement since the latter is a base. However, the citric acid is potent enough to lift most stains — even heavier duty ones like bloodstains. Fresh lemon juice is ideal when it comes to cleaning, since it doesn't contain any preservatives or shelf stabilizers that could negatively impact the cleaning process. Lemon juice should also only be used on whites, stains, or clothes you want to brighten, since it is such a potent lightening agent.

How to use lemon juice in your laundry

Using lemon juice in your laundry is an incredibly simple process. As stated earlier, you should preferably be using fresh lemon juice. BLANC advises using 1/2 cup, so grab a bag of lemons and juice them ahead of time — this prevents seeds from getting stuck in your laundry or washing machine. Simply add it in addition to your laundry detergent in your next load of white laundry and you'll be greeted with clean and bright, lemon-scented laundry.

Lemon juice can also be used to spot treat tough stains. This should only be done on white clothes, though, per Limoneira. Give the area a quick rinse to try and remove any of the surface grime, and then squeeze your lemon directly over top of it. Then, add a pinch of salt, using the gritty texture to gently rub in the lemon juice. Rinse it off again, followed by another squeeze of lemon juice. Don't worry if you can still see the stain, because the next step is to leave the item in the sun all day. The sun, salt, and lemon will combine to significantly lighten the stain. Repeat if necessary, and then wash with the rest of your whites.