No Bleach? How Do You Do It?

Updated on July 16, 2015
R.B. asks from Fulton, CA
19 answers

A few expressed horror at bleach in the recent ceiling mold question. So my question is, how do you live without bleach? I need it for the laundry, on occasion, especially to wash my cleaning rags, and I spray bleach cleaner in the sink probably three times a week because the sink gets stained. Also use it in the toilet.

So if you don't use bleach, how do you take care of sink stains? I have never discovered another product that removes them.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Diane -- coffee, berries, many other things that get dumped in the kitchen sink by family members and not rinsed immediately. The sink gets easily stained.

Veruca -- My sink is white.

Featured Answers


answers from Washington DC on

i'm a dyed-in-the-wool white vinegar and baking soda gal. and i use 7th gen cleaning products for areas that can't take abrasive cleaning.
but yeah, i do keep bleach in the house. i use it very, very rarely and sparingly. but sometimes you've got to go nuclear, and i want the ammo on hand when i do.
i'd rethink using it as often as you do, hon. it really isn't good for you, and pretty terrible for the environment.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I use Comet (which is a mildly abrasive, powdered cleanser with contains bleach) on my sink stains. And in the tub and toilet as well.

Bleach is perfectly safe if used properly and in safe amounts and solutions. I certainly don't advocate using it full strength, but when diluted, it's quite useful for many applications.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Boston on

I use a baking powder scrub for counter tops, sinks and toilets - it works great and it is a natural substance. What goes down the drain helps deodorize, especially in the kitchen where food can sometimes get down in the disposal area and create odors. Same with hair and soap scum in the bathroom.

Cleaning rags just have to be washed clean - they don't have to have stains removed. If they are too gross to save, they can be donated in any of the many textile recycling programs going on all over the country. (That's also where I donate stained or ripped clothing, shoes with holes, old pocketbooks, etc.) We have about 3 a year in my town, sponsored by the Scouts or other organizations as fundraisers.

Peroxide based laundry sprays and products, and other non-chlorine products, work great especially when applied promptly. I keep a basin on top of my washer with some water and safe product in it, and throw stained items in there to soak until I get around to doing a wash. If I have a lot, I run a few inches of water right in the washer with a stain remover, and let the items soak until it's time to do wash.

I also use vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for different things. (Don't mix them, of course.)

The problem with chlorine bleach is that its vapors are harmful to breathe and it burns the skin. I've had bleach burns through an accident and they aren't fun. If I have to ventilate the house, use gloves, and wear eye protection, I'm not interested in the product.

I think the key to stain removal is quick action. For sinks, I often run a used washcloth or a rag around it with some baking soda while I'm brushing my teeth with the other hand! Keeps me brushing for the full recommended 2 minutes (a bonus since I sometimes rush that) and the stains don't set, and then the washcloth goes right in the hamper. I'm not sure from your question what it is that you are putting in the sink that's staining it so badly to begin with.

Moreover, excessive disinfecting of common bacteria is a huge problem with the rise of Super-Bugs, the resistant bacteria that create far worse diseases than the ones that got killed off by products like Clorox and Lysol.

ETA: Okay thanks - I was thinking the bathroom sink! Yes, berries and so on stain my white kitchen sink occasionally, although I rinse them in a colander and try to keep them off the sink itself. Same with occasional rust circles if someone's soaking a tin can before recycling. I also get dark marks if I'm scrubbing a metal pan in the sink. I gotta tell you that baking soda takes care of everything with a little scrubbing and a whole lot less money. Just do that spot if you need to, and then scrub the whole sink every 10 days and rinse with hot water. I use an old scrub pad (like a plastic covered one, like Dobie, or I use the reusable/washable towels that are sold instead of paper towels, then throw them in the washer. I use an old toothbrush around the fixtures for any gunk that accumulates. My sink is over 20 years old and still gets plenty white.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I get a cleaner at the Dollar Tree called Awesome...and it is! And it has bleach in it. I only use it for the tough stuff in the kitchen which isn't often. I mostly use it for the flavored water packs that are red or purple and the kids drip them on the countertop. Awesome is the only thing that pulls the color out so it doesn't leave a colored stain.

The last house we rented had horrible stains in the toilet. The only thing that got it out was comet (sure any abrasive powder will work) and scrubbing it with those silver pot scrubber thingy's you buy. The toilet looked brand new.

I'm not psycho about killing germs unless someone has come over with a cold or my kids start acting like they are getting sick. Then I use Lysol spray disinfectant and spray every surface possible with it.

I think bleach is ok if you use it in moderation. There will always be people to the extreme of "no chemicals", no sugar, no caffeine, blah blah blah. Everything now days is bad for you. No worries. =0)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

We don't use bleach either. We don't use paper towels, so we have lots of wash rags/towels at the end of the week. We just wash them in hot water or sanitize (washer setting) every once in a while.

Your sink sounds like it could be cleaned with vinegar/baking soda...maybe some lemon juice thrown in? VInegar and baking soda also works well in toilets...or a natural cleaning product for the toilets?

Laundry, get a oxy clean or a natural oxygen cleaner. Works wonders.

Just as a warning NOT mix vinegar and bleach (or ammonia and bleach). Toxic fumes can be created.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I do love my bleach for some things but for a lot of what you listed Oxyclean works pretty well and considering my husband and I are notorious for forgetting what we are doing from time to time, leaving it too long doesn't ruin things.

I used to have a white kitchen sink and it works on that too just make sure you get it on all surfaces. My husband put hot water in the sink, filled it about half way, put in the oxyclean, didn't make sure it was sticking to the rest, I had a half white, half off white sink.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I agree! While bleach isn't my "go to" product, I still ALWAYS have a small bottle in my home. I use comet, and just simple soap and water for much of my cleaning.

However, I must admit, I've learned some good cleaning tips from Diane B.! Thanks, Diane!

Rosebud- do you have a white sink? I used to and yes, it stains easily!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

I have bleach and I have no idea why because I've literally never used it. I have a stainless steel sink. No stains. Once in a while I use Bartenders Friend if I want it super sparkly but 99% of the time the natural cleaners are fine. When I had white porcelain sinks they never stained past what a bit of Comet on a srubby sponge couldn't handle. Clothes? Meh. Never need bleach. My ex's white tees would get yellow pits if they were super icky so I'd toss the shirt in that case.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

We use bleach all the time but not in the laundry.
Never had a problem with it.
Like any chemical - you need to respect it and use it responsibly.

We use it in the water system chlorine tank (we have well water), on moldy spots and for sanitizing surfaces.
Bleach does break down and loses effectiveness over time.
Also - killing mold will work on a dry surface but if it keeps getting wet - of course mold will regrow - spores are in the air all the time - it's just a matter of them finding a good environment (moist) for them to take hold and proliferate.
And if the mold has grown INTO the drywall then bleaching the surface doesn't help much - the wall is permeated with it and will have to be replaced.

What is staining your sinks?
We use to get iron.rust stains until we got the right salt for the water softener system (gets the iron out).
Sulfur in water will cause stains too.
Baking soda (is a mild abrasive) and vinegar will clean a whole lot.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

I get sick whenever I'm exposed to bleach. I don't know what sink stains you're talking about - the kitchen sink is steel, the bathrooms don't get stains. Just baking soda, vinegar, and elbow grease. What else is needed?

ETA - ah - Hmmmm, that would probably require bleach then, but I couldn't do it. :(

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

In addition to baking soda, I sometimes use a Mr. Clean magic eraser (the original, not extra strong or kitchen one) to clean stains from my white counter tops. Easy breezy! I think this would also work on your sink.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Oxyclean. I use it for laundry. And no worries about turning my whites yellow eventually. Also, sprinkling over stains and letting it sit overnight gets them out. I add vinegar to the wash for rags and my mop.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I hate bleach. But mostly because I have a tendency to spill or splash it. Or lean onto it. It seems like any time I am near an open bottle of bleach it winds up on my clothes and leaving little bleach stains...ruining it. So I avoid it like the plague. For sink stains, I often use oxy clean.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

vinegar for nearly everything and peroxide for everything else. peroxide will take berry stains out of a wood floor. so it would probably remove them from from a sink too

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have soft scrub with bleach but that is the only thing that I have with bleach in it. I only use it for the showers and kitchen sink. That's it. Everything else, I use my own home made cleaning solution that I make with vinegar. Bleach is a terrible chemical and I only use it for those 2 things and that's it :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

A lot of people don't like any cleaning supplies and some just have a real bias against bleach. I use it every day in laundry and in cleaning. Child care centers use it to sanitize toys and surfaces, lots and lots and lots of people use it every day and have zero problems with it.

If you like to use bleach and use it smartly then don't worry about those who have got on the soap box of no bleach. I use bleach and some times vinegar. Bleach does a much much better job of killing bacteria and smells and stains and everything.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I use bleach sometimes for laundry, and sometimes for odd staining, like the time I got a drop of hair dye on the floor. I don't have an anti-bleach stance, but I am a klutz so I only use it when I really need to.

Barkeeper's Friend does a great job getting my white countertops unstained without having to worry so much about bleach damaging clothing. The kitchen sink is stainless steel.

I use The Works toilet cleaner in the bowl. My go-to cleaner for the bathroom sink, tub, and outside of the toilet is a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and Dawn. It also works well on many kinds of laundry stains, without damaging most colored fabrics.

If your sink is easily stained it indicates the finish is worn off of your porcelain. Getting it resealed would save you from needing to bleach it all the time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I use several different products but I can't go without my Clorox bleach.

It kills germs. I use it in the sink as well. I have a white porcelain sink. I keep clear mats in each one to protect the sink and often fill sinks with a water/Clorox mix and soak everything.

I use a Clorox/water mix for the power washer to clean the driveway and the stone walls which make up the tiers in our yard.

I do use a lot of vinegar as well. My favorite bathroom cleaner is Comet with Clorox spay.. best shower cleaner I've ever used.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I prefer Oxi to bleach. I do not have a white sink, so I don't deal with sink stains.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions