Most people are aware of fast fashion these days, and the effect it has on our planet and the people in it. Countering that means buying higher quality pieces, and then looking after them. When it comes to your whites, in particular, it can seem like you only get a very few wears from them before they’re rendered unusable with stains and discoloration. Is the only answer to it bleach?
Let lemons be your clean clothes solution. It works because of the acids in the juice, and makes an effective alternative to harsh chlorine bleach. Note: Any whitening or bleaching effect will be enhanced by drying the fabric in the sun.
- Cleaning White Shoes
White tennis shoes seldom stay that way over the long term, but you can bring them back to clean and fresh looking with a little effort. • Add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to 1 cup of water. Mix together in a small bowl.
• Use a toothbrush to dip into the lemon/water mixture and scrub the shoe.
• Rinse the fabric with a bit of water to remove the solution.
- Fruit Juice Stains
Fruit juices just seem to gravitate to white fabrics, don’t they? Especially when worn by little ones…But, a little lemon juice will soon set things right. • Mix 1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice with 2 parts lukewarm water.
• Pre-soak the stain in the solution for about 5-10 minutes, then wash as usual.
- Moldy Fabric
Mold spores love organic materials, which means many fabric are susceptible to mold and mildew stains in damp conditions. The acids in lemon juice are perfect for breaking down mold or mildew, and represent one of the few effective treatments.
• Make a paste with about 1 part lemon juice to 1 part salt.
• Adjust the consistency with more or less salt so that you can work it into the stained area without the salt entirely dissolving.
• It helps if you can expose the fabric to the sun as it dries, even if you can’t actually dry it in the open.
• Wash as you would usually.
- Leather Care
Leather shoes and other items need regular maintenance. Here’s a quick and easy way to clean and shine shoes, jackets, and more. • Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into a small bowl.
• Use it to dampen a clean, soft cloth.
• Rub the cloth gently over your leather pieces. Take up more of the juice into the cloth as needed.
• It will clean dirt and minor stains, and help leave a shiny finish.
- Rust Stains
When it comes to rust stains on white fabric, the stains will resist virtually any kind of commercial soap or detergent, and even chlorine bleach actually makes the stain worse. Lemon juice comes to the rescue. • Wet the area of the stain directly with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
• Fill the bottom of a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
• Hold the stained area over the steam coming off the boiling water for 2-4 minutes. Stay far enough away to avoid a burn.
• Wash with the rest of the laundry.