A Nontoxic Way to Whiten Sinks, Tubs and More

Annie B. Bond by Annie B. Bond | January 8th, 2009 | 6 Comments
topic: Detox, Green Living, Healthy Home

As part of my new year overhaul I spent about five hours cleaning my kitchen. I washed the curtains, cleaned out the fridge and scrubbed the white double sink. Because I was in the mood to be very thorough — not something I give myself over to very often when cleaning — I was on a mission to remove the yellowing on the bottom of the sinks.

First I poured a bit of washing soda into both and filled them about ¼ full of hot water to dissolve the washing soda and let the water stand for a few hours. While this removed some grease, the yellowing remained.

While thinking that most people use bleach for such jobs, I had one of my rare moments of envy of those who don’t care to be green; I wished I could use bleach. But, because I know that bleach is not health- or eco-friendly, I tried to scrub the yellow off with my softscrub formula of baking soda with enough liquid soap or natural hand/dish detergent to make a frosting-like texture. I scooped the blend onto a sponge and scrubbed away for awhile to no avail.

Somewhere near the end of this last round of scrubbing I thought aha, why not try the non-chlorine bleach alternative made of sodium perborate. The one I had on hand was Seaside Naturals’ “Bleach Alternative.” I followed the same procedure I had used with the washing soda, dissolving the crystals in hot water — enough to cover the yellowed area — and let the combination stand in the sinks for a few hours. Presto. Sodium perborate worked like a charm. And there was no odor during any of the process.

You could use this same technique in a bathtub. To whiten discolored grout, make a paste and apply it between tiles. Leave the paste on for a few hours, keeping it damp, before rinsing.


  1. [...] perborate is a great bleach alternative and my go-to mineral if I am looking for something that whitens and removes stains at the same [...]

  2. [...] For whitening tubs, sinks and other household surfaces, try this homemade, nontoxic, whitening softscrub formula. [...]

  3. I love how you use non toxic product to achieve the same result as with other product that contain heath hazards. It just takes a little ingenuity. Our great grandparents knew how to do it, but somehow we forgot.

    Karl Huie | April 12th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  4. Amazing! I’ve been looking for ways to clean up my tub. I was thinking of using bleach but was hesitant for some unknown reason. And voila I stumbled into a diamond mine, with this blog not only that I found a good alternate for bleach, I am helping the environment. Excellent work!

    Karl Ranili | March 13th, 2012 | Comment Permalink
  5. Sodium perborate is NOT a safe alternative to bleach — do your research! Very disappointing, Gaiam.

    EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning

    Sodium Perborate Monohydrate: What It Is & Why You Should Avoid It

    Jane | February 22nd, 2014 | Comment Permalink
  6. I’ve also heard that acid cider vinigar.. diluted in a spray bottle works wonders as well.. helps get rid of soap scum and mold

    Angie Hoff | March 16th, 2014 | Comment Permalink

Post a Comment

If you want to show your picture with your comment, go get a gravatar!