How to Green your Laundry Routine

Here are some eco friendly laundry tips to complement your Zero Waste efforts! These things will quickly become habits after a while and you won’t think twice about doing them!

clothes line

  • Wear clothes a few times before washing them.  Obviously undies should be washed after one wear, or something close to your skin but if something smells fine, fold it and wear it again the next day. I’m always baffled when I hear people who wash their clothes after every wear. Who has time for that?! Less laundry, more free time to DIY deodorant so your clothes aren’t so smelly! 🙂
  • Consider taking part in a no wash jeans challenge. Challenges are really fun! Denim does not need to be washed that regularly. Even the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and the CEO of Levi’s suggest only washing jeans rarely to extend their life. Washing your clothes less will help them last longer before they become shapeless and faded.
  • Wait until you have a full load of clothes to wash, as with a half load you’re wasting water and energy.
  • Wash clothes on 30 degrees. The friction of the washing machine is what really cleans the clothes, not the heat. Unless you have seriously stained or stinky clothes, 30 degrees will clean your clothes just fine.
  • I use Ecover washing powder. It comes in a cardboard box and doesn’t have any sneaky plastic bags hiding in there.  I used to use Bio D washing powder but it turns out the bag it came in was a number 5 plastic, even though it looked like paper, so that was a tad greenwashed! 😦 I’ve never tried to DIY washing powder but maybe I’ll give it a go sometime.
  • Don’t bother with fabric conditioners. They are just a marketing ploy to get you to waste your money on plastic bottles filled with chemicals. Your clothes will smell fresh after they are dried outdoors, they don’t need any synthetic additional smells.
  • Dry clothes outdoors on a clothesline or a drying rack. You’ll save a lot on your energy bills and you won’t have to listen to the noisy dryer. (It drives me insane!)
  • Try to repair your clothes instead of throwing them out or donating them. I’ve found really nice stuff in charity shops that have a hole in the sleeve or a loose button and fixed it up with a needle and thread to make it good as new again.
  • Give darning your socks a go! You’ll feel super self-sufficient and you won’t have to kiss goodbye to your really cool favourite socks. I have yet to tackle this task but one day I’ll get there. 🙂

How do you guys and gals green your laundry routine?

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12 thoughts on “How to Green your Laundry Routine

  1. Minna (I Basically Travel) says:

    A great post: that’s pretty much my washing routine too. To add to what you said, line-dried clothes seem really fluffy and smell great after a few hours outdoors. I’m able to buy locally produced laundry detergent refills, which has been a great way to reduce waste and support a couple of local businesses at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vegan Mammy says:

    Great post! Have you tried the Eco Egg? It works great. 🙂
    I agree that you don’t need to wash all clothes after every wear. I often wear the same outfit twice and I’m not a very sweaty or smelly person so they don’t smell, as far as I know. I’m a stay-at-home mother so nobody is going to care if I wear the same outfit twice. I do tend to wash jeans after two wears often enough as the kids wipe food and stuff all over them! But if they didn’t then I could easily get many more wears out of them.
    I also wash most things at 30 degrees, except my dog’s bedding which I put at 60 degrees just to kill bacteria and cos it’s smelly. Until recently I used to use the drier a lot but have started hanging up my laundry and it actually saves time as it dries very fast as my house is modern and warm, and it’s been sunny lately. I’ve been trying to be more eco-friendly, will definitely use these tips and must try out homemade washing powder sometime too. 🙂 Thanks for the tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nadine says:

    Some of these drive me crazy because I know so many people that wash their shirts/pants after one wear! It is so wasteful! How dirty are you actually getting throughout the day – let’s be serious. I don’t know where this “ICK FACTOR” came about, but it is rather ridiculous. Even if I get some mud spatter on my jeans, I just let it dry and brush it off – done! Underwear and socks are one thing, but other clothing can be worn multiple times before washing, both saving on water, and extending the life of your clothes and money. Jeans especially. I bought a beautiful new pair of jeans at Christmas and I hate washing them because I know they won’t stay dark for very long. I don’t wash them often.

    Great tips here! Sorry about the rant…

    Liked by 1 person

    • ecogalwaygirl says:

      Rants are always welcome! I get so annoyed too, it is so wasteful! Even if you don’t care about being green, you’re still wasting SO much of your time and money – washing powder isn’t cheap, and fabric softener is the ultimate rip off!

      Like

    • ecogalwaygirl says:

      This ick factor is just something peddled by advertisers to make us buy more cleaning products. Same with the need to be constantly ‘hydrated’ being pushed by bottled water companies despite the fact we get most of the water we need from food’s water content.

      Like

  4. rainbowsquish says:

    This is pretty similar to my laundry routine, although I now wash slightly more often thanks to E constantly getting something on my clothes. Drying your clothes in the sun helps whiten and remove stains too, it saves me a fortune on stain remover, although in the winter I do still use the tumble dryer for some things.

    I use soap nuts a lot too, I looked into the eco egg but soap nuts have no plastic so I chose to use them instead. Have you heard of them?

    Liked by 1 person

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