This week’s “Change the World Wednesday” challenge has us in the laundry room where it’s time to green our cleaning routine.
Although I try to be as green as possible when it comes to cleaning clothes, and as you know, I’m a great fan of Ecover products, I do have a few challenges.
The main one is that we have hard water which means that sadly, soap nuts and eco balls don’t work for me.
Reduce footprints has asked is to take part in one or all of the following Eco-friendly laundry practices:
- Wash in cold water only
- Use “Green” laundry soap (consider making your own)
- Use vinegar in the rinse rather than using dryer sheets
Wash in cold water
I have tried the ‘wash in cold water’ routine before and it was alarmingly bad. Items came out of the washing machine dirtier than when they went in. It was as if the dirt came out of the fabrics, dispersed into the water and distributed itself around every other item in there.
As we are a ‘hands on’ and practical family, rather than one that can pop things in a ‘freshen up’ wash then maybe this is the problem. Running a wood burner, gardening, cooking from scratch and having a child who likes to climb trees means our clothes get pretty dirty and cold washing is not for us.
Green laundry soap
I use Ecover’s concentrated laundry liquid. I’ve tried their powder and concentrated powder, but it’s their laundry liquids that work best for me. One thing I have not done much of is making my own laundry gloop. I think I have all the ingredients here so I’ll give this a go.
Laundry gloop Recipe
Here’s the recipe for laundry gloop which is a popular alternative to conventional detergent.
You will need:
A large pan
4 litres (7 pt) water
1 bar unscented pure soap (castile is good)
1/2 cup (120 gms ) soda crystals
A large 4-litre (7-pt) tub, with a good fitting lid (or a few smaller tubs)
Put the water in the pan and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile grate the soap.
When the water has boiled, add the soap and turn down the heat. Stir until all the soap has dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the soda crystals, stirring until they have dissolved.
Allow to cool, then decant into your tub(s).
Use about half a teacup for each load.
Note: to avoid potential problems with machine blockages, put the gloop directly into the drum, not the drawer. If the gloop sets hard, chop it into small pieces so that it melts more easily.
Adding ½ cup (110 mls) of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse will also help reduce any soap build-up.
Vinegar rinses is something that I do use successfully. It slightly softens clothes (and think it would do a great job in a soft water area) and surprisingly the clothes smell clean and fresh without a hint of vinegar.
White vinegar is a great ingredient for the natural cleaning kit. It cleans windows, glass and mirrors effortlessly and is excellent for cleaning soap scum and limescale from around sinks and taps.
So for me I will have a go at making my own laundry gloop. How could you green up your laundry? One of the biggest changes you could make to the overall environmental impact of washing is to turn off the tumble dryer and line dry instead …