5 tips – eco friendly laundry products
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Last week I talked about reducing the environmental impact of your laundry by making careful use of water and electricity and swapping harsh, toxic products for eco friendly ones.
Today I’m going to share 5 greener laundry products with you. These reduce the amount of petroleum-based ingredients, harsh synthetic chemicals and toxic residue which can adversely effect you and the environment.
Please share your favourites in the comments below!
Ecover is probably one of the best-known brands for eco friendly cleaning and laundry. Based on plant derived cleaning agents, Ecover have a good range of products including bio and non bio powders, liquids and fabric softener. They even sell a stain remover and no-chlorine bleach.
Ecos make fragrance free launcry powder with soy based fabric conditioner and non-chlorine bleach that uses oxygen power to remove stains. Their concentrated detergent means just 30 mls is needed per load.
Ecoballs. I’m sceptical about these beauties, but some people swear by them. You just pop three ecoballs in your machine instead of detergent and the ‘magic filling’ ionises the water to penetrate fibres and lift dirt away. No chemicals means you can miss out the rinse cycle.
Soapnuts are natural, biodegradable and compostable! They are the shell of the nuts of the sapindus tree, grown in India. Most companies ship by boat rather than air freight, so they are an environmentally friendly option. Excellent for people with eczema and allergies to conventional products.
Soap powder. If you’re lucky enough to have soft water, you can use pure soap flakes for laundry. Dissolve 25 g (1 oz) of grated castile soap in hot water and put in the wash cycle. You’ll need to use a cold water rinse if using soap and will need to experiment with amounts to get it right.
What is your favourite eco friendly laundry product?
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Ecover seems like an interesting brand, although I’m curious if their stuff is sold here in the States? I try and use as little water as possible when doing the laundry, but it’s hard not to feel wasteful in so many ways. The same is true with doing the dishes too; I just can’t help but feel like so much water and electricity is being wasted!
I try and combine as many loads of laundry as I can of course, but maybe using some of these products you’ve listed will make me feel a little less guilty from now on.
I love Ecover products. I would also recommend Nellies and Biokleen, they are both excellent green brands, and I have used all three for different things.
On http://www.greencupboards.com you can find these brands, and I just found them on sale under “Specials,” as well as a bunch of other green brands of household, baby, pet, and personal care products.
As far as laundry goes, though, my family goes through so much detergent, that it really makes a big impact on the environment to switch to a brand that is concentrated and eco-friendly!
@Travis: Yeah, Ecover is sold in the US. You can find the products online at http://www.greencupboards.com, as well as other eco-friendly laundry products that can really cut down on your carbon footprint.
@Travis: Hi Travis, the electricity and water usage can be phenomenal. But you’re doing what you can with full loads and maybe you only run a bowl of water to do the dishes.
You could also use your dishwater on non edible plants such as the lawn or flowers or tip it into a rain barell for future use. As long as there is not too much grease in the water and you’re using an eco friendly detergent, all will be well 🙂
You can also do washing at 30 degrees or even a cold wash and if you use soapnuts or eco balls, there is no need for rinse water.
@Karissa Jean: Thanks Karissa – Is the greencupboards site your own? You’ve mentioned it three times now, so I’d like to hear more about your business and what prompted you to set it up 🙂
I wanted to share the environmentally safe cleaning products I discovered. They have 12 products and all contain only 4 ingredients: enzymes, surfactants, natural fragrances and colors, and water. What makes them unique is that each product has multiple enzymes so they are more effective. The company has a proprietary formula to keep the enzymes from eating each other. (They are cannibalistic.) The laundry detergent can be used in cold water and doesn’t take much. The stain remover works very well too. There is also a stain stick which is awesome!
Linda Sadler, WowGreen Independent Distributor
@Linda Sadler: Hello Linda, welcome to the site. Your products sound impressive and the site is great. How long have you had the site and what sort of people buy your products?
If anyone is interested in soap nuts here’s a great company: http://www.econutssoap.com
all their recycled packaging is biodegradable with no plastic and their soap nuts are top-quality. I’ve tried a few brands and I think I get more loads of laundry from using these.
@Travis: you should absolutely try these if you want to save water. They don’t leave a residue so you can just stop your machine when it gets to the rinse cycle because it isn’t needed.
@Leah Marshall: Thank you for the link, Leah. I like the compostable factor of soapnuts too. Interesting that you think different brands offer different quality. I assumed they were all the same.
@Mrs Green: theres around 20 different species/varieties of Soap Nut/Soap berry trees. I had a conversation with the company owner about it and was informed how they vary between regions/climates and different soapnut varieties have different saponin content, size, and color, etc. the owner also stressed a triple sorting process for the nuts to ensure quality.
It’s like any other produce item, really.
@Leah Marshall: Wow, thank you Leah; I’m learning such a lot from you. I must admit I’d never really thought about it until you mentioned it.
And I’m guessing the saponin content is what makes the product more or less powerful in terms of cleaning power.
@Mrs Green: Yes, Saponin is the cleaning agent that’s naturally in the soapnuts. More saponin = more cleaning power and more re-uses.
I find this all so fascinating myself 🙂