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Sustainable Laundry: 18 Tips For An Easy & Green Washing Routine

We gathered the most Practical & Doable tips that will turn your sustainable laundry routine easier and greener!

Adjusting to a sustainable laundry routine might sound frustrating. But there are actually a lot of easy-peasy ways an eco-friendly clothes cleaning process will eventually save you time and money.

Tip #1: Detergent

Get Zero-Waste eco-friendly Laundry Detergents that allow you to refill reusable bottles.

What do you know about the impact of detergents on the environment? Conventional detergents are packed with chemicals that end up in rivers and oceans and impact entire ecosystems.

Sustainable Laundry Detergent

Practical Advice:

Consider moving to a natural plastic-free detergent. This way, you will not harm the environment and you won’t have to stress about disposing or recycling the plastic container. Just order a refill and use it again!

We really love Cleancult’s zero waste detergents but to see more great zero-waste options you can go to our list of plastic-free laundry detergents and choose the one best for you.

Shop Cleancult at:

Tip #2: Tablets

Dissolvable tablets are another great option for a zero waste laundry detergent.

The active ingredients in tablets are similar to what you’ll find in a liquid detergent but by removing the water component, you are saving so many emissions from shipping.

Sustainable Laundry tablets

Practical Advice:

A few brands offer eco-friendly laundry tablets packed in paper bags or cardboard boxes to avoid packaging waste. We recommend Dropp’s laundry tablets for their all-around eco-friendly approach.

Shop Dropps at:

Tip #3: Powder

Powdered detergent can make great eco-friendly laundry cleaning products as well.

Just as dissolvable tabs, by buying powder, you are also not buying a product that is mostly water. Additionally, powdered detergent is usually cheaper than liquid ones.

Sustainable Laundry powder

Practical Advice:

You can view a few more powder laundry detergents on our list of environment-friendly detergents. We love to recommend Meliora’s sustainable laundry powder.

Shop Meliora at:

Tip #4: Fabric Softener

Try to skip the fabric softener, or use an eco friendly one.

Although this is a widely used product, many defend that the effect it has on your clothes is small, and the impact on the environment is way bigger.

Sustainable Laundry fabric softner

Practical Advice:

If you’re too attached to fabric softener, make sure you choose an environment-friendly version, preferably plastic free and packageless. This is a great option especially if you are in a transitioning phase.

Dropps offer a fabric softener that is natural, mineral-based and packed plastic-free so you can use it guilt-free.

Shop Dropps at:

Tip #5: Dryer Sheets

Give up on dryer sheets altogether.

Just like fabric softener, these seem to be an unnecessary purchase. Saving money while saving the environment – awesome, no?

Sustainable Laundry dryer sheets

Practical Advice:

In case you feel like you can’t live without dryer sheets, try a green alternative like Grove’s Wool Dryer Balls. This green alternative helps in reducing wrinkles and drying them, saving energy in the long run.

Shop Now at:

Tip #6: Subscription

Make sure you’re never short on detergents by subscribing to an eco-friendly bundle program.

Eco-friendly subscription plans are great because the products are zero-waste and delivered to your door once every few weeks (depends on your plan).

Not having to worry about simple things like buying a detergent, or having to buy a non-sustainable detergent will save you a lot of headaches.

Sustainable Laundry subscription plan

Practical Advice:

Our favorite sustainable laundry subscription plan is the one offered by Cleancult. Your first order comes with a refillable bottle that is reusable and the tablets or liquid is packed in a zero-waste manner. For your next purchase, you can order only the tablets or the detergent.

For more sustainable laundry subscription plans view our article about zero-waste laundry detergents.

Shop Cleancult at:

Tip #7: Hampers

You don’t have to buy new products like laundry baskets and hangers.

You can create alternatives from materials you already have or thrift them. We usually have so many things at home that can be repurposed! A little time and creativity is all it takes.

Sustainable Laundry hampers

Practical Advice:

If you’re going to get a new laundry basket consider getting a zero waste hamper, made of natural biodegradable materials. We covered a few great options in our article about the topic.

Click Here For The Full List:

Tip #8: Hangers

Use non-plastic natural hangers

Whenever possible, use hangers and clothespins made out of natural and organic materials, such as bamboo, wood, and metal.

Bonus points if you can thrift them!

Sustainable Laundry hangers

Practical Advice:

If you need new zero-waste hangers – We covered the topic of eco-friendly clothes hangers and listed a few great options that are plastic-free, beautiful, and natural.

View The Article Here:

Tip #9: Washing Machine

Get yourself an energy-efficient washing machine

Doing the laundry is such a natural (and absolutely necessary!) activity, that we usually don’t put any thought into the environmental impact it has, especially in terms of water and energy usage.

Replacing an old machine can drastically reduce your impact, and also save you money.

Sustainable Laundry machine

Practical Advice:

Next time you purchase a new (or used) machine have a look at this list by the energy star mentioning the most energy-efficient washing machines.

Click Here To View The Full List:

Tip #10: Full Loads

Wait until your machine is actually full before washing.

And Only make full loads – Otherwise, you’re just wasting water and energy.

eco friendly clothes washing

Practical Advice:

Getting a natural laundry basket with the same capacity as your laundry machine, and waiting for it to get full, will help you know when it’s time for laundry.

Click Here To See Our Favorite Hampers:

Tip #11: Cold Wash

Wash in shorter and colder cycles, whenever possible.

Cold-water wash saves energy and it can also help you take better care of some fabrics, making your pieces last longer.

zero waste cold clothes washing

According to this article:

“Not only are modern washers designed for cold water, but many detergents have enzymes that can start to work in temperatures as low as 60℉ (15 C)”

Practical Advice:

Use warm water on these three occasions:

1. Fabric is synthetic
2. You want to sanitize the clothes
3. You live in a very cold climate where tap water reaches 40℉ or lower in the winter

Otherwise, follow these guidelines and wash your clothes with cold water.

Tip #12: Hang Clothes

Avoid using the dryer, hang your clothes instead.

Drying your clothes with natural solar power, saves you money and helps the environment. Plus, some clothes shouldn’t even go in the dryer, so make sure you check all labels before drying.

zero waste clothes hanging

Practical Advice:

If it’s a dry day, wash your clothes first thing in the morning so you can hang them before noon. This article went the extra mile and came up with a mathematical equation for the best time to hang your clothes.

View The Equation Here:

Tip #13: Sort Clothes

Sort clothes by weight and shape before drying.

Mixing different types of clothes together in the dryer might mean one comes out dry while the other is still wet.

environment friendly clothes sorting

Practical Advice:

Don’t overload the dryer – Divide the clothes into groups. For the clothes to dry the fastest and consume the least energy they need to spin easily and freely inside the dryer.

So if you dry your clothes in a few rounds it makes the most sense to divide the groups by type and weight. Socks with socks, sheets with sheets, and so on.

BHG has a nice article about how to dry clothing for wrinkle-free results.

Click here to read the full article:

Tip #14: Sensor Drying

Experiment with sensor drying.

Most new dryers nowadays have this sensor that knows when the clothes inside are dry.

environment friendly sensor drying

Practical Advice:

If your dryer has this function, try it out! You won’t have to worry about how long clothes should be tumbling in there, the machine will just stop when the sensor says it’s done.

If your dryer does not have this function and you’re thinking of getting a new one – Consider getting one from Energy-Star’s most efficient dryers list.

Click Here To View The Full List:

Tip #15: Laundry Ball

Get a microfiber-catching laundry ball.

Many synthetic fabrics release microplastics while being washed. These end up polluting the waterways and possibly flowing into the ocean, where animals will consume them. We don’t want that!

zero waste laundry ball

Practical Advice:

If you own more than a few synthetic fabrics consider getting a microfiber catching laundry ball like this one from earth hero.

Shop Now at:

Tip #16: Concentrated Detergents

For those who can’t give up on their favorite scent.

Many people have a brand they are used to and love the way it smells, so they find it hard to replace. In that case, many brands have an eco-friendly version of their product.

eco friendly Concentrated Detergents

Practical Advice:

In case you prefer a product as similar to traditional detergents as possible, try getting a more concentrated liquid detergent like this 8X concentrated detergent by Method.

This little guy will be much easier to transport and store and therefore has a much lower carbon footprint than those gigantic plastic containers that contain mostly water.

Shop Method at:

Tip #17: Soap Nuts

Give soap nuts a try.

This natural alternative is becoming increasingly popular for its non-toxicity and Eco-friendliness. If you want to keep your sustainable laundry routine as organic as it can get, you should try soap nuts.

laundry soap nuts

Practical Advice:

Not all people swear by them, but it’s always good to check it out for yourself. Click here for a guide explaining more about them.

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Tip #18: DIY Detergent

Make your own detergent at home using natural and organic ingredients

You’ll just need natural soap and a little more. The best part is that you can customize the smell with your own essential oils!

diy zero waste laundry

Practical Advice:

If you’re interested in going down that road than this guide by diynatural is a good place to start.

View Guide At:

Extra Tip

Don’t wash your clothes that often!

This might seem like weird advice to give, but the truth is that there is no need to wash clothes as often as we do – unless they are actually dirty, obviously.

Besides causing less waste of resources, washing clothes less often can also help in making them last longer – and that’s super environment friendly too, right?

Just hang your clothes and wait a few days before wearing them again. No laundry at all is better than sustainable laundry! Zero-waste, y’all!

clothes washing tips

Practical Advice:

The laundry room – or wherever you wash your clothes – is traditionally not sustainable at all. Our mission is to, from now on, purchase Eco friendly products and make our practices as green as possible. Sustainable laundry is the future!

Click Here To View More Home Sustainability Tips:

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