My Zero Waste / Plastic Free Laundry Routine
Updated: May 27
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Have you seen those pictures going around on Facebook of piles and piles of laundry detergent bottles ?
Those pictures hurt my heart . All I think about when I see that is how many bottles I’ve gone through in my life .
Ive done countless loads of laundry and bought countless bottles of laundry detergent .
Plastic can’t be recycled infinitely like aluminum , it eventually ends up in the landfill .
If that doesn’t bother you then I’m not sure what will . Our earth needs us to care . It’s time for us to change . We know better .
We are smart enough to find alternatives to plastic .
It has been about a year since my zero waste journey began and I have made so many huge changes so far . My latest change is my waste free laundry routine .
I’ve FINALLY found an eco friendly and plastic free detergent !
My Zero Waste Laundry Routine !
Before I found my current detergent I was using Tide Powder.
It’s the only detergent that works for my cloth diapers because of how hard our water is . It comes in a box which is awesome.
(Check out my Cloth Diaper Laundry Routine if you want to know more about how I wash my diapers .)
I still use Tide for my diapers but I decided it was time for a change when it comes to the rest of our laundry .
I am now using Tru Earth Eco strips!
They come packaged in cardboard with absolutely no plastic !
Each tiny box has enough detergent for 32 loads.
1 strip = 1 load of laundry .
If you have a small load you can use half a strip .
For top loaders just throw the strip in with your laundry and you’re good to continue as normal .
For front loaders rip it up and put it where you would typically put your liquid detergent and continue your routine as normal .
They are amazing ! I highly recommend them !
As I mentioned before we have VERY hard water . Our water hardness is above 500ppm!
Washing clothes in hard water is really rough on them . All the calcium and minerals in the water stays in the fabric of your clothes causing dirt and detergent to get trapped in it. Clothes washed in hard water tend to have a shorter life and start to look dull fast.
I want my clothes to last ! The fashion industry is horrible for our planet and I like to avoid buying clothes when I can .
(Check our my post : Why Thrifting is Essential to The Zero Waste Movement)
If you are unsure if your water is hard you can take a sample into the fish section of any pet store and they will test your water for free .
If your water is 250 ppm or higher you should definitely be softening your water .
I use Borax as a water softener for both my diapers and all our other laundry .
Borax is a naturally occurring mineral but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to ingest or use in cosmetic products . It should be kept away from your eyes and children.
(Please keep all cleaning agents away from children whether they are natural or not .)
Borax is a great cleaning agent and great for softening water .
I put half a cup of borax in the drum of my washing machine for each load of laundry I do .
You can purchase borax in a box completely plastic free .
Fabric Softeners & Anti Static Products
Dryer sheets are most people’s go to for reducing static and softening their clothes .
Dryer sheets are not only extremely wasteful but they are toxic ! They contain harmful chemicals that stick to your clothes , go into the air you breathe , and rub onto your skin . If you cloth diaper dryer sheets and fabric softeners are a big no!
The coating dryer sheets leave behind can cause your clothes to become less absorbent, cause clothes to become more flammable , and can reduce air circulation if your dryer .
I stay away from dryer sheets and instead I use wool dryer balls !
Wool dryer balls reduce the drying time of your clothes by keeping wet clothes from sticking together, this allows warm air to circulate and dry them quickly.
Shorter drying time leads to less static .
Wool dryer balls absorb moisture in the dryer which helps reduce static cling .
You can even spray your dryer balls with a little bit of water if you are still noticing static .
If you would like a scent you can always put a few drops of essential oils on your dryer balls.
Dryer balls also help soften your clothes and keep hair off of them! That’s a big win if you have pets .
They can last up to 1000 loads !!!
How many times can you reuse a dryer sheet ?
Bonus : Your kids will have so much fun throwing your dryer balls around they might actually let you fold your laundry .
I recommend using 3-6 dryer balls per load and not over filling the dryer so the wool dryer balls have room to do their job.
&That’s it !
I use just these 3 products for a zero waste and non toxic laundry routine!
Are you ready to say no to countless plastic jugs , dull & dingy clothes , and chemical filled dryer sheets ?