Everything we do has an impact on the environment, and laundry is no exception.
Every time you run a washing machine you could be releasing up to 700,000 microplastics into the waterways, wasting around 12.5 gallons of chemical water, as well as using 500 watts of energy.
Wondering how to do laundry more sustainably?
This eco-friendly laundry guide will help you to become a greener household while saving some money along the way.
Ditch Fast Fashion
Since fast fashion is so cheap, the value of clothes has diminished. Instead of mending an old item, people throw away clothes to buy new clothes. The result? Tonnes of garments end up in landfills every year.
By ditching fast fashion, mending well-made quality clothes to keep them for longer, or buying second-hand could help save tonnes of water and chemicals from producing new garments.
Wear Natural and Sustainable Materials
When laundering synthetic materials like polyester, the material sheds minuscule plastic sheds which head into the waterways affecting marine life eco-system.
By choosing natural materials, you won’t shed microfibers.
Natural and sustainable materials include:
What Is A Microfiber Filter?
A microfiber filter catches all of the microfibers that have shedded from your clothes in the washing machine, saving them from heading into our waterways. However, the microplastics are so tiny that they often aren’t filtered out in the cleaning process, which ultimately means they can end up in our drinking water.
There are two types of microfiber filters. One that you can install into your washing machine that catches them as they drain. And another, which is a bag that you use to put your clothes in, inside the drum which catches the fibers.
Should You Wash Your Clothes After Every Wear?
No, you should not wash your clothes after every wear.
Washing less will not only save water, energy, and detergent costs but will also help prolong the life of your clothes, meaning your clothes will look better for longer.
Items like underwear and sportswear will need to be washed more regularly, but things like sweaters, trousers, and dresses can be worn a few times before washing.
A simple rule of washing is: If there are no marks or odours, you’re good to go again.
A basic washing guide:
Workout clothes – 1 wear
Shirts/blouses – 1-2 wears
Trousers and loungewear – 2-3 wears
Sleepwear – 2-3 wears
Jeans – 4-5 wears
Jumpers and sweatshirts – Up to 6 wears if worn with an undershirt, or every 1-2 wears if not
Suits and blazers – 5-6 wears
Is It Better To Run One Large Washing Load or Multiple Small Loads?
The fuller the machine to its capacity, the fewer washes you’ll need to do. It is always more eco-friendlier to do fewer bigger washes than multiple small ones.
Having said that, you shouldn’t ram the machine full as there needs to be enough movement in the drum for the detergent and water to efficiently circulate and launder the clothes.
Is Washing at Lower Temperatures Better For the Environment?
Yes, washing at a lower temperature is better for the planet.
This is because your washing machine uses less energy. In fact, if you turn to 30 degrees, you’ll use around 40% less energy compared to washes at higher temperatures.
Though, for more soiled garments, and where you need to effectively kill germs, the NHS recommends washing at 60 degrees (which you can do with our ecoegg Laundry Egg).
Washing at lower temperatures will help your clothes look better for longer because there’s less chance of ruining items in the washing machine.
Are The ‘Quick Wash’ Setting on Your Washing Machine More Eco-Friendly?
Yes, they can be. Give it a try! It is likely that you won’t notice a difference between your usual wash and a quick wash, and by doing so you’ll be saving water, energy, time, and money.
Ditch Bottled Detergents To Reduce Plastic Consumption
It’s easier than ever to ditch traditional detergents that come in single-use plastic bottles and tubs. There are now lots of refillable alternatives at local refill stores, farmers’ markets, and online stores that offer solutions to eliminate plastic and needless packaging.
By choosing a refillable option like our ecoegg Laundry Egg you could save up to 40 single-use plastic bottles each year*
Switch To a More Sustainable Detergent
Many traditional detergents are full of harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances that aren’t kind to the skin or the planet. They may also contain ingredients like Phosphates which are harmful to aquatic life. So choosing a more natural detergent will help you eliminate a lot of these nasties.
Are Fabric Conditioners Eco-Friendly?
Traditional fabric conditioners are the least eco-friendly products out there and contain things like animal fats (which isn’t always obvious and can be trickier to navigate if you are looking for vegan-friendly products), synthetic fragrances, and harmful chemicals that are linked to respiratory issues.
In our eceogg Laundry Egg, the tourmaline (dark pellets) act as a natural laundry softener for your laundry. The small dark pellets change the PH of the water which naturally softens the fibers of your clothes without the use of any nasty chemicals or animal products.
PRO TIP: You can also add white vinegar to a wash load for a more natural way of softening your laundry. Vinegar also aids stain removal, helps brighten laundry, stops colours from fading, and can neutralise odours. White vinegar is hypoallergenic and uses no harmful chemicals.
Dry Clothes Naturally (Ideally In the Sun)
Letting your clothes dry naturally is the best way to save energy and money. And your clothes will look and smell amazing.
The sun is the most understated piece of equipment when it comes to laundry. It will help to remove stains and keep your white laundry bright by breaking down bonds in stains. The UV rays will kill bacteria related to odours too. And, there’s nothing quite like the smell of laundry that has been hung out in nature!
Here in the UK where the weather is generally not hot and sunny, you may need up to 8 hours to dry your clothes. If you live in a warmer climate, you’ll probably need around 4 hours.
The tumble dryer is one of the most expensive and energy-intensive appliances at home. However, we do understand that occasionally using the tumble dryer is necessary. You can read more about how to use a tumble dryer in the most energy-efficient way.
Water-heated laundry consumes lots of electricity and traditional detergents are loaded with harmful toxins that are harmful to your health and the environment.
There are ways you can make your laundry more sustainable:
- You can wash less
- ‘Quick wash’ at lower temperatures
- Use sustainable detergents like our best-selling ecoegg Laundry Egg.
Laundry Egg is vegan-friendly. It doesn’t use any harmful chemicals, is refillable and reusable eliminating single-use plastic bottles from your laundry routine.
*based one wash per day with both laundry detergent and fabric conditioner