How does your usual Laundry Routine look like? The store-bought detergents and cleansing agents? Well, I've got an All-Natural Way to show you!
We all need to tackle our laundry once or twice or even several times a day( as I recently found out). We may or may not like doing this task but nonetheless, we need to agree that it's one that can't be avoided.
So let me help you go greener on your Laundry Routine by revealing my own. It's a routine that I've maintained by practising for over six months now. It's the routine I follow for mostly all my clothes. But hey, when it comes to silks or wool, one should definitely be a bit more careful. Handwash them!
Oops! Did I just scare you by talking about Handwashing? Well honestly, I do it all the time for my innerwear. And definitely my finer clothing too. Because yes, too precious to let the washing machine destroy, even by chance.
RELATED: What I Learnt From My Waste Auditing
But otherwise, I am indeed a slave of the washing machine when it comes to cleaning my general laundry that includes my everyday wear, house linen and cleaning clothes.
If you want to see my Cost Analysis of My Zero Waste Laundry Routine VS. My Earlier Wasteful Laundry Routine, you can check out this Video to hear it. I talk about it towards the end of my video, after explaining my Laundry Routine.
Before I dive into my own LAUNDRY ROUTINE, let me just give you a few extra tips to help you become more eco-friendly.
When Do You Wash?
So this is a very tricky question! Honestly speaking, I have to say this is subjective to personal preferences.
But I still need to say that washing clothes lesser would be the #1 way in cutting your waste.
You could even opt for wearing slips, underskirts, vests or so to decrease the contact of your outer clothing with your body. This helps in needing to wash these outer ones(which are seen by everyone) less often.
I generally hang and air out my clothes every time I wear it. Doing that would help it be worn 3 or more times before it needs to be washed. If you accidentally stain your clothes, spot-clean them immediately and that will prevent the stain from setting and also save it from entering the washing routine immediately. If you have easily wrinkled clothes, just steam them or iron them with steam to make them feel fresher to last for another year or more.
Coming to your bath towels, let them dry completely before using them again. This prevents them from developing a stink more easily. And bedsheets should generally be washed every week or two. They capture a lot of our dead cells (while sleeping), which leads to it getting dirty faster than most items.
*** Another Super Important Point to keep in mind, is to always have the washing machine filled before using it. The washing machine uses the same amount of water no matter what the heaviness of your load. So don't put your clothes to wash in a half-filled machine. This causes a lot of wastage of water.
What Do I Use To Wash?
My secret ingredient to my Zero Waste Laundry Wash is 'SOAPNUTS'. These genius nuts can be used for multiple purposes. If you have never heard of them yet, then you've just found your cleaning elixir!
What Are SoapNuts?
They are berries or nuts from the Soap Berry trees which are common in the Himalayas. Locally called as Reetha, they have the genius chemical component known as Saponin, which is the reason for its soapy nature.
The shell of the soap nuts absorbs water, and releases these saponins that act as a natural surfactant in the water, cleaning the dirt, oils and grime.
✅ Very Mild in nature
✅ No side effects
✅ Leaves no scent
✅ Very less foam formed
✅ Super effective
How Do I Use It For Washing Clothes?
I use 5-6 soapnuts at a time. Put it into a cotton pouch which I tie tightly. And then I place this pouch underneath my clothes in the washing machine.
After you are done with your laundry, take out the pouch and keep it to dry. You can leave the soapnuts inside the pouch itself.
I reuse these same soapnuts 12-15 times until they become brittle and start breaking up before I throw it away. Throw it into the compost bin or unto soil when it can't be used any longer. It decomposes naturally.
What Are My Additional Necessities?
There are a few more products that I regularly use, along with my soap nuts for my laundry routine. So let me show them to you, along with how I use them?!
This is my replacement for the fabric softeners that we normally keep at home! (Psst..those chemical softeners can be super harmful as they end up turning our water into wastewater).
And hey, don't worry! They do NOT make your clothes smell all vinegar-y. But they definitely help soften them. Vinegar is also a very famous natural disinfectant. It makes sure that any bacteria lurking amongst your clothes is banished!
So I always pour around 1/4th cup of vinegar into the compartment for the fabric softener in the washing machine. And in case you don't have a separate one for it, pour it into the compartment for the detergent either.
2) BAKING SODA
Baking soda is another regular cleaning agent that we find in most households. I use it as a whitening agent for my clothes. I use it, especially when I have a lot of white clothing in the wash. But honestly, I use it for all my loads. 😅
I use 1/3 cup of baking soda for each wash. It is put into the detergent compartment of my machine. But if you have only one compartment where you may already have put the vinegar, throw this baking soda directly in, with the clothes (all over it!).
P.s. Do not put in the baking soda into the same compartment as the vinegar as they both react with each other and would not be able to serve its individual purposes, as much.
So all three of these products together make up my Laundry Ingredients!
How Do I Dry The Clothes?
Line drying is my way to go! I have never tried any other ways of drying my clothes again. Because.... the Sun is Free Of Cost! And also another natural disinfectant too. I always hang it out to dry.
If at all it is the rainy season, I still hang it inside my house to dry.
I also use steel clothespins instead of plastic ones. The plastic ones break easily due to constant exposure to the sun. The steel ones I use have lasted over 2 years now.
But if you do have a dryer at home, I'd suggest trying the use of wool dryer balls to decrease the time taken to dry the clothes during each session. This reduces the electricity used. These dryer balls are the best replacement for disposable dryer sheets.
So this was my Zero Waste Laundry Routine in a Glimpse!
I do hope that more of you would attempt using it. And if you have any doubts or queries, make sure to let me know through the comments section. I will reply to each of you.