Clean up your laundry routine
Thanks for signing up to take the laundry dare! There are plenty of ways to make your routine more eco-friendly, and I’ll list a bunch of them on this page. To make it easier to digest, I’ve simplified the changes down to 4 categories: washing, drying, detergent, and other.
Run only full loads. It is more water-efficient to run the washer when you have full loads rather than a few small loads throughout the week.
Catch your clothes’ microplastics. A lot of our clothes are made of synthetic fibres (think nylon, polyester and acrylic) that shed microfibres in the wash. This is awful for our oceans and health! Use a Guppyfriend bag, an in-wash ball, or attach a microfibre filter to your machine to prevent plastic from going into our oceans
Use cold water. Opt for cold water instead of hot water to save energy.
Air dry everything. The most eco-friendly way to dry your clothes is to hang dry them and not use the dryer at all. Air drying your clothes instead of using a dryer will save energy and money and make your clothes smell fresh. Plus, if you air-dry white clothes in the sun they will retain their brightness better!
Shorten your dryer time. If you use a dryer, try reducing your cycle times. Can your clothes get dry with 15 minutes less time in the dryer?
Half dryer, half hang dry. Interested in air drying, but don’t have the patience to wait for all those clothes to dry? Try getting the drying started in the machine for 10-15 minutes, then air dry the rest of the way. It’ll save you some of the time with much less energy use!
Clean out your lint filter often. Clean out your lint filter after every load (if you use a dryer) to increase your machine’s efficiency and save on energy.
Avoid dryer sheets. Dryer sheets are loaded with chemicals, fragrances, and microplastics that can be harmful to your health. Use wool balls, a ball of aluminum foil, or some vinegar on a washcloth as a better alternative.
Switch to plastic-free detergent. Ditch the plastic bottles and switch to using a refillable detergent such as an Ecoegg or laundry detergent sheets. If you’re really stuck on using liquid detergent from a bottle, see if you can buy from brands that are B Corps and use less chemicals.
Unleash the power of white vinegar. White vinegar is a powerful tool for our clothes. You can use it as a fabric softener, to make your own dryer sheets, as a stain remover, or as a whitener. Read about all the magical ways you can use vinegar here.
Quit the dry cleaners. Dry cleaners use a load of chemicals that are dangerous to the environment. If you must use a dry cleaner, search for a more eco-friendly alternative such as “wet-cleaners” or cleaners that use liquid carbon dioxide.
Rewear clothes. Run fewer loads by rewearing your clothes when you can. Obviously, some articles of clothing can’t be reworn, but have you tried wearing your denim jeans a couple more times than you’re used to?
Spot clean. You can make your things last longer before the wash by just spot cleaning them when needed. To freshen up clothes, lay them in the sun for a while. It’ll make them brighter too! Or if it just needs a stain removed, try making one of these easy homemade stain removers.
Buy efficient machines. In the market for a new machine? Check for machines that have a cool water setting, high water efficiency, and high energy efficiency (an A+++ energy rating is the best). Also, top-loading machines release significantly more microfibres than front-loading machines so buy front-loading if you can. Of course, the best option is to use your current machine for as long as possible before replacing it.
Ready to get started?
You’ve just completed the first step in your journey to becoming an eco-friendly laundry champion! To make the most of this dare, I recommend trying no more than three new changes to your routine at a time. See you in the dare!
What’s your favourite eco-friendly laundry tip? Please share with us on the Community page of the laundry dare.