Making your laundry cleaning Eco friendly is one of the quickest ways to really improve your home’s impact on the planet. With so much laundry detergent literally going down the drain and into our waterways we should all be switching to a safe detergent.
If we weren’t all so darn clean we wouldn’t be having such a negative impact on the planet just by doing the laundry! But, truth is we like our laundry to be REALLY clean, and with the labour saving appliances to hand are able to clean our laundry much more regularly than in days gone by.
Laundry detergent can contain enzymes and bleaches as well as phosphates and other unfriendly particles slow to break down in the environment. The water treatment companies have a tough job filtering all this toxic waste out of that water heading for rivers and the sea.
Plus, we all know how irritating detergents can be. The only reason manufacturers try to sell us ‘Gentle’, ‘Mild’, or ‘Baby Safe’ detergents is because their standard products so commonly cause skin irritations and allergies. Many consumers switch to a safe detergent for the new baby’s laundry but surely our older skin could do with just as much care and attention too?
Safe Laundry Detergent – What to Look For?
Obviously companies like Simple Green and Seventh Generation will provide a safe detergent option, but sometimes even the conventional manufacturers may have something to offer. To check if your product is a safe detergent check out those ingredients for the following:
- Avoid phosphates.
- Avoid chlorine bleach and whitening agents. Opt instead for non-chlorine bleach made from sodium percarbonate.
- Choose readily biodegradable.
- Choose plant based detergents wherever possible.
- Avoid synthetic fragrances if you or your family are prone to suffer from allergies.
- Avoid ‘biological’ detergents containing enzymes (they clean brilliantly but are often extremely irritating on skin).
- Choose concentrated safe detergents to reduce packaging and transport costs to the environment.
For more information on the components of laundry detergent click here.
Eco Friendly Laundry Day
Don’t forget the other little changes you can make to laundry day. Alongside your new safe laundry detergent try the following and make your cleaning even more Eco friendly.
- Turn the temperature down. Most loads will come out fine on a cool cycle. Save the heat for when your washing really needs it.
- Forget fabric softener and drop a cap of white vinegar in final rinse instead. This cuts through any residual detergent, descales the machine and puts some anti-bacterial power into your wash.
- Don’t forget how often clothes benefit from a simple airing rather than a full-blown wash. Hanging dry-clean only cashmere sweaters outside for an hour or so gives you much more wear-ability between cleans.
- Only use the machine for full loads.
- Line dry whenever possible.
- Run the machine’s waste outlet to the garden and benefit from your greener safer waste water to keep your garden happy.
- You could always opt out of detergent altogether with home-made cleaning recipes or Eco friendly wash balls.
Choosing a safe detergent is simple, it just requires a little reading. Ignore the ‘natural’ or ‘green’ packaging and check out that ingredients list to make sure your purchase really is safer for you and the environment.