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Fresh clean towels, a closet full of clothes to wear, an empty hamper – the effects of doing laundry are so satisfying yet it’s still so tempting to procrastinate.

Doing laundry takes up our time, and it also takes a lot of resources: water, electricity, and physical materials. Save on resources and money by making your laundry routine sustainable

Laundry costs also add up over the course of a month, year, or dare I say lifetime. It may seem like an inevitable expense, but there are huge opportunities to cut costs around your laundry routine.

In this case (and many cases), saving money also means reducing waste. With these tips, you will reduce your home’s footprint, save money, and have fewer chemicals in your home.

1. Use machine-washable kitchen items instead of disposable

If you look around the kitchen, you’ll see a lot of items that could be machine washable but instead are produced as disposable.

sustainable laundry routine

You cut waste and money by making these machine-washable swaps:

  • Paper towels 🠆 washable kitchen cloths
    • better in every way: more absorbent, durable, handle messes better
  • Disposable dish sponges 🠆 microfiber scrubber sponges
    • more durable and effective at cleaning
  • Plastic cleaning product bottles 🠆 E-cloth
    • you can clean your whole home with specially-designed cloths and water, skipping the chemicals and bottles altogether. The cloths are machine washable
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A load of my kitchen laundry 

I dive deeper into reusable kitchen swaps in my blog post The Complete Guide To Going Paperless In the Kitchen.

2. Stop using liquid laundry detergent

When you buy liquid detergent, you’re paying for more water than product.

They’re also made with chemicals, unless you spring for for hypoallergenic or natural products, which always seems to cost more. That still leaves the problem of the plastic bottles.

You can save money and waste less by making your own laundry detergent from scratch or buying a more sustainable laundry product.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

My favorite homemade laundry detergent recipe is from blogger Bren Did. I made this for years, and was so impressed with how well it worked. She did the math and this recipe boils down to about $0.06 a load.

After moving to the Netherlands in 2018, it became too big of a project to try to track down the right ingredients in Dutch, so I started buying laundry soap once again.

Sustainable Laundry Detergent

Now, I use (and love – review coming soon!) the Eco Egg. It’s a refillable laundry pod that checks all of my boxes:

  • effective
  • cost efficient
  • natural and hypoallergenic
  • small footprint
Hypoallergenic 210 load Eco Egg

You throw the whole Eco Egg in the washer each time – no measuring or pouring. The egg is filled with mineral pellets which dissolve as water flows in through the gaps. Only the amount of soap that you need is used, and there’s no disposable packaging.

The initial egg is $17.99 and is advertised to last for 210 loads, boiling down to about $0.09 a load. When the pellets are getting low, you can buy refills for a lower cost than the initial egg, saving you additional money in the long run.

So many people have been curious about the EcoEgg! I’ve written an entire post to cover the questions: EcoEgg Review From a Laundry Lover.

3. While you’re at it, skip the dryer sheets, too

If you’re someone who loves the fake smell of flowers, then you may not be persuaded here but hear me out: clothes don’t need to smell like anything to be clean.

If you really think about it, “clean” clothes wouldn’t smell like anything. Softeners and dryer sheets make your clothes smell like something, but they don’t make them cleaner.

For extra help removing odors, substitute fabric softeners with vinegar. It helps remove odors and bacteria, is all natural, and has no odor when dried. Cutting out dryer sheets transitions well into idea number four.

4. Omit the dryer altogether to save on energy usage and extend the life of clothes

Cutting the dryer out of the laundry equation saves money on electricity and dryer sheets, and also extends the life of your clothes. Machine drying clothes risks shrinking, and wears down the elasticity.

If you don’t have room for a clothesline outside, here are two great indoors options that accommodate a small space.

Accordion-style clothes rack

Collapsible clothes drying rack 

In live in an apartment small enough to be considered a “tiny home,” and a collapsible drying rack has made life easier. The radiator is also a great spot for drying, even in the summer when it’s not turned on.

If you have the room, a clothes line outdoors makes clothes smell so fresh!

If you’re set on using the machine dryer, an all-natural solution you should consider using wool dryer balls. They absorb water, reduce lint and wrinkles and say they cut down on overall dryer time by 25 percent.

5. Only wash with hot water when necessary

Cold water requires less energy, and also helps get certain stains out better and reduces color fading.

You May Also Like: Capsule Wardrobe Upkeep, Removing Armpit Stains From Colored Clothing

6. Have fewer items to wash

Imagine having half as many items to wash each week: you would cut your energy, water and detergent costs in half (not to mention the time spent doing laundry, too).

Capsule wardrobe, sustainable laundry ideas

You can achieve this by creating a capsule wardrobe: a well-organized wardrobe, with fewer pieces but intentionally picked to simplify your life and and whittle down to only what you love.

Fellow ethical living blogger Donna Colori has a fantastic blog piece and free planner (!) making building a capsule wardrobe easy. Start simplifying your closet here.

How do you make your laundry routine sustainable? I hope this helps you in making a sustainable laundry routine.

Posted by:Kayla

<span style="font-weight: 400">Hello, friend! I'm Kayla. I help people shrink their footprint on the Earth and find freedom in owning less. On Writing From Nowhere, I share ideas on living more intentionally and sustainably.  </span>

10 replies on “6 Sustainable Laundry Ideas That Will Save You Money In The Whole House

  1. I really want to try the eco-egg! If soap nuts were available near me, I would try them, too. My granny had a laundry line outside, so it was normal to me when I was growing up. When we purchase our own home, I will definitely install one.

  2. Great ideas! I’ve been using homemade laundry soap for several years but haven’t loved it as much since we got the top loading HE washer. I’m going to try some of the suggestions from Bren Did.

    I’m also a firm believer in hang drying clothes. The dryer lint screen is proof that it is destroying clothes. It shaves off a handful of fibers from every load of laundry.

    I’m not a big fan of plastic. I wonder if the pellets would work in the little cloth bags that I’ve used for soap nuts.

  3. I love these! I was really into laundry soap from The Simply Co, but they seem to be done, so now I am figuring out how to make my own. Awesome advice.

  4. Thank you for such an informative post! I am looking for ways to reduce trash and your post was very helpful. It’s so easy to just buy items that are non-reusable and plastic. I think it’s amazing how you are encouraging others to save the environment 🙂

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