Tuesday, February 26, 2019

How to Zero Waste Your Laundry Room 🏠

Hey cupcakes! As part of my journey towards zero waste, I thought it would be fun to make a series of posts called "How to Zero Waste Your [insert room here]". This will not only help me continue towards my goal of becoming zero waste, but I hope it also helps you all lower the waste you create in your own homes! 😀 Let's jump right into the laundry zone!

Detergent, Bleach, and Softener Alternatives
In regards to zero waste, I think this is the biggest question as people are concerned that their clothes will not be cleaned if they switch from Tide or other well-known detergents. To be honest, you only really need some sort of soap/detergent when washing clothes! Bleach isn't the best for you, and it is perfectly fine to not use it on your clothes. Also, softeners are completely unnecessary; they just put a layer of chemicals on your clothing to ensure they smell good. Don't be duped by advertisers saying that your clothes won't be soft if you don't use softener (because I haven't used it for about a year now and I have seen no difference in the texture/feel of my clothes). Here are some of the best zero waste alternatives I have found to replace detergent in plastic bottles:

-Soap berries/soap nuts: Did you know there is a nut that produces a soap-like substance? I didn't until recently, and it completely changed my view on detergent! To use, just put about 6-8 of these nuts in a bag and toss into the washing machine with your clothes. The nuts will last for multiple washes (until they are broken up/look gray) and then can be composted. 💚 You can buy them in some bulk stores and even on Amazon!

-The Eco Egg: This device is so cool! It uses mineral pellets to wash your clothes and will last about 216 washes. After that, you can buy the pellets without replacing the egg, allowing it to last for way longer than a normal plastic jug of detergent. I was sent one of these eggs, and I think it works great! My clothes smell super clean, and I feel so much better that I am not using any nasty chemicals in the wash. Again, this can be purchased on Amazon.

-Dryer balls: Instead of using dryer sheets/softener, try out some dryer balls! You can buy wool ones or plastic ones that shorten dry time and remove static. I have seen these everywhere: local shops, TJ Maxx, Amazon, Walmart, etc.

-Homemade recipes: To be a true zero waster, try making your own detergent recipes! While I have yet to do so, I have seen many recipes that are tried and true on places like Pinterest and in zero waste books. You'd be surprised what baking soda, vinegar, borax and other natural cleaning products can do!

Laundry Baskets

-Buy a non-plastic one!: If you already have laundry baskets, don't throw them away right now (as that is definitely not in the spirit of zero waste!). Wait until they break or need to be replaced and then purchase some baskets that are either from the thrift store or are non-plastic. I think wicker baskets look so cute in a laundry room, but there are plenty of other options as well!

Washing and Drying Machines
-Get the most eco-friendly one as possible: If you already own machines that aren't the most eco-conscious, take steps to cut back on the electricity and water used:

  • Use cold water to wash all of your clothes - Many people have the misconception that hot water will kill the germs in your clothing, but the water doesn't actually get hot enough to do that. Therefore, you are just wasting energy to heat the water. Try using only cold! 
  • Only do laundry when you have a full load - And try to make the loads as large as possible 😉
  • Skip any "extra rinse" cycles - This just wastes more water! 
  • Don't dry as many clothes as possible - Purchase a couple drying racks (from the thrift store or new) or hang your clothes on a line outside. Saves energy and your clothes from accidental shrinking!

What do you do to reduce waste in the laundry room? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss another post!


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  1. Thank you for this! I never even thought to reduce waste when it comes to laundry. I can't wait to put some of these tips to the test. And dryer balls seem really handy.

  2. Trying to make your own detergent would be a fun challenge.



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