I am really showing my age (or at least maturity) when I get excited over finding eco friendly laundry products, it makes me laugh. But we have so many amazing options now, so here are my favourites.
Homemade Scent Booster
My Mother In Law always has the best smelling washing, always. And when we had to mind their house in January, I found her secret weapon, scent boosters and they smelt so good! But they are Lenor, who I personally don't support as they still test on animals even though the apparently support cruelty free. There website is very wordy around the question of testing on animals, there is no straight yes or no. You can read it here. So I made my own. A more Eco and animal friendly and tested on humans, not my fur babies.
3 cups of Epson Salts
2 Tablespoons of your favourite essential oil.
However, note that a TBSP measurement is 15ml each, most essential oil bottles are 10ml. So I added 2 essential oil bottles, which added to 20ml. I mixed 3 cups of Epson salts, with 10ml of my favourite essential oil. And I put on a wash, I wanted to test the scent, and I decided it wasn't strong enough. So in went another 10ml. Our clothes smell amazing!
I have never got around to making my own washing powder, instead I have always used the below options. With this year only using my Ecoegg which I will talk about next. But here is a great, easy recipe for homemade washing powder (my next lockdown task). Here or here.
Vegan depending on your ingredients
Zero Plastic after you buy the ingredients
Ecoegg (UK Brand)
When I found out about these Ecoegg, I was so excited. I first saw them in Avoca, I can't remember how much they were but I do remember thinking they were expensive. So I went home and found them on the Ecoegg website for £9.99.
The Ecoegg replaces laundry detergent and fabric conditioner. The egg itself is plastic unfortunately but it will last 10 years, if not more. The pellets inside the egg are biodegradable and last for 70 washes.
I have the Spring Blossom scent and although the clothes to smell good with just the Ecoegg, I like having a longer lasting scent, which is where my homemade scent boosters come in.
The clothes feel and look clean and smell great!
Lilly's Eco Clean (Irish Brand)
I started using Lilly's Eco Clean a number of years ago, when we moved out of our parents home, so 6 (maybe 7?) years ago now. I found it great and smelt so nice but found the smell didn't last.
I stopped using it as I hated the plastic element and decided to use Ecover Washing powder since that didn't contain any plastic.
But now, the great thing about Lilly's Eco Clean, you can now buy 5 ltr refills, that are better value than the smaller bottles.
Or you can refill your smaller bottles (or any bottles you have) in a refill shop. If you live in County Meath, the refill shop I go to is Cult Zero in Trim, linked here.
Ecover (Belgian Brand)
Ecover laundry products are great, I started with using their washing powders, which I have been using for years up until my Ecoegg.
I find that the powders and fabric softeners last so long. I still have some of both.
The fabric softeners smell great and the scent really stays on your clothes. They also have stain removers which works amazingly.
They are a very open company in terms of what they are doing and why they are doing it.
The laundry products are definitely cheaper than Lilly's Eco Clean, since they are a much bigger company with a presence in a lot of countries.
Ecover products are also refillable in refill stores but they are aiming to get their refill stands in supermarkets, here's hoping.
Washing powder boxes contain no plastic
Other Earth friendly products
There are so many other smaller brands with eco in their name, just have a look at the ingredients before you buy. My tip for cleaning products and also food is, if I don't know a word, I don't buy.
If you were just looking to stay away from companies that test on animals and weren't sure about stepping towards eco friendly products, the best options are Aldi own brand and Tesco own brand. All their cleaning and laundry products are cruelty free. But they do still contain chemicals.
Switching our laundry detergents may seem really small for the protection of the earth but it is something we can do on an individual basis. There is power in numbers, especially when we see the big brand coming out with their own eco versions of their popular products. They can't beat the new demand for earth friendly products, so they have to join them.
I hope this helps you make an eco friendly choice the next time you have to stock up. But remember the best things you can do for the planet when it comes to laundry day is;
Wash your clothes less, only wash them when they are actually dirty
Wash at the lowest temperature setting on your machine
Wash in big loads only
Always air dry
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