Happy Wednesday, Greenies! As I mentioned last week in The Chemical Conundrum, today I want to share my zero waste, 100% natural/earth friendly laundry solution with you. Now, it is absolutely possible and doable to make your own laundry detergent. I am going the homemade route with most of my products: however, at the moment, it is more cost effective and time effective for me to buy the product I’ll be talking about below. I will cover homemade detergent in a future post.
First, the detergent. I actually took a photo of the ingredients list of this product last week, but here it is again:
What are you looking at, exactly? This is Enchantrix detergent, made in South Africa (in the Western Cape, in fact), using locally sourced ingredients where possible. As I mentioned last week, all the ingredients in this product are 100% natural, derived from sources like coconut, even the “unpronounceables” like decyl glucoside. They also use organic ingredients where possible, and as you can see, this product does not contain any harmful sulfates. Basically, there is nothing in this bottle that is going to harm the environment or water systems. And it’s zero waste because the company assured me that the packaging, including the bottle cap, is all recyclable.
As a plus, you only use 1 tbsp of this per load, even for fairly large loads. I don’t think it’s necessary to use more than that unless your clothes are really dirty. (Hint: our clothes aren’t really dirty just from wearing them normally, so 1 tbsp is plenty.) As green detergents go it’s super affordable, too, at R53 for a 500ml bottle. I do at most 5 loads a month, so that’s 5 tbsps per month. That means that 1 bottle lasts me around 6 months. R53 for 6 months is less than R10 a month, which is seriously not bad! Plus, the less harsh the ingredients in your detergent, the better it is for your clothes, too, which means they last longer and you buy new clothes less often, saving you even more money. Also, it’s always great to support a South African based company!
Next, the fabric softener. Be prepared to be underwhelmed! For ages now I’ve been using white spirit vinegar as fabric softener.
Provided you don’t use too much (I use 2-3 tbsps per load, depending on the size of the load), the vinegar smell will dissipate as the clothes dry. It works spectacularly well, is incredibly cheap, lasts forever because of how little you use, and since you probably already buy vinegar, this is one less thing you’ll have to buy. Find a brand with a recyclable bottle (which is most of them), and you’ve got your zero waste, 100% natural laundry solution. Normal fabric softener is also infamous for its clothing-destroying abilities, so using vinegar will also save your clothes and mean that you have to buy new clothes less often. This solution saves money and the earth both in the short term and in the long term.
Disclaimer: I was not paid in any way to endorse these products, and this is my own personal opinion formed after lots of trial, error, and research.