NATURAL AND SUSTAINABLE LAUNDRY CARE
LET’S CHECK OUR PRIORITIES
We rarely consider the impact laundry detergents have on the environment. This comes as no surprise – washing machines and detergents have become a part of everyday life. We are motivated to keep our clothes clean and smelling fresh – this is what is closest to us. The harmful impact that such products inflict upon the environment is not in front of our eyes, we don’t notice it when we wear a clean and fragrant piece of clothing. We don’t experience it directly, thus we forget it even exists. This is quite normal - we are focused more on what is in front of us, close, tangible, what we can immediately notice. Unfortunately, when we enjoy the cleanliness of our clothes, we don’t seem to acknowledge or notice the amount of chemicals we release down the drain.
CAN I GO MORE NATURAL AND GREENER?
Having our clothes properly cleaned while causing as little harm to the environment as possible may seem like an impossible mission. This may have been the case in the past, but today many environmentally friendly or even completely biodegradable laundry detergents are available on the market. They don’t contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment or humans. They contain minimal amounts, or none whatsoever, of artificial (fragrant) substances that can act as skin irritants. Keeping in mind our need for clean clothes, but also the desire to be kind to the environment, we are moving towards sustainability. We follow this direction slowly but surely – because it is possible.
WHERE DO I START?
As we mentioned, there are much more eco-friendly and biodegradable laundry detergents available in the market today than ever. With a little research and information gathering, it’s easy to find out which products are not harmful for the environment and humans, and separate them from those that are. This is not a time-consuming approach – it’s all about replacing the products we normally use with those that are environmentally friendly or biodegradable. In addition to this, some of these products are neutral, meaning they do not contain any fragrant components. If you opt for such, you can add essential oils to them and aromatize your laundry in any way you may choose and imagine.
Unfortunately, such products sometimes go over our budgets – we’re not always able to spend more money than we usually do on conventional products. If this isn’t a permanent option for you, maybe start by investing in them from time to time. In this way you’re still giving your contribution to the environment, while also minding your budget.
If you’d like to give a go at making your own products, we suggest these two simple recipes that can encourage you to make that step.
HOMEMADE LAUNDRY DETERGENT
- 1 kg of natural laundry soap
- 1 kg washing soda (sodium carbonate)
- 1 kg of borax (sodium borate or boric salt)
- 50 g of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- 30 to 50 drops of essential oils
The process is quite simple: chop up the natural soap using a grater and then mix it with all of the other ingredients. As far as essential oils are concerned, you can use tea tree or rosemary, which show antimicrobial properties, but also add essential oils that have an appealing aroma for you. Keep the mixture tightly sealed, ideally in a glass jar. The shelf life of this mixture is a minimum of one year!
Depending on the temperature and type of clothing you intend to wash, change the amount of washing soda and borax: the lower the temperature at which you choose to do your laundry and the more sensitive the materials you are washing are, reduce the amount of these two ingredients in the overall mixture.
HOMEMADE STAIN REMOVER
If you notice stains on your clothes that are difficult to remove, you can pay a bit of extra attention to them before machine washing. You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 250 ml of alcoholic vinegar
- 150 g of table salt
- 5 to 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
Mix the ingredients in the spray bottle until the salt dissolves, then spray liberally on the stains. Leave the mixture to do its job for about an hour, then put the clothes in the washing machine and carry on with your normal laundry washing routine.
WE CAN HAVE IT ALL
It’s possible to have clean and fragrant clothes, while introducing sustainability and care for the environment into your life. Going green is an easy option. It’s possible to replace potentially harmful chemicals with those that are biodegradable, leaving a minimal print on the environment. Instead of artificial fragrances, use natural ones in the form of essential oils of your choice. It’s possible to take a DIY approach whilst saving money at the same time – all you need is a bit of curiosity, a bit of time and practice, willingness to try out and play around with recipes, while having a bit of fun along the way– essentiality, values that KAIAA is eager to endorse.