• Nathalie

Eco-laundry 101

January 2021.

Sometimes you might feel like no one's there for you, but you know who will always be there for you? Laundry will always be there for you.

Anonymous quote ;-)

In this post I am going to tell you the basis of a successful reduced-chemical laundry routine on adults and littles ones clothing I've learned over years of practice.

If you feel overwhelmed changing your entire routine at once, try to change one habit at a time. In the end you'll be spending less money on detergents, protecting our water streams and your family's health! Worth it!

I LOVE doing laundry and I've loved taking good care of my clothes since I had the pocket money to buy my own.

The pantry for this post is:

  • Sodium percarbonate: considered as an "eco-friendly" bleach.

  • Baking soda: food grade, is a laundry brightener and an odour fighter.

  • Washing soda: removes stains and softens the water, making it easier for the stains to come off. It is not so easy to find here in Hong Kong but it is easy to make!

  • Vegetable soap is the simplest soap with only 4 ingredients: natural vegetable oil (usually Olive, I make sure it's not Palm oil), soda, lye and water. It’s gentle on the skin. Do not use another type of soap for this recipe.

  • White vinegar: 8% acidity for everyday shores, food section of your general store

More detail on the products I purchase in the footer.*

I do not use essential oil for this product, read here my note on the subject.

1. The importance of Pre Wash

[Sodium percarbonate]

When it comes to home-made laundry products, it's better to pre wash stains because you'll be using milder products than your currently use.

Some precaution before we start:

  • Check the labels of your clothes, you'll be plunging them into very hot water, make sure they do not contain plastic or they will melt like the collar of my husband's shirt.

  • Sodium percarbonate can be irritant for air ways and skin, avoid contact and rinse immediately.

Step by step pre wash

  1. Bring water to an almost boil then take the water away from the heat source.

  2. Add one spoon of powder per litter.

  3. Dip your stained fabric for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

  4. Normal wash in the machine.

The extra trick: I throw the "dirty" soak water in my toilets and let it sit 30 minutes to overnight. After brushing and flushing, my toilets are spotless.

Check my before/after success on baby stained clothes are my Instagram saved stories!

2. Easy laundry detergent

[Baking soda, washing soda, olive soap]

Mix together in a jar:

  • 1 cup (250g) of soap, I use Olive soap/Marseille soap. I cut the soap bar and blend it to have a fast dissolving powder. The thinner the better for your pipes.

  • 1 cup (250g) of baking soda

  • 1 cup (250g) of washing soda

Use 2 to 3 tablespoons per load. It's up to you, it depends on how big is your load and how dirty they are.

If you like this recipe, share it on Instagram by clicking on the image above ;-)

3. Bonus: fabric softener

[White vinegar]

Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar in your softener compartment (do not mix it with the powder, the result will be counterproductive) : check my post on the ingredients you should never mix in a DIY.

4. Caring for your washing machine.

Even the simplest soap can clog your machine pipes over the years. I never had a clog but I do recommend a 90C cycle with three cups of vinegar once a month to clean your machine.

A clean machine = clean clothes.


See related Insta post:

4 dry cleaning tips!

2 common DIY mistakes


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