In one of my previous articles I wrote about ecological household products and because it was already so long, I decided to leave my laundry routine for another time. So now, it’s time!
- Tierra Verde washing gel when I’m in the Czech Republic. In the US, I use Biokleen.
- Just a simple olive soap with no fragrance for simple stains.
- Tierra Verde Puer ( sodium carbonate, powder with active oxygen) for more intense stains.
- White vinegar to soften and essential oil for adding little fragrance if you want it.
- Water softener, in case you have hard water.
My first try with ecological laundry soap was with soap nuts. They washed well, but compared to the aggressive liquid detergents I used before, they didn’t wash everything the way I wanted. Because of that, I felt I didn’t have enough knowledge to use them properly. Then I found my brand, Tierra Verde, and fell in love with their liquid detergent made from soap nuts. They have refill stations all over the Czech Republic, which also fits into my zero waste lifestyle. When you consider soap nuts it’s important to think about the ecological fact that most of them are grown in India and travel around the world before being used. You want to be sure that the soap nuts in the products you use are fair trade. Eventually my plan is to use chestnuts for washing, because I’ve heard they also contain saponins. Have you tried them yourself?
My washing routine:
Over the years, I have become more interested in how well my clothes are washed and maintained, and I am taking more care to get perfect results. If I see a stain, I try to get it out immediately. I usually soak it in plain water for a few hours or overnight, then hand-wash it with fragrance-free olive soap. Most of the stains disappear after that. If not, then I use the more aggressive Puer, and follow the same care instructions as with my husband’s shirt collars. I throw them in warm water with Puer and let them soak, again for a few hours or overnight depending on the stain. After that, I quickly hand wash the collars, then throw the shirts in the washing machine with my normal detergent. I also add Puer to my light/white loads, because it cleans extra deeply and the clothes come out looking whiter.
Most of the time I don’t use fabric softener, which may seem strange. But if you are used to it, white vinegar will do the same job at about 1 cup per load. If you don’t like the smell, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the vinegar.
I bought a special kit to test the PH of my water. Because it is a little bit hard, I use a balancer according to instructions on the package of the kit to soften it.
My washing machine:
It’s also important to clean your washing machine. A dirty machine can’t wash clothes properly! I take special care with the elastic part, which can hide water and turn grey very quickly. Once in awhile I wash my machine with vinegar. I simply run a cycle with no materials inside.
And that’s it.
Beautiful washing and clean laundry,
Translation with the help of Ellie Farrier