The laundry room, just like the bathroom, is a place that can easily fill up with so many single-use or non-recyclable items such as plastic bottles and dryer sheets. I’ve put together a list of easy swaps that anyone can do to reduce the amount of recycling and waste in their home. “Reducing” should come before “Recycling” when possible, so continue reading to learn some great and easy tips!
Easy DIY Laundry Powder
We live in the country, which means that our water comes from a well in the ground, which means that we inevitably have hard water. We always have lots of baking soda on hand for cleaning, deodorizing, and putting into our baths. Seriously, is there anything that baking soda can’t do?
Laundry powder recipe
- 2 cups baking soda (I get my baking soda at Bulk Barn, but you can order it from Amazon in a paper bag)
- 2 cups washing soda (Also comes in a cardboard box at the grocery store)
- 2 cups epsom salt (I get it from Bulk Barn)
- 1 cup borax (Typically comes in a cardboard box at the grocery store)
- 1 cup grated castille soap
Mix everything together in a glass jar, and use as needed. I like to add about 2-3tbsp to my laundry load in the powder compartment. Our clothes always come out clean and fresh with this powder!
Some other handy uses for baking soda:
- Put a cup or so in your bath water to soften the water and soften your skin.
- Use as a beneficial treatment for your septic tank (just draining the baking soda bath does wonders for your septic!). The baking soda raises the pH of the septic system, which in turn allows beneficial bacteria to thrive and digest the septic waste.
- Clean stainless steel pots and pans. Baking soda gets that filmy layer off of the inside of pots and pans, and makes them shine!
- Clean your stainless steel sink. You’ve never seen it sparkle so much.
- Polish silver jewelry or utensils by making a paste with baking soda and water.
- Use as a deodorizer for your fridge. Place some baking soda in a dish and set it at the back of your fridge. Change it every month or so.
- Laundry stain removal: create a paste and use on small grease or oil stains on clothing.
- Cleaning produce: add 1/4 cup of baking soda to your sink half full of water. Let the fruit and vegetables sit for 5 minutes, scrub them, and then rinse. The baking soda will remove any unwanted residue from your produce.
I like to use soap nuts in addition to my baking soda and castille soap mixture. Place 5 or 6 soap nuts in a small cloth bag, ensuring that the bag is knotted tightly. Throw the bag in with your clothes and set the water temperature to “warm”. If you prefer using cold water, simply soak the soap nuts in boiling water for 5 minutes prior to placing them in the washing machine — soap nuts work best when used or activated in warm water.
When your load of laundry is finished, simply remove the cloth bag and allow the soap nuts to dry. You can get around 5 uses out of the nuts before they need to be composted.
I have read that you can grind the soap nuts into a powder. I did attempt this in my food processor, but they created a massive amount of dust and I accidentally inhaled some and it was not a pleasant experience. I did get some powder out of the process, but it was not worth it in my opinion.
This stain bar from Rocky Mountain Soap works wonders on stains, including those inevitable baby-blowouts, which always seem to happen in a white onesie. I like to use an old toothbrush that I’ve re-purposed for laundry use with this stain bar. Simply wet the affected area, rub the stain bar until it lathers, and then scrub it a bit under cold running water. The stain should lift right out and then you can just throw the affected garment in the laundry.
Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls are a great zero waste addition to your laundry routine. They help your laundry dry faster, reduce static, and, when you add a few drops of essential oil to them, make your laundry smell great too! If you are looking to reduce harsh fragrances in your home but love the smell of clean laundry, adding essential oils to your dryer balls is a lovely and safe alternative. Wool dryer balls are a great replacement for nasty dryer sheets. You can find some Canadian-made dryer balls like these on Amazon.
Do you have any laundry room swaps?
I would love to hear what zero waste swaps you’ve made in the laundry room. Let me know below in the comments!