When it comes to greenifying my laundry routine, I was a little nervous. I tend to be choosy about my soaps and dryer sheets and I wasn't sure I wanted to throw my old, non-green favorites away. But after a single trip to the Whole Foods laundry aisle, I can just about promise you that I'm never going back. There were a ton of great, natural, affordable (and nice-smelling!) options there that I couldn't even start to go into them all. But here are two of my current favorite laundry products:
For laundry soap, I wanted something that would be effective at cleaning but not at all harsh on my clothes. Ecover Ultra Ecological Laundry Wash does the trick for me. It's nice to my clothes, doesn't fade the colors, and leaves them clean and smelling nice. The lavender scent is plant-derived (unlike the synthetics at the regular grocer which I actually hate) and I find it herbal but light. It's also a high efficiency product, which cuts down on product and packaging waste.
Dryer sheets are one of those products that aren't strictly essential, so if I really wanted to be green I could go without them. But I really like the way they make my clothes soft and non-staticky, plus their scent usually lasts longer than that of a detergent. I found true love in Mrs. Meyer's Dryer Sheets, which are biodegradable and the essential oil scents are strong enough that I only need one for a large load at the laundromat (vs. the two or three I used to use). I like the Lemon Verbena scent currently, but they also come in Lavender, Geranium, Baby Blossom, and Basil. And at $8 for 80 sheets, they're not too expensive to use frequently.
So there you have it, my new "green" laundry routine and I'd love to hear your thoughts or suggestions. :) Have you ever used "green" cleaners?
PS: If you aren't much for dryer sheets, you could scent your laundry by adding essential oils (like lavender) to your wash to lightly scent the clothes- just make sure whatever you add won't stain or bleach. You could also add a drop to a clean washcloth and add it to the dryer for the same effect without the waste.
Images: Laundry wash from Vitacost, dryer sheets from Mrs. Meyers Clean Day