The Sustainable Laundry: How to Make Your Routine More Green

A Sustainable Laundry Guide: How to Make Your Laundry Routine More Sustainable

By Lilly Miller

Sustainability is an important topic which is why it is important to make sure that it is present in multiple areas of your life. Housework is the best way to test that. The way you treat your home, including cooking and other household chores, can have a tremendous impact on the environment.

Sure, those chores need to be done, so most people don’t pay much attention to the environmental consequences. The laundry routine is one of these chores, that can benefit from more sustainability. So if you’re looking to move on to a more eco-friendly lifestyle, then it is time to make your laundry routine more sustainable. Here are some helpful ways that will make that happen for you.

10 Tips for a More Sustainable Laundry Routine

Wear your clothes longer

Now, this might seem like unusual advice, but in reality, the longer you wear your clothes, the less likely you’ll be to wash them that frequently. And it’s been well-known that frequent wash cycles can waste a lot of energy and further contribute to the pollution of the environment. Hence, make sure to sort out your clothes and wear them appropriately.

Of course, garments such as underwear and socks should be changed daily, together with items that have obvious stains and odor. Clothes like trousers, jeans, tracksuits, and heavier sweaters can be worn two or three times in a row, so there is no need to wash them that often.

Use specialized filters

The clothes you wear often contain microfibers that shed during each wash cycle.

Washing machines usually don’t capture them which is why they often end up harming the environment. However, there are special filters that can capture such microfibers and other plastic remnants thus preventing their further release.

This is a great way to make your laundry routine more sustainable and plastic-free. Also, considering that synthetic clothes shed those microfibers, it is smart to wear fewer items made of such materials.

Use less intensive spins and fewer cycles

Shorter cycles are the best way to create a more sustainable laundry routine.

Sure, an 80-minute spin at 40 degrees might seem like a sound idea, but in reality, a 30-minute cycle at 30 degrees can be much better for your clothes, and the environment. So make sure to find a system that will work for you. Shorter cycles that use cold water are also known to reduce microfibers from breaking apart by more than 50 percent.

Sustainable Laundry: woman hanging clothing on washing line in the woods

Air drying is the way to be

Dryers can be of huge help when you’re too busy, but they’re also huge energy consumers. So if you’re looking to save up on energy bills and contribute to the environment, then feel free to consider air drying as an alternative.

Just hang your clothes on the clothes like or use a specialized drying rack. If you live in a predominantly sunny area, then that’s the best way to dry your clothes quickly without wasting too much energy.

In case air drying is not an option, then consider getting a heat pump dryer: it might be a bit costly in the beginning, but it will surely save you money and energy compared to regular clothes dryers.

Buy washing machines with in-built eco-friendly programs

Every washing machine has to run its course. If your machine is old, then it’s likely consuming a lot of energy, due to its age. Plus, older washing machines are more likely to be less efficient.

Therefore, buying a new washing machine is a great investment that will surely pay off in the long run. Start by looking into sustainable washing machines for sale, and make sure to buy one that has in-built eco-friendly programs that use sustainable technology. Features such as AI Wash, QuickDrive, and EcoBubble are extremely helpful as they make sure your clothes are properly washed in the most sustainable and energy-efficient way.

Make sure your detergent is nature-friendly

The truth is, many laundry detergents on the market are full of toxic materials that can potentially damage the fabric of your clothes and the environment.

So make sure to find a detergent that is nature-friendly, gentle, but also very effective. For example, a cup of distilled household vinegar can be a great alternative to expensive detergents. Numerous recipes online will also show you how to make your own sustainable and biodegradable detergent. Also, keep in mind that it doesn’t matter whether you’re using powder or liquid detergent, as long as it’s not natural and sustainable.

Sustainable Laundry: young boy with arms full of lundry opening washing machine, dog beside him

Wash fuller loads

Sometimes, your laundry basket might not be completely full, so you end up washing half a load. However, filling the drum will ensure that your machine is working at peak efficiency.

In case you cannot fill it, then at least fill up to the recommended capacity, which is usually three-quarters of the full load. Larger loads are also known to lower the release of plastic microfibers due to a lower ratio of water and fabrics. Also, putting a few larger and heavier items such as bedsheets with the rest of your clothes will ensure that your load is always full.

Be smart when it comes to dry cleaning

Dry cleaning is an amazing way to ensure that your clothes are professionally treated, especially when it comes to stubborn stains that cannot be washed off regularly. However, dry cleaning is a process that soaks clothes in harsh chemicals such as perchloroethylene solvent.

Although this one is super effective when it comes to cleaning clothes, it can also be a potential carcinogen and a pollutant. Sure, you can still dry clean your clothes if that’s necessary, but it’s also important to do that sparingly. Washing sensitive garments with extra care can be a helpful alternative to dry cleaning.

Buy high-quality clothes

Clothes that’s been mass-produced for fast-fashion brands are known to be easily damaged during more aggressive washing cycles. So, in order to prevent that, it’s best to buy high-quality clothes, made of durable and sustainable fabrics.

Still, when you buy such clothes, it is crucial to wash them according to the instructions on the label, in order to preserve their longevity. Plus, building a capsule wardrobe is also an excellent solution for creating an all-encompassing eco-friendly lifestyle.

Wool dryer balls are also an excellent solution

Dryer sheets that are commonly used are also full of toxic chemicals, non-biodegradable, and single-use.

All of these are the opposite of everything sustainable. But, wool dryer balls are an amazing and much greener alternative. They are known to reduce wrinkles and static electricity, plus, they can also soften clothes and make sure they dry faster. If you want to make sure that your clothes smell wonderful, then feel free to sprinkle them with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.


Having an eco-friendly laundry routine is a great first step toward living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Buying modern, eco-friendly laundry machines, using nature-based detergent, and being mindful of dry cleaning are only some steps that you could take in order to make sure that your laundry routine is green and energy-efficient. Finally, be sure to start at your own pace, in order to get comfortable and happy with your new way of washing your clothes.

About the Author

Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on interior design, well-being and sustainable living. She loves to experiment on daring new home decor trends and write about it as a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator. Settled in Sydney for the time being, Lilly shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.