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How These 3 Zero-Waste Laundry Swaps Will Save You Money

Recently, I put together a powerpoint for my family to switch over to a more sustainable laundry practice. Here are some of the points I made!

Written by
Liz Luan

Here’s the thing-- we all do laundry one way or another. Whether you choose to go old-school and scrub out your stains in the sink and air dry or covet your coins to use at the laundromat, we all want clean clothes. 

If you're trying to exist within a zero-waste or as close to a zero-waste lifestyle as you can get, getting clean clothes can be challenging. Laundry can be quite wasteful. Just washing and drying your clothes can take up a lot of energy and water. On top of that, there is a huge waste that comes with purchasing laundry products.

The Real Cost of Laundry

Just the United States alone produces more than 1 billion jugs of laundry detergent waste and the plastics used to pack laundry products rarely get recycled.

That is a lot when you weigh in that the average family in the US does an average of 400 loads per year. So, the truth is that laundry can be a surprising obstacle to a sustainable lifestyle.

However, as soon as you do a little more research, you can find that by using these sustainable swaps you can help your pocket and the environment.

The average non-zero waste detergent costs around $25 per 150 washes while a zero-waste detergent can cost $30 per 250 washes. This may seem like just a 0,04 difference per wash, but savings really add up per year.

To help you we have compiled a list of products for you to use that are not only zero-waste but are also all non-toxic and cruelty-free.

Products to Keep an Eye Out For

1. Detergent in Zero-Waste Packaging

Taking detergent that itself doesn’t require anything to throw away is a game-changer. I have two recommendations. The first: fan-favorite Dropps. These detergent pods are pre-portioned and when buying from Earthhero, a sustainable product site with carbon-free shipping, you have the option to only be spending $30 for 250 washes. This is cheaper than regular detergent! For the average person who does laundry triweekly, you’d save more than $160 a year!

But don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to Dropps, especially if you’re not a detergent pod person. There are other detergent products for you! Another cool one is Well Earth Good’s Dissolvable Paper Strips that you can buy in bulk. While it is pricier than Dropps measuring out to be $55 for 120 washes, these nifty detergent strips are made from high-quality ingredients and they’re entirely vegan!

2. Zero-Waste Soap Bars for Hand Washing

Got a tricky stain or only really need to wash one thing? Consider just washing it in your sink and letting it air dry. You can use a plastic-free laundry bar, like the ones available from Ethique, that are incredible for your more delicate items. This highly reviewed item is also cost-effective at only $6 for bar-- cheaper than some iced coffee I’ve bought!

3. Wool Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls are awesome and I can’t get enough of them. They’re available at your local Target, Walmart, and Public Goods. These are a great alternative to dryer sheets that prolong the life of your clothing with the added benefit of being reusable.

Whether you try all of these products or make one of them a part of your daily laundry routine, I hope that you thought a little bit about the impact your laundry has on our environment.