Green Thursdays: No More Laundry Detergent

Earlier this summer, I posted about how I was going to stop using laundry detergent.  Since, apparently, just the mechanical action of the washing machine is enough to get all but the dirtiest laundry clean.  Detergent isn’t even necessary.

Well, I stopped.  Cold turkey.  (Except for cloth diapers.  I felt those qualified as really dirty.)  That was back in May.  I’m still not using laundry detergent for the most part.   It seems to work just fine.  My clothes don’t smell.  At all.  No detergent smell even.

I haven’t had any increase in the stains in my clothes.  I had some stains that didn’t come out with detergent, and there are some that don’t come out still, but no difference.  In fact, I’m more diligent about rinsing my clothes with water as soon as something spills on them now.

The only thing I have started using detergent on again are my kitchen towels, which are generally washed with my other towels.  I use my kitchen towels to wipe up food and spills and clean the table in the kitchen.  They get pretty dirty (ok, filthy).  I found without detergent they were starting to smell.  So, for me, kitchen towels fall into the heavily soiled category of laundry that needs detergent.

I definitely plan on continuing.   Not only is it green not to put anything down the drain, it saves money not having to buy or make laundry detergent.  Win-win.

Do you use laundry detergent?  Ever considered not?  Do you think I’m crazy? (It’s ok, I get that sometimes. :) ).

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15 Responses to “Green Thursdays: No More Laundry Detergent”

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  1. Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
    Twitter: kristinglas

    I’ve never considered not using detergent. Hmm, something to think about. Towels at our house need some soap, for sure.
    I’ve been using a biodegradable detergent. But I’ll try without and see how it goes.

    • Jessica Anne says:

      It’s working surprisingly well. I use biodegradable detergent when I wash my towels. Definitely better than regular.

    • Adriane
      Twitter: nowgreenadriane

      Why stop when there is an EPA DfE certified laundry detergent that only uses 1/3rd of a cup so it’s cost effective, made from nature (enzymes, the kind that digest our food), and works great with no chemical residues? And the company even offers a program that lets you get it for free.
      For more info, please email me.

  2. AZLB
    Twitter: azlb

    wow it really gets them clean? Something I had never considered.

  3. kedamamahabibu says:

    You are great!!

    I use baking soda for laundry.

    Recently, I make liquid detergent from 1 litter boiling water and 60 g of baking soda.

    It works so well for kitchen cloth!!

    Find dirty pan (stained), your pan become shining and remove stain perfectly without scrab.

  4. Florida Girl Meets the Midwest
    Twitter: flgirlmidwest

    I really love the idea of making our own products or going without them. I am going to give this some serious thought.

  5. Kristy says:

    Huh, I actually had never heard of that before! Worth looking into…

  6. Leslie @ crunchybetty
    Twitter: crunchybetty

    This is very, very interesting. After reading an article about how detergent is, for the most part, unnecessary, I cut WAY down on the amount that I used (but I also use my homemade stuff). Of course, couldn’t tell a difference at all.

    So now I’m thinking I’ll make the plunge, like you (and thanks to your story here) to cut it out all together – except for the kitchen towels, of course.

    Thanks, lady!

  7. Joe says:

    I’m starting to just wash my clothes in one cup of vinegar. It makes your clothes come out really soft, gets rid of stains detergent didn’t, your clothes don’t smell AT ALL, just utterly neutral smelling. Best part, though, it makes colours really really nice. Like, I wear a lot of red shirts, and with vinegar, they all came out like blazingly red now. I got one Aeropostale shirt I got at a thrift store, that looked quite nice, but when I washed it in vinegar, I swear it looked brand new, it was awesome. So just one cup of vinegar per load and that’s all. God bless!
    Joe´s last post ..1thousandknives- To him who has- more will be given- but to him who has not- even what he has will be taken from him I realise the gravity of that now


  1. […] you might like to try ditching the laundry detergent, like Jessica did? Wow, yeah. Easy. Run […]