Laundry Stripping for the Eco-Conscious: How Green is it?

Laundry Stripping for the Eco-Conscious: How Green is it?

While laundry stripping is gaining popularity for its effectiveness, the question arises: how eco-friendly is this method?

In this article, we will evaluate the environmental impact of laundry stripping and explore greener alternatives.

What Makes a Laundry Method Eco-Friendly?

An eco-friendly laundry method is one that minimizes its impact on the environment by using less water, energy, and harmful chemicals.

An eco-friendly method should not only reduce waste and emissions but also effectively clean your clothes.

Why Do Laundry Stripping?

Laundry stripping is often considered a “reset” for your fabrics.

Over time, regular washing can leave behind a build-up of detergent, fabric softeners, and mineral deposits from hard water.

This residue can make fabrics feel less soft, look dingy, and even harbor odors.

Laundry stripping effectively removes this build-up, restoring the original texture and appearance of fabrics.

It’s particularly popular for items that are frequently in contact with the body, such as bed linens, towels, and workout clothes, where cleanliness and comfort are paramount.

Ingredients and Their Environmental Impact

What to Use for Laundry Stripping?

The typical laundry stripping recipe includes washing soda, borax, and a laundry detergent. Washing soda is a chemical compound that helps to break down oils and remove stains. Borax is a mineral that acts as a water softener and laundry booster. Finally, laundry detergent aids in breaking down and lifting away dirt.

How Green Are These Ingredients?

  • Washing Soda: Generally considered safe for the environment, it breaks down into water and carbon dioxide. However, it can contribute to water alkalinity if not properly treated.
  • Borax: While it is a natural mineral, it can be harmful to aquatic life and may contribute to water pollution if not disposed of correctly.
  • Laundry Detergent: The environmental impact varies widely depending on the brand and formulation. Some detergents contain phosphates and other harmful chemicals that can be detrimental to aquatic ecosystems.

Water and Energy Consumption

One of the key factors in determining the eco-friendliness of any laundry method is its consumption of water and energy.

Let’s take a quick look at how laundry stripping fares in these aspects.

Water Usage

Laundry stripping typically involves soaking your fabrics in a bathtub or a large basin filled with hot water and the stripping solution.

This process can consume a significant amount of water, often upwards of 40 to 50 gallons for a single session.

Compared to a standard washing machine cycle, which uses about 15 to 30 gallons, the water usage is considerably higher.

Energy Consumption

The energy consumption primarily comes from heating the water used in the stripping process.

Hot water is essential for the effectiveness of laundry stripping, and heating this water can consume a substantial amount of energy.

Depending on your water heater’s efficiency and the duration of the soak, this could result in a noticeable spike in your energy bill.

How long laundry stripping process last?

The duration of the laundry stripping process can vary, but it generally takes between 4 to 6 hours.

The fabrics are soaked in the stripping solution for an extended period to ensure that all the build-up is effectively removed.

This long soaking time not only contributes to high water usage but also to energy consumption, as the water needs to be kept hot throughout the process.

The extended duration amplifies the environmental concerns associated with laundry stripping, making it even more critical to consider its eco-friendliness.

Laundry Stripping with Eco-Friendly Ingredients

Switching to eco-friendly ingredients can make laundry stripping a more sustainable choice.

One such recipe includes vinegar, washing soda, and eco-friendly or homemade laundry detergent (typically made by combining grated soap bars with water and other natural ingredients like neem extracts and essential oils).

Vinegar acts as a natural cleaner and brightener, while washing soda helps break down oils and remove stains.

Using eco-friendly or homemade detergent further reduces the environmental impact.

Take advantage of laundry strips

How Do Laundry Strips Work?

Laundry strips are a zero-waste, plastic, and chemical-free alternative to traditional laundry detergents. They are small strips that dissolve in water, providing a concentrated cleaning solution without the need for bulky plastic containers.

To use these strips, simply add a half, full, or two sheets to your washing machine, depending on the size and how dirty the clothes are.

They dissolve quickly in water and are compatible with both front-load and top-load machines, as well as hand-washing.

Brands like Breezeo laundry strips offer specific usage guidelines.

One significant advantage of laundry strips over laundry pods is their environmental impact.

How are laundry strips made?

Laundry strips are typically made using a combination of water-soluble materials, surfactants, and cleaning agents. The process of making laundry strips involves creating a mixture of these ingredients, which are then transformed into a solid sheet or strip form.

Keep in mind that different manufacturers may use slightly different approaches and materials in the production of laundry detergent strips, but the common goal is to create a convenient and effective laundry cleaning product that minimizes environmental impact.

Where Are Breezeo Laundry Strips Made?

Breezeo Laundry Detergent Strips are manufactured in Canada. The strips are designed for easy use: simply place a sheet in the washer before adding clothes for effective cleaning results.

Furthermore, their plant-based, cruelty-free formula is environmentally conscious and offers a mess-free and efficient alternative to traditional liquid, powder, and pod detergents.

Practicality and Eco-Friendliness

When considering the shift to eco-friendly laundry stripping, one of the primary concerns is whether these greener methods are as effective as traditional ones.

The good news is that eco-friendly alternatives like vinegar and washing soda have proven to be effective in removing build-up and stains.

However, the efficacy can sometimes vary depending on the severity of the build-up and the type of fabric.

Eco-friendly laundry strips also offer a practical and green solution, dissolving completely in water and leaving no waste behind.

They are convenient to use and store, making them a viable option for those looking to reduce their environmental footprint.

Tips for a More Sustainable Laundry Stripping Process

  • Limit Frequency: Given the high water and energy usage, consider limiting laundry stripping to only when absolutely necessary, such as two to three times a year.
  • Use Cold Water: While hot water is traditionally used for laundry stripping, cold water can be effective too, especially if you’re using potent, eco-friendly detergents.
  • Batch Stripping: If you have multiple items that need stripping, do them all at once to maximize the use of water and energy.
  • Recycle Water: After you’re done, use the leftover water for other purposes like cleaning floors or watering plants.
  • Choose Eco-Friendly Detergents: Opt for detergents that are biodegradable and free from harmful chemicals.

Ideal Eco-friendly Laundry Stripping Recipe

For those looking to make laundry stripping as eco-friendly as possible, here’s an ideal recipe:

  • Vinegar: A natural cleaner that also acts as a fabric softener.
  • Washing Soda: Effective for breaking down oils and removing stains.
  • Eco-Friendly or Homemade Laundry Detergent: Choose a detergent that is biodegradable and free from harmful chemicals.

Mix these ingredients in a bathtub filled with water, using a one-one-two ratio for vinegar, washing soda, and detergent, respectively.

Allow your laundry to soak for 4 to 5 hours, stirring occasionally.

After soaking, run the items through a water-only cycle in the washing machine and dry as usual.

Final Thoughts

To be honest, the stripping approach raises environmental concerns due to the use of potentially harmful chemicals, high water consumption, and significant energy usage.

However, there are eco-friendly alternatives and practices that can make this method more sustainable.

By opting for green ingredients like vinegar and washing soda, limiting the frequency of stripping, and following sustainable practices like water recycling, it’s possible to mitigate its environmental impact.

So, can laundry stripping be considered eco-friendly? The answer is nuanced.

While the traditional method has its drawbacks, adopting eco-friendly alternatives and responsible practices can make laundry stripping a more sustainable choice.

Therefore, its eco-friendliness largely depends on how you choose to approach it.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)