As well as trying to limit washing clothes too quickly, I also wanted to try another way of reducing my impact on nature when washing. This is how I came across the eco egg/Ego Egg via various sites. I wanted to test if I could get clean clothes with the eco-egg
How it works
This eco egg consists of two different types of pellets. The black ones are tourmaline ceramic pellets. Normally they do not need to be replaced during the lifetime of the egg. The purpose of these black pellets is to weaken the adhesion of the dirt to the fabric. Then there are white pellets, which need to be replaced every few washes. These pellets ionise the oxygen molecules that penetrate deep into the fabric to remove the dirt.
You can buy the white pellets in different scents. You have the basic perfume-free one (which I bought). Your laundry smells clean, but it doesn’t have a specific scent. You can also choose, for example, spring blossom or cotton blossom. I haven’t tried these scented variants yet, so it’s hard to say how long your wash will smell of these blossoms.
It is very easy to use. You put your washing in the drum, put the eco egg on top, choose your washing programme and start. Three points to bear in mind are that you can only wash at 60°C, do not overload the drum and do not use a water-saving programme. As the egg works when it comes into contact with water and must be able to move around well in the drum, these points are important.
This eco-egg is perfect for not-too-dirty ‘laundry’. The washing comes out of the machine clean and smelling fresh. When there are stubborn stains somewhere, I have already noticed that they fade, but often do not disappear completely.
You get clean clothes with the eco-egg, but I have not yet found a good alternative for when there is a stubborn stain in my clothes. Luckily, I still have a box of Vanish that my mum gave me 2 years ago. As soon as I have found an environmentally friendly stain remover, this is the first place you will read about it!
When I read that some people use ivy as a detergent for washing their clothes, my first impulse was to try it out myself. I must admit that at first I thought ‘wow, that is really back to basics’. I went to my mother’s garden to look for ivy so I could take it home with me. It is best to look for large mature leaves and not the young, light green ones.
How to start
It was very easy. Pick a few leaves (5 – 10, depending on the size of your wash), tear them into big pieces and put them in a sock and tie a knot in it. Put this in your washing machine and wash as you would otherwise.
I had a laundry bag at home so I decided to use that instead of the sock. I should add that when I tried this, I had been using the eco-egg (laundry egg filled with mineral pellets) for a while. My laundry never smelled the way it did with conventional detergent and fabric softener.
After washing, the laundry smelled fresh and clean. There is no strong smell due to the ivy, but all bad odours have completely disappeared. I would not use the ivy on really dirty laundry, towels, rags… I only use it on relatively clean laundry that really just needs a freshening up.
Would you like to make your ivy wash extra effective? Then add some vinegar. Put this vinegar directly into the drum with the laundry and not into the soap dish. Depending on the amount of laundry, choose how much vinegar you want. This is a bit of a search in the beginning.
Since ivy can be found everywhere (recently also on my own balcony in my new flat, although it will have to grow a bit more), ivy as a detergent is a very ecological and cheap alternative to classic detergents and even the eco-egg. So it is definitely worth a try!
In the kitchen, like all the other rooms in my house, I wanted to try and keep plastic out. Apart from food packaging, most people’s kitchens are full of plastic. I wanted to find out how to wash up in a plastic-free kitchen. First, I looked for an alternative sponge. The typical disposable sponge that can be found everywhere is always wrapped in plastic. To be able to wash the dishes without plastic, I first looked for a replacement. I found a hemp sponge wrapped in recycled cardboard. This sponge is made from wood-based cellulose and comes in a hemp bag. The handy thing about this sponge is that it can go into the dishwasher when you think it needs a wash. Not everyone has a dishwasher, but I found out that the sponge has no problems with a washing machine either!
Another nice thing about this sponge is that it is designed so that you generally need less soap. Win-win!
Disadvantage of the sponge: you can’t use it at all for scrubbing the dishes. For many dishes, this does not apply, but occasionally I just want to be able to scrub out my dirt easily. It didn’t take me long to find a replacement for this. The dishwashing brush has been around for years! Now you can luckily find one everywhere made from a handle of durable wood and a brush of natural fibres. It works perfectly.
detergent for washing up in a plastic-free kitchen
Washing up without plastic is not possible if you continue to use the regular dishwashing products that come in a plastic bottle. In a packaging-free shop in my city, Ghent, they sell blocks of washing-up liquid. 100% plastic-free. You rub this soap on your dishwashing sponge, it makes foam and you’re ready to start washing your dishes!
Both the sponge, the scrubbing brush and the washing-up liquid have convinced me completely. they helped me in my journey on how to wash up in a plastic-free kitchen. I have a dishwasher (with durable dishwasher cubes, but that’s another story) and fortunately don’t have to wash the dishes very often, but when I do, I want it to be easy. Important advantage: after a few months it is not more expensive than disposable sponges and cheap detergent from a plastic bottle. Definitely worth considering!