Having a large household and feral children makes for monumental amounts of washing. I cut this to the bone because I hate it; it's my least favourite of all the household chores, with the exception of changing king size duvet covers...
Even with clothes only being added to the washing basket by means of walking there themselves, there is still easily enough for maybe 4 loads a week. It's probably not many by most people's standards, but my discontent makes me constantly seek shortcuts, and certainly ways to save money.
And it was for primarily this reason that I found these - EcoEggs. I've tried many things before (read about my adventures here) including soap nuts and even conkers, but nothing yet has quite shifted the muck of accumulated teenagers nor befriended my purse.
These guys promised to do both. At coppers per wash, just 3p, and with a money back guarantee, they were worth a shot. But that didn't stop me grilling their poor Customer Service department about exactly what the active ingredients were and how and where they were sourced (they were even kind enough, or maybe desperate enough, to email me the MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheets I now know - at one point...) Turns out they're natural, not derived from petrochemical industries, nor palm oil plantations, and the plastic eggs that the little active nuggets sit within is formed from recycled plastic. And it's refillable.
I bought two, because I have a 10kg machine and that's what's required, and we've been using them for around a fortnight now. Admittedly it's the Easter Holidays so they've not had the school shirt wash to deal with yet, but they're proving pretty effective. And much as I hate to admit that this has swayed my opinion, but they smell nice. Soap nuts plus bicarb were OK, but shallow as it is maybe, clearly the smell of fresh laundry is more important to me than I anticipated!
I have one child with fairly severe eczema, and although washing powders have not affected him before, these have certainly not made his situation any worse. Promises of being skin friendly and endorsements by the National Eczema Society are holding true.
And they're easy. No measuring, no sticky liquids, nothing to fish out at the end - just throw them in and leave to dry after.
I am reluctant to recommend anything - certainly reading reviews EcoEggs are not for everyone - but they're working for us. And knowing that I'm cutting out our liquid's plastic bottles and powder boxes, and all the carbon miles that production and shipping of these entails, is pleasing me no end.
And did I mention the smell...?!
Treading Lightly is simple living, within your means and the means of the planet, and making a minimal impact on the Earth. Find out more here about Catherine, of Barefoot Solutions, does this from day to day.