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Eco-friendly washing tips: how to wash clothes with less water in 7 steps

Do you want to be more eco friendly? Read our helpful hand washing tips and find out how to do the laundry with less water.



Laundry is a part of our lives, so even when we want to be kind to the environment, we still have to find ways to keep our clothes clean. The best solution is to wash with less water. So from using eco cleaning products to drying laundry without a tumble dryer – read on for lots of eco friendly washing tips.

  1. Sort

  2. Prep your laundry equipment

  3. Soak

  4. Wash

  5. Rinse

  6. Squeeze

  7. Hang

In order to be as efficient as possible, organise the clothes you need to wash by colour. Make sure your whites and darks are in different batches, and put delicate or specialised fabrics to the side for individual treatment. The same goes with unusually soiled clothing. Once you have everything arranged, you can decide in which order it is best to begin the process. Usually this will be whites and delicates, colours, darks, and finally the dirtiest items.

Get two tubs of water, or a split sink if you have one. If you are hand washing on a regular basis, make sure these tubs are about the size of the pile of laundry you do to avoid a lot of small loads. Equally, the tubs don’t need to be especially huge as this would result in using an excess of water – exactly what we are trying to avoid!

One of the tubs is full of water for washing clothes, and the other for rinsing them. Fill them with warm water to begin with and as they naturally cool off, you will be using the right temperature for the colour of the clothes you’re washing! In general, whites need warmer temperatures, and darks cooler.

With both buckets full, add washing powder to one of them according to the directions on the product label. In the case of Surf powder, you simply add in one scoop and mix for 15 seconds! Put your whites and delicates in this tub and leave to soak for up to half an hour.

Ensure the soapy clothes get a thorough wash by either using your hands and arms or a tool of some kind to stir and agitate the contents of the bucket. This movement breaks up the dirt and oil on normally soiled clothing, but don’t be afraid to give the dirtiest sections of your clothes some extra treatment.

Once you are satisfied the clothes are clean, it’s time to use the second bucket to rinse them off. Move them into the clean bucket of water and repeat the process of moving them around to remove any excess detergent. In the midst of moving your whites into the rinse bucket, you can also add your darks to the wash bucket to begin the process of soaking!

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Remove the clothes from the rinse bucket one at a time, squeezing out any excess back into the bucket. Avoid twisting or wringing the fabric to keep from stretching it out. Doing this will allow clothes to dry faster and make the process much easier. If you would rather not use your hands so much, wrap them in a clean, dry towel and press to remove excess water.

When drying laundry, always hang them up instead of using a tumble dryer – it is far better for the environment! Before you start to hang your clothes, take note of whether it is sunny. If it is, you may way to hang clothing inside out to avoid sun bleaching. Using a clothesline or rack, pin your clothes up with a good amount of space between items so that they can dry quickly. You clothes will dry depending on the temperature and humidity that day, but this is by far the longest process of washing with less water!

By using the 7 steps above and choosing eco cleaning products, like hand washing powder from Surf, you will be able to use less water and ensure your clothing is sanitary and bright.

If you want to use less water to do your laundry, try hand washing with a washing powder like Surf Superbright powder – it dissolves quickly and removes stains just as fast and with less water. Alternatively, consider investing in an eco washing machine.

  • Hand wash to save water

  • Use Surf hand washing powder to get clothes super clean without the use of a machine

  • Hang clothes outside to dry

Originally published