I was looking to eliminate plastic from our laundry routines, and tackle another issue as well. My eldest son has a skin condition, and I wondered if it was aggravated by the laundry powder I was using. Interestingly, ecover seemed to make his skin flare up even more. But soap nuts provided a solution. When I switched, he remarked that his skin was much better, and he is not one to pay attention to the laundry soap!
Soap nuts can be ordered online, and came in a cloth bag. You put a few into a little cloth bag provided and add to your wash. You only have to refill the bag after a few washes, so a big bag lasts AGES. And the soap nuts are compostable. For my son, the skin results were prolonged and positive. However, others in my family began to complain after a while that the soap nuts didn't seem to be cleaning the clothes adequately - especially our whites - and they didn't like the smell .... It was a shame, but I had to agree.
Around the same time, I heard that western demand for soap nuts was leaving communities in Asia short of a commodity they had relied on for generations, and that did not sit well with me, nor the idea that the soap nuts have to be transported right across the world ....
I have recently heard that conkers make a more local alternative. Has anyone tried using conkers?
For now, I am back to using a non-bio powder in a cardboard box. Someone else has given me an eco egg to try. Eco eggs sound good. You just place the egg in the drum with your washing, and it lasts for ages before you need to replace the balls inside. But both these and the outer egg are made of plastic ....
Other friends have recommended Bio-D powder, available in paper packaging, so I will perhaps give that a try, too. You can, of course, make your own detergent with many recipes available online.
What's your plastic free laundry solution?