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Ecover sets the washing machine dial to ‘green’ and shows us
how washing should be done

Tips for using the washing machine, clothing and preserving the environment. Does the washing machine really eat our socks? This mystery will probably never be solved. However, other questions are easier to answer, such as ‘what does “whiter than white” mean?’ ‘How much washing powder should I put in?’ ‘How can I get the laundry clean and still protect the environment?’ These and other questions are always being asked by people who do their own washing. Ecover clears up these washing queries and explains how washing should be done as ecologically and above all as effectively as possible.

According to the German federal environmental agency, 630,000 tonnes of washing powder is used every year in Germany, which is around almost eight kilogrammes per inhabitant. This clearly shows the effects our washing can have. From how much washing powder we use to the temperature of the wash, to choosing an ecological washing powder – with each wash we make decisions which will impact the environment. Then again, it’s not just a question of getting our clothes clean – waste water from our wash, including dirt and chemicals, gets into the water system. Not all chemicals, dyes, optical brighteners or synthetic fragrances can be filtered out, so that they end up in sewage sludge incinerators, landfills or even as fertiliser on our fields. This is why Ecover no longer uses artificial colours and fragrances, foam boosters, phosphonates, and optical brighteners in any of its products. Ecover products are plant and mineral based and are completely biodegradable.

So the first step is to choose the right detergent. And what else do we have to consider? Whiter than white? It’s important to sort the clothes and then choose the right type detergent. Ecover colour detergent, for example, is suitable for coloured fabric because it preserves the brightness of the colours and protects against discolouration. Whites are best washed with a heavy duty detergent. Like all heavy duty detergents, Ecover’s universal washing powder concentrate contains bleaching agents which more effectively remove odours, bacteria and bleachable stains such as red wine. In this case it is a mineral based active oxygen bleach.

Washing powders are not all the same. In conventional products, optical brighteners are added. These substances adhere to the textile fibres after washing and reflect UV radiation in the light, so that the clothes seem particularly white. These brighteners have no cleaning effect and there is the risk that they will adhere to your skin, moreover, they do not biodegrade easily. Therefore, Ecover decided not to use them. More sensitive materials like silk or wool are best washed with Ecover wool and delicates detergent. It works at low temperatures and gently cleanses with its particularly mild formula.

Less is often more. The right amount of washing powder is dependent on how dirty the wash is, how hard the water is and how much laundry you are washing. You should always make sure that the laundry has enough room to be turned over and spun in the drum. So, how much washing powder should you put in? Too little and it does not clean enough, too much and water consumption and environmental impact are increased. Therefore the dosage tables on Ecover packages specify exactly how much you should use. As most laundry is usually only lightly soiled, the minimum specified dosage is normally sufficient. If there is something dirtier in the wash, you should use the specified amount for that garment.

Keep cool! One thing is clear: the lower the temperature of the wash, the less energy is consumed. Thanks to the effective cleaning agents and enzymes in the washing powder, Ecover products work well at 30 degrees. Lightly soiled, colour or synthetic fabrics can be washed at low temperatures. For reasons of hygiene, Ecover recommends that colourfast textiles such as bedclothes, towels or underwear should be washed at between 40 to 60 degrees.

Washing with Ecover products

Ecover Liquid Detergent Lavender: Fibre-deep optimal care from 30°C with a gentle lavender plant-based scent. No bleach or optical brighteners. Dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin. All ingredients are plant and mineral based. Suitable for vegans.

Stain Remover:
Removes stubborn and dried in stains like grass, grease, blood, cocoa, egg whites, etc. Suitable for whites and colourfast coloureds, but not for wool and silk. The stain remover is simply brushed on using the practical, small brush. All ingredients are plant and mineral based. Suitable for vegans.

Universal Detergent Concentrate:
For excellent washing results with your white and colourfast coloured laundry – ideal for the whole family. The Ecover Universal washing powder concentrate is strong on stains, even at 30 degrees, yet gentle on skin. All ingredients are plant and mineral based. Suitable for vegans.

Fabric Softener Under the Sun:
For natural, fresh and soft clothes. Prevents electrostatic charging of textiles made of synthetic or mixed fibres. Makes ironing easier. Dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin. All ingredients plant and mineral based. Suitable for vegans.

All Ecover products are available under www.ecoverdirect.com, in well-stocked health food stores and drug stores, select supermarkets and in the Ecover Online Store.

Source: sieben&siebzig GmbH