Why you should try ivy as your newest ‘green’ detergent

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! 

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