Laundry In a Large Family – The #ECoverLaundry Challenge

Laundry in the Hunter-Pike household

For many households, ours included, laundry is an almost never-ending task.  No sooner have we washed, ironed and put away one set of laundry the wash basket is already full again and another wash load is necessary.

Being a household of 5 (sometimes 7) washing is in no short supply.  Having lots of younger aged children means that the basket fills up quickly.  We’re also a cloth wipe household for the little kids.  This means instead of spending a huge amount of money on baby wipes we use reusable cloths for face and hands and wash them.

ecover laundry - sorting out the laundry

A not so typical wash load

A typical wash load for us could include;

  • Chocolate covered t-shirts
  • Various orange stained items of kids clothes
  • Dribble Bibs from Chase (due to his medical condition we go through several a day)
  • Chase’s school uniform and swim kit
  • Husbands work clothes
  • Lots of Geeky T-shirts and skinny jeans
  • Underwear
  • Cloth wipes for hands and faces
  • Towels
  • Bedding
  • What seems like a billion odd socks
  • Various receipts that I forget to empty out of my husband’s pockets

Does anyone actually enjoy laundry?

I’m not a fan of most aspects of doing the laundry.  I’m guilty of putting a load on and then forgetting to remove it, meaning quite often I have to put yet another rinse cycle on.  This is a total waste of water and something I’m trying to be more careful not to do.  I do however like those moments when the sun is shining, the youngest is asleep and Chase and Brooke are at school/nursery.  I get the chance to stand outside in the peace and quiet and hang the washing out which I find quite cathartic.

hanging up the laundry outside

Laundry Challenges

The main challenges for us to keep our laundry up to date is routine.  As our loads vary depending what day of the week it is and how many children we have in the house at any given time.  As a general rule I’ve decided that when the bin is full I will sort out the washing and then do a wash load.  Whichever pile of laundry is the biggest (whites/colours) is the one that gets done first.  If i average it out I would say we do about 5/6 large washing loads a week.

kids helping with the laundry

Other difficulties for us is finding a laundry detergent that will work for all of our loads and all of our children.  Since my 1 year old Harper underwent hip dysplasia treatment her skin has been very sensitive.  Harper’s skin has started reacting to almost anything.

No time, no space!

I’m generally quite time poor and space poor.  I find it difficult to make time to fit the laundry routine in.  If the sun isn’t shining then space becomes a real problem.  Our house is filled with equipment so I have to switch up the time i do the laundry and try to get it dry overnight so there is still space for Chase to navigate his wheelchair around the front room!

piles of laundry

On the days when I’m time poor, I do get help.  I often enlist the kids to help with sorting laundry.  My husband is actually the chief of ironing as he enjoys it!  He also does washing loads on his day off.  Making the laundry a team effort makes it so much more manageable.

father and daughter hanging up laundry outside

My ideal laundry detergent

My ideal laundry detergent would meet the following criteria

  • Be suitable and sensitive enough for everyone’s skin
  • Do a great cleaning job getting out all those stains the kids get on the clothes
  • Smell nice but not overpowering.
  • Work well with all my different load types so I don’t have to keep changing products
  • Be mess free and easy to dose

There’s nothing better than putting on your favourite t-shirt that freshly washed and breathing in the smell of clean clothes.  One of my favourite things about freshly washed clothes and bedding is the smell of it.  However, I have issues with the smell of some detergents!  I find some washing detergents to be very overpowering. Overpowering laundry detergents often are filled with strong fragrances that can also trigger a reaction on my youngest’s skin.  Even certain fabric conditioners on the market are a no go in our house as they smell so strongly.


Thanks to BritMums and Ecover we were sent a bottle of Ecover’s Non-Bio concentrated laundry detergent to test, as well as a fab laundry bag.  It’s been a while since I have used a liquid detergent so I was keen to put it to the test.

ecover non bio concentrated laundry detergent

Dosage was very simple and easy to understand.  As we live in an extremely hard water area and were doing large laundry loads we used a cap and a half each time we put a load on.  The bottle made it easy to pour with minimal mess.  I usually manage to spill loads of detergent on the work surface so this was a real achievement!

The smell of the detergent wasn’t knock your socks off strong but it was still enough that after washing the fragrance clung to clothes.  The fragrance wasn’t to overpowering and the lavender and sandalwood was a hit with my 3 year old too.  Even after the clothes had been ironed and store away the fragrance was still there.  I really liked the fragrance on the detergent.

fresh laundry

Cleaning power

I was surprised at how well a non biological liquid detergent was able to clean up Chase’s school t-shirts.  Chase comes home a stained white polo top almost every day.  The polo tops are either food stained or if not they usually have paint and pen from Chase getting creative in class.

ecover laundry - clean whit elaundry hanging up outisde

I’d definitley consider buying Ecover non bio laundry detergent again.  There has been zero reaction from Harper and her skin issues, the white’s are as clean as usual, the bedding smells great and Brooke really loves the smell of the new washing detergent.  So much she’s been asking to help put the laundry away!  I would wait to buy it when on special offer though.  We use a lot of detergent being a large household.  Living in a hard water area means we need more detergent per wash load as well.

ecover laundry - 3 year old helping to put away folded laundry

Final Thoughts

Overall I was impressed with how Ecover performed, being a plant based formula I knew it would be gentle to everyone’s skin but was concerned about it’s washing performance on whites as well as on colours (especially on the low 30 degrees I wash those on).  I was pleasantly surprised to find it was tough on cleaning but also kind to everyone’s skin.  How do you keep on top of your washing loads?  More to the point how do you keep your socks paired up?!  I’m going to be using my new Ecover laundry bag as a lost and found for all our odd socks I think!

ecover laundry - freshly laundered school uniform

ecover laundry - freshly laundered baby clothes

ecover laundry - freshly laundered clothes, happy mum and daughter jumping

This post is an entry an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsered by ECover

6 thoughts on “Laundry In a Large Family – The #ECoverLaundry Challenge

  1. Emma Gough says:

    I’m forever sorting odd socks!! I’m sure Dobby the elf is hiding them in the cupboard under the stairs somewhere!! Being a large family too, I totally understand the constant and endless washing loads. I have 3 separate washing bags, 1 for darks, 1 for whites and 1 for coloured items. I try, TRY!! to encourage the kids and hubby to bring down and sort their washing daily into the relevant bags. IF they do it right it’s just a case of grabbing the fullest bag and popping it on…yeah that so doesn’t happen, I have to double check pockets, coloured items etc!! Grrr So I do have a system in place, but it only works if everyone follows it. We too are a sensitive skinned family. I normally buy which ever non bio liquid is on offer at the time. Great post Nikki. I might give ecover a try

  2. Naina says:

    great post.

    I often wonder about these products that offer to clean well at low temperatures. You have confirmed for me that this product really works.

    We are only a family of 3 but I seem to be washing every other day and we have no dryer. so washing outside of a dry day and inside if a wet day.

    I like my washing to have a nice smell that lasts for a while especially if you only wear something once and it’s not dirty or unclean. It’s nice to hang up and take out and still smell fresh.

    I will definitely give this product a go, thanks for trying and the review.

    it’s worth checking Waitrose if you have one local. they often have great offers on laundry products and it would be fab if once a month they had this on special offer.

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