Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs

Housecleaning and Laundry

By being aware of how you clean your home and do your laundry, you can lessen the energy impact and avoid harmful chemicals.

Doing laundry

  • Choose the right amount of laundry detergent. In Stockholm, the water is soft, and the lowest recommended dose is enough.
  • Use unscented detergent. Perfumes can be allergy-inducing.
  • Skip fabric softeners which leave residual chemical elements in your clothes and add unnecessary chemicals to our water purification plants.
  • Always fill up the washing machine with laundry and wash on a low temperature.
  • Air your clothes out instead of washing if they are not soiled.
  • Air dry instead of tumble dry – the clothes last longer, and you will save energy.
  • Regularly wash and air out textiles such as curtains, blankets, and stuffed animals. Textiles easily collect dirt and dust that carry harmful chemicals.
  • Tumble dryers use half the amount of energy compared to drying cabinets.
  • Wash new clothes and other textiles before using them in order to get rid of chemical residues. Nonylphenolethoxylate, NPE, is an example of a substance that can be found in new textiles. 


Chemicals accumulate in dust, especially in the vicinity of electronics which emit Brominated flame retardants and Phthalates.

  • Don´t rinse the dust down the drain; throw it among burnable waste.
  • Vacuum clean before wet mopping. That way harmful chemicals end up in the district heating plant instead of the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Use unscented and eco-labeled soaps and detergents. Many perfumes, including natural fragrances, can be allergy-inducing.
  • Use a low dose of cleaning products; it will suffice since the water in Stockholm is soft.
  • Avoid scented products. They put an unnecessary burden on indoor environments and the sewage system.

Flush the right stuff down the toilet

Many things are thrown into the toilet that are not supposed to be there; wet napkins, cigarettes, sanitary pads and garbage. This can block the sewer system and be very expensive to fix. Some of these things also contain chemicals harmful to water organisms.

  • Only flush urine, excrement, other bodily fluids, and toilet paper down the toilet.
  • Put a waste basket in the bathroom so that you can easily throw away trash.
  • Bring all expired medication to the pharmacy for proper disposal.