When you make the choice to live a green life, you can't forget to take steps to turn the laundry eco-friendly. This might be one of the easiest areas to go green, but it's definitely going to require lifestyle changes. But if you follow these tips you can have an eco-friendly laundry room.
1. Water temperature – Just heating the water to wash your laundry uses a lot of energy. But it's such an easy solution to turn that dial to cold and save on energy. And if you're concerned that your clothes won't come clean, you need not worry. As a matter of fact washing in cold will help prevent stains from setting in and will keep colors from bleeding into your other clothes.
2. Full loads only in the wash – Washing large loads will save water and save energy. You use 40 gallons of water whenever you do laundry so if you can do one less load of laundry a week, then you'll save 10% on your energy and water bills.
3. Upgrade your machines – There are so many energy-efficient laundry machines out there that can save you so much on your energy costs. If you aren't in the market for new laundry machines, then don't go out and buy them, but if it's time for an upgrade get the most energy-efficient one you can afford.
4. Change your laundry detergent – Using natural detergents and stain removers is great for the environment. You can even make your own. They are free of chlorine bleach and synthetic fragrances, are generally made out of plants and are specifically made to perform well in cold water. Read the fine print to make sure you are getting a natural product.
5. Non-chlorine bleach – Chlorine is not good for the environment. Switching to a non-chlorine bleach is simple and it works just as well. A bleach made with peroxide instead of chlorine does the job right and it doesn't have to be a name brand either. This really adds up to helping the environment and it's so easy.
6. Say no to dryer sheets – The chemicals in dryer sheets and even fabric softener are not only bad for the environment, but they're also bad for our skin. To keep that static cling down, either find a eco-friendly dryer sheet, or use a wool dryer ball tossed in the dryer. It will remove that static cling with no chemicals.
7. Hang to dry – You know you love the smell of your clothes when they have been outside drying in the sun. There's the added bonus of the sun; it's a natural bleach. If you have a stain in something, spray it with a little lemon juice and hang it to dry and it will help get the stain out. Nothing gets more natural and eco-friendly than that. If you live in a cold climate, have no fear; you can still hang to dry on a drying rack indoors and it will double as a humidifier that way. Put your rack over your heat source and you'll moisten the air while drying your clothes.
8. Use what you have in your home for cleaning your laundry – Baking soda is a great deodorizer and lemon will help remove stains. Vinegar is a great natural cleaner. Whip up your own detergents for great cleaning products that cost less and help the environment.
9. Hand wash – Skip the washing machine altogether when you can and wash by hand. Wash the least dirty clothes first to use the water longer. Use a large bucket, or if you have a large utility sink you can make quicker work of this process. Sure it's a pain and uses a lot more physical energy, but ultimately it is a great way to go green washing laundry.
10. Wear clothes longer. You don't have to wash pants after every wear unless you spilled something on them. Wearing clothes longer means less to wash of course.
Taking these steps to eco-friendly laundry will not only save you money, but will make a difference on your carbon footprint and the environment. Do you have any other eco-friendly laundry tips to add?