There are lots of ways to starting living a greener life at home. One key area of the home where you can make changes is the laundry. In fact, eco-friendly changes in the laundry are pretty easy to do, but you will need to address some old habits.
Below are 10 tips to help get you started in making your laundry more eco-friendly.
1. Water temperature
Did you know that heating the water to wash your laundry uses a lot of energy? Just like heating anything, extra energy is required to increase the temperature. But it’s super easy to turn the dial to cold on your washing machine and save on energy.
And if you’re worried that your clothes won’t be as clean, no need to worry – they will come out just as clean (particularly if you follow more of the tips below).
In fact cold water washing will help to stop stains setting, which can happen when washing in warm or hot water. It will also prevent colors bleeding between clothes.
2. Full loads only
Just like the dishwasher, a large, full load of washing will save on water and energy. For most machines, 40 gallons of water is used whenever you wash load . Even if you do only one less load a week because of this, that is a saving of 10% on water and energy costs.
3. Machine upgrade
There are lots of fantastic energy-efficient washing machines available. They are built and designed to save you money on energy costs, while still doing a top job.
If you don’t need a new machine right now, no problems. Follow the other tips here and you will still be more eco-friendly.
But if you are looking to upgrade get the most energy-efficient machine you can afford. It will save you a lot of money in the long run.
4. Use natural laundry detergentsNatural detergents and stain removers are best for the environment while still doing a great job. They contain no chlorine bleach, nasty chemicals or synthetic fragrances.
Made from plant based ingredients they are formulated to perform well in cold water. But take the time to read the fine print to ensure you are getting an all natural product.
If time permits, it is also very easy to make your own detergents and cleaners.
5. Switch your bleach
Chlorine is not good for the environment. Switching to a non-chlorine bleach is simple and it works just as well.
Try using a peroxide based bleach as an alternative to chlorine. It will do the job right and doesn’t need to be a big brand name. This is a super easy switch to make and goes a long way to helping the environment.
6. No more dryer sheetsDryer sheets are full of chemicals that are bad for your skin and the environment. If you can do without them, that is the best option.
If you need to keep down static cling, try other more eco-friendly options. One of these is to to toss a wool dryer ball into the dryer. It will remove static cling without the chemicals.
7. Hang to dry
The smell of clothes dried in the sun is quite unique. Not only do clothes smell fresh and clean, there is a bonus that the sun acts as a natural bleach. So choose natural sunshine instead of drying machines that use energy.
Using the sun is also a great way to remove stains. Spray the spot with lemon juice and put in the sun to dry. This is the most natural and eco-friendly stain removal you can get!
If you are living in a cold climate, don’t worry. Use indoor drying racks to hang and dry clothes. Place your racks over heat sources and they will double as a humidifier. As your clothes dry, you will moisten the air too.
8. Use simple cleaners
There are quite a few simple natural cleaners that most homes have on hand and if not, they are easy to find. Examples are baking soda (deodorizer) , lemon (stain remover) and vinegar (natural cleaner).
Use these ingredients to whip up your own detergents and cleaners. They will make great cleaning products on their own that cost less and help the environment.
9. Wash by hand
Skip the washing machine altogether when you can and wash by hand. Make the water last longer by washing the least dirty clothes first. This is best done with a large bucket or utility sink as it will make the job faster.
Washing by hand can take a little longer, but it does use a lot more physical energy. Think of it as a double benefit – a workout while doing washing in a ‘green’ way.
10. Wear clothes longer
A lot of clothes find their way into the washing pile that aren’t even dirty. Just because something has been worn, doesn’t mean it needs washing. Be more ruthless in throwing clothes into the washing pile and wear them longer. This will add up over time and mean less washing. You should encourage this with all your household members.
Follow the above tips to make your laundry more eco-friendly. Not only will you save money, but it will make a difference on your carbon footprint and the environment. And that can only be a good thing 🙂