Eco-friendly Laundry Tips

Doing laundry? Be sustainable. These tips will help you be more eco-responsible.

Use these pointers to be more sustainable on laundry day

Doing laundry takes a substantial amount of water and energy, and also uses chemical cleaners that can be harmful to the environment. With some helpful tips, doing laundry will help protect Mother Nature with every wash. Let’s look at green laundry tips that will greatly take a load off the environment’s back.

Line Drying

This type of clothes drying ensures you dry laundry in fresh air. Although some neighbors will think you have fallen on hard times, this is a great way to conserve energy. It's an especially efficient way to dry towels, blankets, and light clothing, as the sunlight and fresh air can help them smell cleaner and look brighter. You can use retractable lines which can be extended when needed and hidden out of sight when not in use.

This type of clothes drying helps to greatly reduce your carbon footprint. It helps your clothes to last longer because they will reduce losing fibers when drying. Your clothes will also smell fresh and keep you feeling comfortable at all times.

Wash by hand

Most people think hand washing is time-consuming; there are some tools which makes the work easier. Laundry plungers are cheap and efficient and a pedal washer exercise is a great way to burn some calories.

Think Green

Small changes do add up over time. At all times, ensure you wash full loads, this saves energy and time. Make sure to pay attention to the amount of detergent being used. If you use too much detergent, this will greatly reduce your washer’s efficiency. It also dumps more pollutants into the ecosystem. A good way to avoid this is by reading the instructions and following the directions on the detergent box.

Using timed drying is another way of ensuring you save the environment. This is achieved by matching the drying time to the load washed. Another green way is to wear your clothes more than once before washing.

Control the temperature

Research shows about 90 percent of the energy associated with laundry involves heating water. A simple solution is turning that dial to cold. This greatly saves on energy and ensures minimum carbon emission, and your clothes will come out just as clean. It also might even help them last longer. Look for a washing machine with features that help you adjust the temperature to more settings.

Upgrade to an energy-efficient washer and dryer

This is not a green-light to go and change your washing machine if it is working just fine. For those in the market for a new washer or dryer, buying one with energy-efficient features saves energy and water. In the long run, this will greatly reduce your electricity and water bills. Also be sure to keep your washer in good repair, as a washing machine that works well, will also work more efficiently, and will prevent you from having to buy a new one (and sending the old one to the landfill).

How about making your detergent?

Making your own detergent is another way to green your laundry routine. By going to the grocery store and getting a handful of ingredients, you can get started. These formulas are easy and you don’t need a Master’s in chemical engineering to make one yourself. Just check out some online recipes for liquid and powder detergents. If that sounds like too much work, there are plenty of eco-friendly detergents on the market.

Choose non-chlorine bleach

Chlorine bleach can irritate the skin and eyes. Get non-chlorine bleach which in most cases is hydrogen peroxide. A good way is buying branded versions or by sticking to the 3 percent version sold in drug stores. This will greatly reduce the amount of chlorine being dumped into the ecosystem.

Don’t iron if you don’t have to

Ironing can be a tedious chore and also consumes a lot of energy. This is also why most fabrics deteriorate and a good way to stop this is by ignoring ironing clothes. To avoid your clothes looking wrinkled and haggard, fold or hang clothes up immediately after wash.

Why not head to the Laundromat?

For those who didn’t know, commercial washers and dryers tend to be more efficient than their domestic counterparts. Taking your laundry to the Laundromat helps reduce energy use. Some Laundromats are even embracing the use of alternative technology.

Sort your laundry by weight

Most people only know to sort laundry by color; an effective way is sorting by weight. Items with smaller drying time will be grouped together making a short drying cycle.

The above tips will help you reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment.

Resources — Real Simple, Howstuffworks, Treehugger