I have written about the importance of greening your laundry in the past – both for the health of your family, as well as for the good of the environment. It’s amazing how many toxins are involved in a process that is supposed to clean your clothes! We don’t realize how much our washing machines and other household appliances can impact the Earth’s carbon footprint, for example, should appliances become worn down and less efficient, they may end up using more energy as the quality of the clean lessens which may mean eventually needing the services of a washer repair company to have a machine that cleans clothes as it should once more. Although, appliances as of right now, are not used in an eco-friendly manner. You can learn more about the carbon footprint due to household appliances and washing machines at the 100 Things 2 Do website.
When I was reading this, I was shocked at how many loads of laundry people do each week! 8-10?? I do a maximum of 3! (So my laundry laziness is actually a good thing in this case!) I think that likely running only full loads may be part of the reason behind this.
The other tips that I have found easy to integrate into my own life:
1 – Washing only in cold.
I really don’t notice any difference in how clean my clothes are compared to when I would use warm or hot cycles.
2 – Hanging clothes to dry.
I find this to make a huge difference in the amount that I use the dryer. I hang pretty much all of our clothes to dry other than underwear. I have a good system with my daughter’s clothes so that I hang them on the hangers from her closet – making it easier to put back, and no folding is involved! If I feel that towels are stiff after hang-drying, then I’ll throw them in the dryer for a quick 10 minute fluff cycle.
3 – Skipping the iron.
I have always been lazy about ironing, and pretty much avoid buying clothing that needs ironing! I used to have to iron my husband’s work shirts, and then he got a garment steamer to steam them himself. He got lazy about it too, so now I just make sure that I shake out his shirts when they’re coming out of the washer, hang them on hangers to dry, and they’re good to go! Ironing laziness for the win!
4 – Using dryer balls instead of buying dryer sheets.
The stuff on conventional dryer sheets is really quite gross. I love my wool dryer balls and we are pretty used to our laundry not smelling like anything when it’s done! I will occasionally put a drop or two of Lemon or Lavender essential oil on my dryer balls if I’m in the mood for it.
5 – DIY-ing fabric softener.
I don’t know if pouring white vinegar straight from the bottle into the washing machine can really be considered DIY… It’s pretty easy to do!! You can add some essential oils if you like, but I find it works just as well on its own!
Check out my green laundry post for more green options!