The old poem goes
Monday: Wash Day
Tuesday: Ironing Day…..
While the modern household still finds laundry to be a chore, Mt. Washmore, anyone? Laundry was more of a chore before the advent of washing machines. But today we have soo much help in the laundry department. It may seem that we are never on top of the chore but we can make it more green.
How can we make our Laundry Day more Green?
- Wash your clothes in cold water. Going A Green Family has a great post of our addiction to hot water washing. When she was in a microbiology student the discovered that It wasn’t the hot water that killed icky stuff. The biggest difference was from length of agitation (i.e. scrubbing time) and type of soap. Also, keep in mind that science says that unless hot water is too hot to touch, no way will it sanitize. I’ve touched the hot water coming from my washing machine before and it certainly didn’t burn me. It’s just not that hot. If it’s not that hot, it’s not sanitizing, it’s just wasting energy and your money. Today many detergents are formulated to work perfectly fine in cold water. I wash my whites in cold even,
- Line dry your clothes. When the weather is nice I line dry outside when it is not I line dry inside. Line drying saves your clothing. Do you know where lint comes from? It comes from your clothes. Line drying is less abrasive to your clothes and helps to prolong the life of your clothes. Not only that the dryer is one of the biggest energy hogs in your house.
- Switch to a more eco friendly laundry soap, Grist has a review of some on its site.
- Make your own laundry soap. I personally use a mixture of Castille Soap, Borax and Washing Soda, and because castille soap is concentrated I only use a couple of tablespoons.
- Consider trying Soap Nuts
- Ditch the scented dryer sheets. Most of these are artificially scented, these scents have phthalates in them. In a nutshell phthalates are chemical hormone disrupters. If you want your laundry to smell better use some essential oils on a wet cloth in the dryer, or straight into the washing machine. I like to use tea tree oil for its antiseptic properties and lavender, both for the wonderful scent and its traditional use in laundry.
- Add some vinegar to your rinse cycle. It helps cut the soap in your clothes, making them softer when you line dry them. Trust me, if you even hang up towels outside they get stiff, add some vinegar to the rinse cycle and they are no longer stiff.
- To get stains out use an oxygen cleaner. These are essentially hydrogen peroxide, so dilute it in a spray bottle.
- Wear clothes more than once. Jeans can be worn multiple times before washing. same for dress clothes, simply hang the up when you take them off to air out.
- Avoid Chlorine Bleach. Seriously, this is stuff is bad. Do you know it was one of the ingredients in agent orange? I bet you do know that you should never mix it with ammonia. There are alternatives to chlorine bleach, oxygen cleaners like Oxy clean work every well.