Practicing eco friendly laundry days not only diminishes your impact on the environment, but it can also save you money. If you want to start doing your laundry in a green way, follow these tips:
1 – Skip the Dryer
A clothes dryer is highly convenient—but not really necessary, if you’re not in a rush to dry the clothes. In many countries, in which the average home size is smaller than those in North America, very few people have dryers even if they have washing machines at home. Dryers use a fair amount of energy to speed up the drying process that occurs naturally if you just hang up your items on a clothes line. You can hang clothes outside, but if you don’t have a balcony in your apartment, you can get a clothes line to hang in your bathtub or over your washing machine.
2 – Wash on Cold, Not Warm
Unless you’re trying to get out particularly stubborn stains, there’s no advantage to washing your clothes in warm water. Warm water is more likely to shrink your clothes and it also burns considerably more energy, as it turns on your water heater. Wash on cold and you can save an average of $170 per year. If you wash at the laundromat, you won’t necessarily save any money, but you’ll still be engaging in eco-friendly laundry practices that will make your clothes last longer.
3 – Use Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent
When shopping for detergents, look for brands that support the eco-friendly lifestyle, which include brands that recycle materials and brands that make their products out of environmentally-friendly chemicals. Products that are free of dye and perfumes are also more environmentally responsible as they avoid superfluous ingredients. These products may cost a little more, but the cheaper brands often contain toxic chemicals, which are not only not green, but are also potentially dangerous. Dryer sheets also often contain animal fat, a fact which many animal lovers may not know.
4 – Make Your Own Detergent
If you want to save money and don’t mind spending a little time making your own eco-friendly laundry detergent, just follow these steps:
- Use low heat to warm about 6 cups of water on your stovetop in a medium to large sauce pan.
- After a few minutes, grate roughly 4 tablespoons of an unscented soap bar into the water. Stir the mixture until the soap melts.
- Add 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup washing soda and stir until the mixture is thick. Then remove the mixture from heat.
- Heat 4 cups water and pour it into a large bucket about 2 gallons in size.
- Add the initial mixture to the hot water and stir.
- After stirring, add a bit more water until the bucket is nearly full. Stir again.
- Allow to sit for 24 hours before using (1/2 cup per laundry load).
Having an eco-friendly laundry day is not only good for the environment, it decreases the amount of energy you use, which means that you spend less money. Start practicing these eco-friendly tips and it’ll be easier for you to go green in other aspects of your life as well.