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Go Green: Environmentally Friendly Laundry

Looking for ways to go green? Check out the Domestic CEO’s 3 cheap and easy tips to go green in your laundry room!

By
Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #64

Tip #2: Switch Loads ASAP

Have you ever gotten distracted while a load of laundry is in the washer and completely forgot about it until the next day? By that time, it’s a musty pile, so you probably waste another 25-40 gallons of water trying to get the stench out of your clothes. What if you leave a load in the dryer for a couple of days and come back to find a crumpled mess of clothes, though?

Running another cycle in the dryer can’t be that big of a deal, right? Wrong. Running a load of laundry in a dryer uses approximately 3.4kw hours of electricity. I didn’t go to school to be an engineer or electrician, so I asked Mr. Domestic CEO who did study those topics to help me with the calculations. Imagine my surprise when I found out that running a load of laundry in the dryer uses the same amount of energy as turning on about 245 CFL light bulbs for an hour. I don’t know about you, but hearing that comparison was like a swift kick in the behind from Mother Earth. Instead of wasting water and electricity, let’s focus a little more and get our laundry out of the washer and dryer in a timely manner.

If you have one of those annoying washers that doesn’t ding or make any sound to alert you that the cycle is done, simply set a timer for the length of your wash cycle so that it reminds you to throw your clothes into the dryer as soon as the machine stops. This way, you’ll avoid finding a jumbled mess of damp stinky clothes that need to be re-washed days later.

Tip #3: Use Green Laundry Detergent and Supplies

Traditional store brands of laundry detergent, stain removers, and fabric softeners are petroleum based. Not only can they leave a layer of gunk on your clothes which can then get transferred onto your skin, but using them in the wash can also dump the chemicals straight into the waste water.

Environmentally-friendly laundry supplies are often plant-based instead of petroleum-based, so they are considerably safer for both the environment, as well as your own personal health. Another interesting point to consider if you are thinking of switching to environmentally friendly laundry detergent is that these products are often much more gentle on your clothes than traditional brands.

You’ll actually see the proof in your lint trap. Instead of big globs of lint after each load, more natural brands often leave just a little layer. Considering that lint is essentially pieces of your fabric breaking free and getting stuck in a mesh screen, less lint is a sign that your clothes aren’t breaking down as quickly in the wash.

See also: Laundry Room Essentials

 

If you want to go really green with your laundry, you can even do away with some of your laundry supplies completely and use items from your home instead. Hydrogen peroxide is a great alternative to bleach, and can be used exactly how you would use liquid bleach. You can also add a little white vinegar to a wash cycle to help set colors, kill germs, and soften clothes. Finally, baking soda is a great natural way to remove smells from clothes. Use these natural products with a mild detergent like Borax or other environmentally safe option and you will be a green queen (or king)!

These are just a few tips to get you started. If you have other ways to go green that you use in your home, I would love to hear about them! Post them on my Facebook wall, or tweet me @thedomesticceo.

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.

Laundry Basket and Eco Friendly images from Shutterstock

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