Let me start by saying that I never liked doing laundry. I am on the short side and carrying a large basket of overflowing laundry down and back up the stairs is not fun!
A few years ago, however, we added on to our second floor and were able to move the laundry room up there! HEAVEN! Now I really didn't have much to complain about before since our laundry was on the main floor of the house, but this is sooo much better. All the clothes STAY on one floor! I am not saying this to brag, but as a heads up. If you are in this position, think about it! No lugging clothing, no hampers in each person's room, set up a few baskets in the laundry room for different colors and your sorting is done - well, if your family gets the system. Still working on mine.
Now for my tips. Once again looking through my "green" lens.
- Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water 90% of the energy used to wash clothing goes toward heating the water. Your clothes will be just as clean washed in cold water. I had a hard time with this one at first. I slowly switched to warm and always used a cold rinse cycle. Eventually I went “cold” turkey and all is fine. I don’t use a special detergent either. Take a look at this website to figure out how much you could save. My Average Annual Savings: $70
- Wash Full Loads Only You use the same amount of electricity to wash a small load as a large one. You will also save water. The larger load will use more water, but it most likely won’t be as much as two smaller loads.
- Use Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Conventional detergents are derived from petroleum. They wreak havoc on the eco-system, unlike those derived from vegetable oils. Look for plant-based detergents, free of bleach and artificial scents. For ratings on detergents, try GoodGuide.com or try making your own.
- Use Less Detergent Read the directions and make sure you are only using enough. More doesn't get your clothes cleaner, but it will leave a residue.
- Skip the Dryer Sheets Dryer sheets contain synthetic fragrances which can cause harm. Sometimes the residue from your detergent makes your clothes rough. Try putting vinegar in the rinse cycle to remove the residue. You can also try mixing liquid fabric softener with water in a spray bottle and using that in your dryer. Again, choose a safe one.
- Use Dryer Balls If you have a problem with static, dryer balls might be the answer. I made some out of wool yarn. Before I started to use them, I had such a problem with static. Not so much now.
- Use Eco-Friendly Stain Removers There are loads of DIY stain removers out there. The best tip though is to get to the stain BEFORE it goes through the wash and as quickly as possible. Of course, that is easier said than done. If you have a really tough stain that you don't think will ever come out, try this! Vinegar and water (50/50 mix) works great for BBQ sauce, pet stains, grass, ketchup, orange juice, jelly and wine.
What are your laundry tips?
[Top picture used under Creative Commons license by Ed Yourdon/Flickr]
This post is shared at Your Green Resource, Frugally Sustainable, Teach Me Tuesday and Frugal Fridays.