Guest Post By : Kay Elizabeth Carter
Did you know that you could save money and the environment while performing a simple, everyday household chore? There are many ways you can help your laundry become greener, both environmentally and in your wallet, often with just a few small changes.
- Rethink Your Detergent and Bleach Choices
There are many natural cleaning solutions you can incorporate into your laundry routine. For starters, consider switching to oxygen bleach. Oxygen bleach is better than chlorine bleach because it naturally degrades into oxygen and water, preventing chlorine from entering into our environment. You could also replace bleach with a cup of lemon juice in the rinse cycle to brighten whites.
Look for labels on detergents that indicate if the solution is readily biodegradable and phosphate-free. Cut fabric softeners and replace them with a cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle for a natural fabric softener.
- Evaluate Your Dryer Habits
Using your clothes dryer consistently for one year will cost you around $260 in electricity fees. Invest in a drying rack and hang clothes to dry instead of using your dryer. You can hang clothing outside to dry in the sun or place a drying rack in your laundry room to line dry. As an added bonus, clothes, especially delicates, will last longer without the wear and tear caused by traditional dryers.
- Clean the Lint
If you use a dryer, be sure to clean the lint trap before starting your dry cycle. Dryer lint can restrict air flow, increasing drying time and using more energy, more money, and more natural resources. Service your dryer vent every six months to clear out any built-up lint. Not only will this help increase the efficiency of your dryer, it will remove the fire hazard that lint presents.
- Select Energy-Star Rated Appliances
If you’re needing to upgrade your washing machine, be sure to select ENERGY STAR appliances. They use half the water and up to 30 percent less energy than standard washers. Not ready to spend the money for an upgrade? According to House Method, before going out and buying a new appliance, you should see if your home warranty will cover a replacement.
- Wait to Wash a Full Load
It makes sense, but wait until you have a full load of laundry before running the washing machine. This will hopefully reduce the total number of loads you wash a week, cutting back on water and energy consumption.
- Switch to Cold Water
Heating water in the wash cycle accounts for about 90 percent of the energy used by your washing machine. By switching to cold water for your wash, you can save energy and slow the wear and tear on your clothes caused by hot water. Save the hot water cycle for when you need to sanitize a wash after an illness.
- Cut out Dry Cleaning
The dry cleaning process uses many harmful chemicals that can linger on clothing and be brought into your home. Try to buy clothing that doesn’t need dry cleaning, hand wash delicate items, and dry clothing flat to reduce the environmental impact. This will also save you money on your monthly dry cleaning bill.
Laundry is a chore we all have to do, but there are ways to reduce the environmental impact while saving you money. Try making some of these changes to feel better about doing this chore.