If you want to be an eco-friendly laundry person, this is the guide for you! From how to reduce energy use in your washing machine to how often and what type of detergent to use when washing clothes, we’ve compiled all our best tips into one handy guide.
Use fabric softener in the wash.
Fabric softener is a great way to reduce your laundry’s water use. Fabric softener uses less water than dryer sheets and is better for the environment because it doesn’t contain chemicals that could be harmful in large amounts, like some of those found in dryer sheets. Fabric softeners also tend to be cheaper than dryer sheets, so you’ll save money too!
If you’re worried about safety: there are no known health risks associated with using fabric softeners or detergents (although it may cause irritation for sensitive individuals). In fact, many people choose natural homemade laundry soaps over commercial products because they believe them safer and more environmentally friendly–but if you want something easy just pick up some eco-friendly detergent at your local store instead!
Add a cup of vinegar to your washing machine.
Adding a cup of vinegar to your washing machine will help remove stains and odors, soften clothes and keep your washing machine clean. You can add it to the wash or rinse cycle, or use it as a fabric softener replacement.
Vinegar is naturally antibacterial so it helps kill bacteria on your clothes before they reach the dryer. It also acts as an odor neutralizer, removing smells from even heavily soiled fabrics like gym clothes or work uniforms (which tend to collect body odor). The acidity of vinegar breaks down dirt so that when you put them in the dryer they’re clean enough not only for wearing again but also for washing less often than if you had just used water alone!
Try using cold water when possible.
- Cold water is better for the environment.
- Cold water saves energy.
- Cold water helps keep your clothes looking newer longer.
Wash clothes in cold water, but not frozen water.
- Use cold water when possible.
- Don’t use frozen water.
Cold water is gentler on clothes and your energy bill, but it’s also better for the environment because it saves energy and saves money!
Use less detergent than you’re used to.
- Use half the amount of detergent you normally use.
- Choose a detergent that is free of phosphates, dyes and perfumes. Detergents with enzymes are good for removing stains, especially chocolate or red wine.
- If you’re looking to clean your clothes without using any chemicals at all there are many natural alternatives available such as borax (a mineral salt) or soap nuts (the fruit husk of an indigenous tree).
Use a low-sudsing laundry soap.
While you’re at it, make sure that the laundry soap you use has low sudsing. That means less detergent is used, which means less water and energy are used. It also means fewer chemicals released into the air when you wash your clothes–and less water wasted in rinsing out excess suds.
Remove lint from the lint trap before you start the machine.
- Lint traps are used in front-loading washing machines. They collect lint and other materials, such as dead skin cells, that can clog up your pipes.
- You should clean the lint trap before starting the machine and after it’s done.
- To clean a lint filter: Remove it from the machine (it may be held in place by a couple screws or clips), then vacuum out any debris with an attachment designed for this purpose (like those made by Bosch). If there’s still buildup inside, use rubbing alcohol to wipe down surfaces; let them dry completely before reinstalling them back into place!
Consider adding oxygen bleach when washing bright colored clothes or whites that need brightening up.
Not all bleaches are created equal. Chlorine bleach is a harsh chemical that can harm the environment, but oxygen bleach uses hydrogen peroxide as its active ingredient, making it a much more eco-friendly option. It’s safe to use on all colors of fabric–even whites!
If you have some bright colored clothes or white laundry items that need brightening up, consider adding some oxygen bleach when washing them. You might not get quite as much brightness as you would with chlorine bleach, but it’s still better than nothing (and safer for the planet).
Air dry whenever possible
Air drying whenever possible and for no more than one day per load of clothes (air drying removes moisture). This will make your clothes last longer as well as reduce wrinkles and fading because there is no heat involved in the process. You’ll save money on your electric bill, too! It also saves energy because it uses far less energy than running a dryer (which costs about 10 cents per load), plus it’s better for the environment because you won’t be generating all those chemicals into our air by tossing them into another chemical cycle with your dryer sheets and fabric softeners). Don’t worry if this seems like too much work to hang each piece of clothing outside on a line; many families are now investing in indoor drying racks so they can air dry everything right inside their homes – talk about convenient! I suggest trying this even if only half of each load gets hung up; it will still make a big difference!
The best thing about these tips is that they’re all easy to do, and you don’t have to change everything at once! You can start slowly by trying out just one or two of these ideas and see how they work for you. If they do help cut down on your laundry loads (and save money), then keep going until all ten are part of your routine.