5 Easy Steps to A Green Laundry Routine

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Putting an eco-friendly spin on your spin cycle is simpler than you think. Follow these five foolproof rules and watch your carbon footprint shrink – but not your new sweater!

1. Let it go a little

You could probably wear your jeans 3 or 4 times before you need to wash them. And you don’t necessarily need a fresh pair of PJ’s every single night – try rewearing them a couple more times before throwing them in the wash. Wearing certain things more than once as long as they still smell clean is totally okay, and will save water, energy and money!

2. Lay it on the line

Seems obvious enough, but how many people really line dry? Using a clothesline is a great way to go green with your laundry. The sunshine and fresh air will make your linens look and smell great. Plus, line drying minimizes wrinkles – reducing the need to iron! Who doesn’t love that? And drying clothes on the clothesline puts less stress on those fibers, so your favorite duds will last much longer! Learn to set up a clothesline in just 10 minutes from Blue Planet Green Living.
Plus, check out EnviroMom’s clothesline on display:

3. Ignore your iron

We doubt ironing is anyone’s favorite chore. So why not leave it and save some electricity? Try folding pants and jeans from the bottom leg openings and matching all of the seams up in the middle, then folding or hanging in the closet. They’ll get a nice, pressed-looking crease without the iron. For shirts and dresses that must be wrinkle-free, throw them in the bathroom next time you take a hot shower – the steam will release the wrinkles just like at the dry cleaner’s.

4. Check the source of your suds

If you aren’t using all-natural laundry detergent, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re exposing yourself and your family to a multitude of unnecessary chemicals. Conventional detergents are also damaging to the environment. Just think of what that chemical cocktail is doing to the water supply. The good news is that natural detergents like Seventh Generation’s, and things like soap nuts are catching on – so they’re getting much easier to find! Here’s an easy, simple, budget-friendly recipe for homemade laundry detergent from eco-mama Jackie:

Ingredients:

  • 18 cups of water
  • 1 Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Bar Soap or Fels Naptha soap bar
  • 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (Baking Soda will not work – It must have sodium carbonate)
  • 1/2 cup of Borax
  • 3 gallons of hot water
  • 5 gallon bucket

Directions:

  1. Grate the Dr Bronner’s soap or Fels Naptha soap with a food processor or a grater. This will help the soap disolve quickly.
  2. Bring 18 cups of water to a simmer. Pour the grated soap and stir until it is dissolved.
  3. Add one cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (Must be sodium carbonate).
  4. Add 1/2 cup of Borax and stir until it is completely dissolved.
  5. Add 3 gallons of hot water to a 5 gallon bucket. Then pour your dissolved mixture in the bucket and stir. Let it sit overnight.

5. Upgrade your gear – and chill out

Maybe it’s time to make your laundry room totally eco-friendly with energy efficient appliances. Movin’ on up to greener machines is easier than ever and a lot less expensive than you might think. Plus, you’ll save so much over the long run – energy, water and money, too!

While you’re at it, make sure to wash your laundry with cold water. It cleans just as well as hot or warm, but with a much smaller carbon footprint!

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2 Comments for “5 Easy Steps to A Green Laundry Routine”

  • I haven’t used an iron in a very long time. When I first got married I thought I needed to iron everything…even the cloth napkins. The way I carried on, you’d think I was following The Housewife’s Handbook. Considering I never read it, I probably shouldn’t have compared my actions to the book.
    We finally moved to a neighborhood that allows us to put clothes lines, I couldn’t believe some neighborhoods wouldn’t allow such a thing. Believe it or not, having a clothes line has changed my life. We have a new morning routine that includes hanging laundry and backyard fun. Enjoying the outdoors so early in the morning is like having 2 cups of coffee in the morning, without the crash. And that homemade laundry detergent sure does work great! ;)

  • Beautiful! Yah, this week we made our own laundry powder & so far we qualify for four of the five steps to a greener laundry. A new washing machine is the next thing to replace. Katie x

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