Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Making Wash Day a little simpler...

Whether your goal is to cut down on energy bills or keep toxins out of your home, small changes in your laundry routine can add up to big savings — both for the environment and your budget.   Buying a new energy-efficient washer is always an option, but thankfully that's not the only way to save money.  There are several easy solutions and adjustments you can make to make your laundry day routine a little greener, and save you a little green in the process.

Wait until you have a full load. Some new energy-efficient washers have settings that use less water for a smaller load. If yours doesn't, be sure to run only loads that are full. Cutting out even one load of laundry per week can add up to significant energy savings over the year; think of the savings in energy, drying time, detergent, fabric softeners, stain fighters,  water usage and personal time.  

It may seem like a small step, but let me attest, this one step can really add up.  I have gone from nine loads per week to 7 by combining a couple smaller loads, and it really adds up!

Wash in cold water. According to an Energy Star report, heating the water accounts for 90 percent of the energy used in washing machines. Cold water with detergent cleans as well as washing in warm water, saves energy, and slows wear and tear on your clothes. Still use hot water when you really need to sanitize something; if there has been an illness in the family, for washing bath and kitchen towels and bed linens.

It turns out that pressing the cold/cold button (instead of the hot/warm button) on your washing machine has the same impact as driving about 9 miles in a car.  It may not be too surprising that one single load of laundry doesn't make a huge difference, but multiply those impacts by 392 - the average number of laundry loads done in a year in America, and all of a sudden, there are some real impacts.

Let clothes air dry on a drying rack. While washing machines are becoming quite efficient, dryers still have a long way to go. Cut down on your dryer use by air drying lightweight items on a folding rack. Most delicate items dry quickly and will last longer if not exposed to the hot air of the dryer.

I am fortunate to have a door near my laundry room.  In warmer weather I place my IKEA folding rack on the deck and place our  clothes in the warm sun to dry.   If you can't place your clothing outdoors to dry due to inclimate weather or HOA guidelines, a drying rack is still a great option.  Placing it near a fan or heat vent will also work well.  

Fight stains and dirt with natural products. Before you reach for that stain-removing stick or bottle of chlorine bleach, try something gentler. 

The effects of leading cleaning products on your clothes is often more damaging than helpful.  Have you ever questioned why there are so many "Free" cleaners out there?  There are fragrance free and dye free options available because so many people are developing allergies and reactions to these toxic additives.

Try switching to a greener option:  I use the Shaklee Get Clean line of laundry cleaners.  The starter kit includes: 

  • Fresh Laundry Concentrate HE Compatible Regular Scent 32 oz
  • Nature Bright 32 oz
  • Nature Bright dispenser
  • Soft Fabric Dryer Sheets 80 count
  • Soft Fabric Concentrate 32 oz
  • Measuring Cup
These products are so concentrated, a little goes a long way.  In fact, you use only 2 oz of detergent per load.  Other leading brands call for 1/4 - 1/2 cup of detergent.

What are your money saving tips for laundry day?  

Only By His Grace,


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