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Go Green Doing the Laundry – Some Helpful Tips

June 10, 2008

I have been doing a lot of research out there in cyberland, and have found many useful and interesting things I can do to not only help be even Greener, but way healthier to boot. I was even shocked to learn some of the things that I thought harmless to use were in fact not harmless at all, but instead harmful.

I questions why all of the sudden had I decided to go Green, ironically this comes on the heals of me being more aware of where my food came from and as of today I learned a new term called ‘food miles’ referring to the actual distance that the food you buy takes to get from the ‘farm’ to the store and to where you purchased said food item.

How to go Greener while doing your laundry:

The Problem with Dryer Sheets:

  • We all love the smell of fresh cleaned clothes smelling like perfume lilacs, but what I learned is that your typical dryer sheet does not only contain perfumes, it also contains the following: Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Chloroform and Linalool; some of which are carcinogens. Image putting carcinogens close to your body? Well that’s what you are doing when you use dryer sheets, I even know families who use two for that extra good smell. Well I have found several solutions which I have started to use with super fabulous results.
  • Some Solutions in not using Dryer Sheets and going green while you do your laundry are:
    1. Make a bouquet garni of lavender and put into your dryer, your clothers will smell like lavender.
    2. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to your wash to leave your fabrics and clothes softer, yes white distilled vinegar – I now buy a gallon for maybe $2.00. I use this for so many uses, I will make a separate post regarding the using of vinegar.
    3. And this last one is my favorite: Use a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a clean cloth and put that into your dryer instead of the dryer sheet. Only a few drops will be necessary since it is stronger than you think. Now I happened to of had several ‘flavors’ from my various craft projects, but you can easily find a variety at your local craft shop and I am sure there are many places online.
    4. To help remove static, make a small ball of tin foil and place that into your dryer. One ball can easily be used for up to 2 months.
    5. You can save not only money but actual energy and your carbon foot print by washing your clothes in cold water.
    6. Buy a folding line’s dryer, and place items online to dry.
    7. You can even place a dry towel into your dryer, and you will shorten the time it takes to dry your clothes.
    8. Depending upon what you do, with normal wear, many of us can wear our jeans three times before washing them.
    9. Lesson the amount of laundry you do all together, make sure you have a full load before washing, using a spot remover that allows you to wash the items at a later time really helps too.
    10. And do your best to make sure you have energy star rated washer and dryer. If you are using a washer that is more than 6 years old, you are doing yourself a disfavor not only for the amount of water you consume with every load, but the amount of energy – imagine what you could do with that saved money? It could easily go into a college funds for your children or to yourself for future retirement.
    11. Obviously if you can dry your clothes outside on a line is wonderful, but not all of us have that luxury of the fresh air nearby, but this would certainly lower your electricity and energy use.

There are so many things you can do to help yourself and your family by going green. You not only help save the environment, but you are saving the health of you and your family with the added benefit of saving money – that’s a win-win situation for me, for you and for our One Earth.

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