Laundry seems like a menial task, but it has a much larger impact on the environment than most people think. The average household does 400 loads of laundry a year consuming about 13,500 gallons of water. By cutting back on the amount of laundry you clean, not only can you reduce your environmental footprint, you can also save yourself a lot of money on electric and water bills each year. Below are some tips to keep your clothes fresh while keeping the environment safe & clean.
- Wear your clothes more than once
Besides your unmentionables and socks, wear your clothes 3-4 times before throwing them in the dirty laundry. If you wear a nice blouse to the office it probably isn’t too dirty after one workday. Washing your clothes too often adds wear and tear on the fabric and seams. If you wear your jeans at least three times before you wash, you will consume up to five times less energy. Even Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh says you should only wash your jeans once a year to keep them fresh and hold their shape.
- Keep the water cold
Heating up the water uses a lot of energy. If you wash your clothes in cold water, the colors will stay nice and vibrant.
- Reduce your number of loads
Make sure you do completely full loads of laundry every time you wash your clothes to reduce the total amount of loads you wash. If you’re wearing your clothes several times before you wash them, you should be able to get away with washing your clothes once a week.
- Use natural detergents and soaps or make your own
Stay away from detergent with a lot of chemicals. You can easily make your own soap with baking soda, lemon juice, or vinegar.
- Use non-chlorine bleach
Try using oxygen bleach; it is better for the environment and naturally degrades into oxygen and water. An alternative method to bleach is to use lemon juice to brighten your whites. Just soak your whites in a bucket of warm water and a generous amount of lemon juice overnight. Wash the next day as usual. If you don’t want to soak them, just add lemon juice to the washer during the rinse cycle. This will remove any stains and brighten dingy clothes.
- Skip the dryer sheets.
Dryer sheets have chemicals (synthetic fragrances) in them that can be harmful to human skin and the environment. Ditch them all together or at least use an environmentally friendly brand. If you really like soft clothes, you can use vinegar and essential oil to make your own.
- Hang dry your clothes.
You can easily hang your clothes to dry to avoid using the dryer all together, saving energy and money. You can set up a line in the backyard with string and clothespins. If you’re short on space, get a foldable clothes rack or hang them on the rod in the shower while you’re not using it.There you have it: 7 easy laundry tips to save energy, money and to keep you and your family safe from harsh chemicals. Share your laundry and other green tips with us on social media using the hashtag #livingthegreenlife. If you have any questions or comments, reach out to a member of the Housing Buzz Team Today!