Going green, budget friendly, eco laundry tips may sound like an oxymoron. After all…the greenest washer & dryer I’ve
coveted seen is the LG Titan Mega Washer and Dryer that’s well, …let’s talk about them later on.
(Does anyone else think if you had that “Titan” washer & dryer you’d be able to claim doing mountains of laundry in one load as a super power?)
Use an eco friendly washer and…
You want something with a high energy rating and a low water usage. In other words the opposite of a 20 year old washer. Our front loader died during the basement flood. I loved it and had Ben take the front glass and make it into a bowl. Hello upcycle!
I once heard that 7 is the magic number for greening your laundry each year. You save $70, 700 lbs of carbon dioxide by line drying and 7,000 gallons of water is saved by using a front loading washer.
If you’re single (is anyone that reads my blog single?) you may want to check out the ecopod for small loads or delicates. (no more wires poking through! woohoo!!)
… line dry your clothes.
Line dry. I LOVE my clothes line. It’s a beautiful 30 ish foot long beauty with 8 individual lines to hang clothes on so they dry in the lovely free solar heat of the sun.
Air dry in the house (especially if you have a wood stove or fireplace as it will put needed moisture in the air.)
But, if you have to use a dryer…
Use the moisture sensor on your dryer and dry only until they’re dry.
Use dryer balls. There are plastic ones that help fluff your clothes but they add chemicals and wool dryer balls cut down on drying times and actually do away with static cling. Plus they’re a more environmentally friendly product and you can make your own if you don’t want to buy one.
Dry at night when energy use is not at its peak. It’s cheaper and it’ll be cooler in the summer. During a wet winter we use our dryer to add heat and since we have a minimalist closet being neked leads to frost bite.
…empty the lint filter
Empty the lint filter after each load so moisture can escape without struggling through an inch (or more) of thick of lint.
and use earth friendly detergents & fabric softeners.
Conventional laundry detergent isn’t earth friendly and fabric softeners have known carcinogens. We avoid carcinogens by washing with earth friendly soaps. We also add vinegar to the rinse water to soften the laundry whether line dried or not. We’ll also toss a few wool dryer balls in the dryer during winter drying to help with static electricity. We’re happy with it because we’re saving money, the environment and our families health.
Oh, I also use cold water instead of hot or warm. Things still get clean and we live on a farm with animals that free range aka poop where ever they’d like. Oh, and speaking of poop I only used hot on diapers or on something that’s fell into poopy. By the way.. if you do fall in poo or mud let it dry first and knock as much of it off first. I just smack the pants or shirt against a tree. Your washer will thank you.
Remember to wash it ONLY if it’s dirty. Just because you wore it doesn’t make it dirty.
If you work in an office or wear dressy clothes for church/special event odds are you’re not being all sweaty and getting dirty. When you get home simply hang it up so it can air out.
But you should definitely…
Avoid clothes that need dry cleaned.
Dry cleaning uses chemicals that are (not to be redundant) known carcinogens. If you can’t find an eco-friendly dry cleaner be sure to leave the plastic bag with them and hang your clothes so they can off gas outside. It’ll help to keep some of the toxins out of your home.
And, finally, SHOULD you buy a new washer & dryer?
Remember the sexy green hotness aka new eco friendly washer & dryer I’m wanting? Well, those bad boys are nearly 3gs! Yeah, I know! I about choked too as I’d have to do WAAY too many favors to get Ben to work the overtime for them.
I used Mr. Electricity Laundry Cost Calculator to figure the break even point to buy a new washer & dryer and it looks like 4 years and we could do our laundry in only 1 day.
Now, if you wouldn’t mind would you pin this for me ’cause I’ve got to go bribe my hubby for a new washer and dryer.
Update September 2015: While saving for the new hotness we sold the house and we’re building an off grid tiny house! I bought a used stackable unit sorda like this unit that uses propane for wet days and I’ll give more details as they happen! 🙂