Today, you are going to discover the best eco-friendly laundry tips that will not only save the environment, but also your wallet.
And while you may know a few of these tips, the rest could be life-changing for you.
So without any further ado, here are 8 money saving laundry tips and hacks that will save the environment.
Check them out!
1. Use Cold Water When Possible
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when you wash your laundry in hot water mode, 90% of the electricity is actually used to heat the water.
Only 10% of the electricity goes to operating your washing machine motor.
Thus, washing with cold water will significantly reduce the electricity you consume every laundry session by about 90%!
Less electric consumption, less pollution.
Better yet, less expenses!
But we know what you’re thinking.
You’re worried that cold-water might not kill germs.
Charles P. Gerba, an American microbiologist and Professor at the University of Arizona stated that most germs are reduced by washing even in cold water. (source)
So unless someone in your family works in a high-risk field where contacting sick patients or animals is unavoidable, cold water should be fine for a normal household laundry.
Just make sure you wash with anti-bacterial detergents.
2. Use Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents
Aside from environmental concerns due to plastic containers and packaging, typical laundry detergents comes with other issues you probably didn’t know about.
For instance, most commercial laundry detergents are made with unpleasant chemicals that are harmful to the environment and can irritate your skin.
Worse, some of these chemicals like Triclosan, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and 1,4-Dioxane are even linked to cancer!
So, if it’s not the usual laundry detergents you use, then what, right?
Answer: Zero waste and eco-friendly laundry detergents.
However, not all detergents that claimed to be eco-friendly are true to their words.
So here’s a buying guide that can help you identify a genuine eco-friendly laundry detergent.
- Laundry detergents that comes in non-plastic packaging or fully recyclable plastic containers such as HDPE (High-density polyethylene).
- Either unscented or uses natural fragrances like essential oils.
- Made from plant-based or vegetable-based ingredients instead of petroleum.
Have one or more of these certifications:
- EPA Safer Choice: Meets requirements for safer chemical ingredients.
- USDA Certified Bio-Based: Indicates a percentage of bio-based material is present in the product.
- Leaping Bunny: Product or any of its ingredients are not tested on animals.
- B-Corp: A socially responsible company manufactures the product.
- Septic Safe: Doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that can harm the microorganisms and bacteria that help break down waste in septic systems.
- Concentrated Formula: Concentrated detergents (e.g. 4x concentrated) use less packaging and produce smaller carbon footprint as they can be shipped using less space and fuel.
Meanwhile, eco-friendly laundry detergents shouldn’t contain:
- Phosphates: Causes algal blooms (eutrophication) that negatively affect ecosystems and marine life. (Source)
- Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPE) Surfactants: Forms micelles (tiny surfactant molecules) that can get into fish gills and impair their ability to get oxygen from the water.
- Chlorine bleach: Caustic, can release toxic fumes and contaminates drinking water.
- Optical brighteners: These are the synthetic and non-biodegradable chemicals added to laundry detergents to make clothing appear whiter and brighter.
But many people have reservations in using eco-friendly detergents because they are worried if they smell good and if they can remove germs.
So here are some eco-friendly laundry detergents that are loved by many eco-warriors:
- Nellie’s Laundry Soda
- Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder
- Tru Earth Laundry Detergent Eco-Strips
- Ethique Eco-Friendly Laundry Bar
- Meliora Cleaning Products Laundry Powder
Need more options for eco-friendly laundry detergents? Here’s 13 more!
3. Use DIY Laundry Detergents
Making your own laundry detergent will not only reduce single-use plastic wastes but also save you money.
And the best part?
You can easily create your very own anti-bacterial and eco-friendly laundry detergent that smells good!
We’ve done some research and here are two of the most popular DIY eco-friendly laundry detergent recipes you can get started with.
Disclaimer: You can readjust the ingredients and measurements below based on your preference, the size of your machine, and the size of your load.
We focused on DIY laundry detergent recipes that you can use on all types of fabric, and you can immediately test out.
DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe #1
What you need:
- Measuring cup. If you don’t have a measuring cup, grab one of your mugs and use it for measurements. Just make sure to wash it properly afterwards.
- 1/3 cup borax (kills bacteria)
- 1/3 cup laundry soda
- 10-15 drops of essential oils of your choice (for fragrance)
Turn the washing machine on with water.
Then add your borax, washing soda, and essential oils and let them dissolve for a minute. Add your dirty laundry.
DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe #2
What you need:
- Measuring cup
- 2 cups of hot water
- 1 cup of baking soda (as a disinfectant)
- 1/3 cup salt
- 1 cup of liquid castile soap
- 10-15 drops of essential oils of your choice
Combine all of the ingredients above in a container (preferably non-plastic) and store in a safe place. Give it a good shake before using.
How much to use:
Use 1/3 cup per laundry load, but you can adjust based on your preferences or the size of your load.
Need more? Here’s a video from a popular eco-friendly vlogger on how she made her own DIY eco-friendly laundry detergent.
4. Avoid Machine Drying When You Can
We understand that the weather, time-management and other circumstances are the reason why most people prefer to use the machine dryer.
But whenever you can, avoid machine drying your laundry.
Line drying (or air drying) your laundry with a clothesline is an eco-friendly alternative to using a machine dryer.
As you may already know, machine dryers consume a lot of electricity.
Using a clothesline (whenever possible) can protect the environment and your wallet.
But there’s more!
Line drying also protects your clothes from wear and tear. This means you can wear your favourite pieces like brand new much longer.
And if you only have a small space at home or you don’t have a clothesline at all, use hangers (preferably non-plastic) to dry your clothes.
5. Use “Advanced” Machine Drying Techniques
When line drying is not possible, and you need to use the machine dryer, here are some useful eco-friendly laundry tips to save electric consumption.
Use Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls are natural, reusable items made of wool that go right in the dryer with your clothes.
It can help speed up the machine drying process of your clothes. Here’s how.
These balls will bounce around inside the machine and help air circulation to dry clothes faster.
They also help soften your clothes!
And if you want, you can also add a few drops of essential oil on your wool dryer balls to get fragrance on your clothes.
Use the Hybrid Drying Approach
You can machine dry your clothes for half the amount of time you usually do.
If it usually takes 30 minutes to dry your clothes, tumble them for 15 minutes in the dryer and then hang them in the clothesline or in a hanger (preferably non plastic).
Let the sun and the air do the rest.
Separate Heavy and Light Laundries
Different laundry retains different amounts of water.
So it’s best to separately dry heavy laundries (e.g. towels and blankets) from light ones (e.g. your clothes).
Trust me, your laundry would dry much faster this way.
6. Don’t Iron Clothes (Unless you have to)
Ironing consumes a lot of electricity and can deteriorate the fabric of your clothes.
But we know you don’t want to wear crumpled clothing, so here’s what you can do.
To avoid looking haggard, you can hang your clothes immediately after the washing.
The water that is still in them will work with gravity and will pull most wrinkles out.
You can also fold your dry clothes in areas where you want creases to be.
Then, place them under other clothes which will further help to press them.
7. Upgrade to High-Efficiency (HE) Washing Machines
High-Efficiency (HE) washing machines have a built-in technology that reduce the amount of water and energy needed to do a load of laundry.
HE washing machines can help you save up to 80% water and up to 65% energy compared to regular washing machines.
But just to be clear, we’re not talking about getting rid of your current washing machine right now. Wait it out.
After all, you don’t want to contribute to landfill waste needlessly.
When the time comes that your washing machine breaks down, look for a replacement that is energy and water efficient.
Another thing to look out for is getting a washing machine with an ENERGY STAR certified rating.
ENERGY STAR is a trusted, government-backed symbol.
It is the authority when it comes to products that help consumers save money and protects the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.
Here is the list for ENERGY STAR Certified Residential Washing Machines. You can also search for “energy star rated washing machines”.
8. Don’t Do Laundry Too Much
And the final entry on this list of practical eco-friendly laundry tips is probably something you’ve already known for a long time.
But if not, then this could easily become your favorite.
Did you know that you don’t necessarily need to wash your clothes after every use?
Just hang your clothes when you get home, and you can wear them again a few days later.
Unless of course, they are clearly dirty, smelly, and gross.
But if your daily routine doesn’t cause you to sweat a lot or get dirt all over your clothes, then your clothes can go a few more wears before you wash them.
This eco-friendly laundry tip is such a money saver, especially for college students.
Washing your laundry doesn’t have to be a wasteful chore.
Nor should it be the cause for toxic chemicals to harm your health and the environment.
With these simple eco-friendly laundry tips, you can guarantee that your laundry gets clean without doing any harm to yourself and Mother Earth.
You can even save money!
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