The Only Steps You Need to a Greener, Healthier Laundry Room
We all need to do our laundry if we want to have clean clothes at hand. Depending on the size of your household, it can feel like you are constantly doing the laundry. As well as clothes, you need to wash sheets, towels, and any other cloth items that could get dirty. If you’re a health-conscious and eco-conscious person, doing the laundry so much might worry you. You have to use water, electricity and cleaning products to get the job done. Some of the products you use might not be great for your health or the environment. Fortunately, there are ways you can change your habits for healthy and eco-friendly laundry.
Reduce the Number of Cycles
A simple way to start is to look at the amount of laundry you do. You may feel like you are constantly putting laundry in the washer or dryer. But how long do you wait before you start filling up the machine? Some people set a laundry schedule and stick to it, no matter how much they have to wash. However, a more environmentally-friendly approach is to only wash a full load. Don’t only fill the drum halfway when you could wait and put more things together. Sometimes you might find this hard, such as when you live alone. However, you can still make sure you only wash a full load. Use products such as color catchers to allow you to wash colors and whites together. Wash your towels and sheets together too.
Lower the Temperature
Another simple way to change the way you do laundry is to turn the temperature down. Hot washes can be useful for a number of things. They may have health-related benefits such as tackling bacteria and bugs. However, for a normal load of laundry, you probably don’t need the water to be too hot. You can turn it down to a cooler temperature, and your clothes will still come out clean. In fact, you can even get special detergents that are designed for using with a cooler wash. You can be kinder to the environment by using less heat.
Picture by FeeLoona
Buy Healthy Laundry Products
Laundry detergent is necessary to help clean your clothes. However, like other cleaning products you might be concerned about what is in it. If this is a worry of yours, you might want to look into alternative products. You can get natural and organic laundry products that you might find preferable. For example, products from Better Life include detergent and stain remover. They are made with non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients. You can make your laundry and your laundry room safer for pets, children and, of course, you. When you buy your products, you can check ingredients, as well as the way that they are made.
Use Natural Ingredients to Make Your Own Products
An alternative to buying natural products is to make your own. There are several excellent household products that are great for laundry. They can help to remove stains and odors, as well as completely clean your clothes. Some of the top items to use are baking soda, vinegar, salt and lemon juice. They can do a good job of cleaning things on their own, as well as giving a boost to cleaning solutions. For example, baking soda works as a deodorizer and can help to act as a whitening agent too. Vinegar mixed with water makes a good pretreatment solution for stains. These natural ingredients can be extremely useful in your laundry room.
Picture by RyanMcGuire
Ensure Good Dryer Venting
Your clothes need to be dried as well as washed. If you have a tumble dryer, the moisture from your clothes needs to go somewhere. There are a couple of options for what happens to it. Most dryers have a venting tube that usually goes outside. Some newer dryers collect the condensation in a compartment, which you can then tip away. Whether you have a traditional tumble dryer or a condenser dryer, you need to make sure they don’t affect the environment of the laundry room. The moisture needs to be redirected to somewhere that won’t affect your health or home. That might be outside or into a little drawer.
Remember Machine Maintenance
Caring for both your washing machine and dryer is important. It provides a greener and healthier laundry experience. There are a number of tasks you should regularly perform to keep them ticking along. Firstly, you should make sure that you clear out the lint tray in your machines. Fluff and fibers can collect, making your machines less efficient. Removing any lint will ensure better air circulation. This is good for energy-efficiency and for your health. You should check to make sure that your dryer vent is properly connected, with no gaps. It’s worth cleaning out the detergent compartments and other spaces to ensure cleanliness too.
Choose Greener Machines
Your choice of machines can also make a difference to the efficiency and health of your routine. If it’s time to replace either your washing machine or dryer, you should take a look at some of the more modern and efficient models. These appliances are becoming more efficient all the time. So looking for the latest models is worth it. Front-loading machines are more efficient than top-loaders, using less water and less energy. One thing you can look for is the Energy Star certification. This indicates that the machine is energy-efficient and should save you energy and money.
Avoid Clothes Softeners
Using clothes softeners feels like a must for a lot of people. It makes sure your clothes, sheets, and towels are always super soft to the touch. Regarding the impact on the environment, they aren’t as harsh as some detergents might be. But they have their downsides when it comes to your health. Firstly, softeners could irritate your skin. They often contain fragrances and dyes that sensitive skin may disagree with. They can also reduce the inflammability protection on clothes. They build up in the fabric and make it less inflammable. On a practical level, using softener can reduce the lifespan of your clothes. It can also reduce the absorbency of towels.
Use Natural Scents
Many people like to use clothes softeners for the fragrances they give their clothes. If you decide you want a healthier option, there are healthy choices you can make. For example, you can use natural oils such as lemon or orange. By mixing them with baking soda, borax, and vinegar, you can make a laundry detergent. You could also use lavender water in a spray bottle or lavender dryer bags. Of course, dryer bags and balls come in other natural scents too, from vanilla to peppermint.
Picture from Pixabay
Speed Up Your Routine
How do you do your laundry? If you switch your clothes from the washer to the dryer as quickly as possible, your clothes could be cleaner. Leaving damp clothes in the washing machine too long isn’t a good idea. In fact, it could encourage bacteria to start growing. Leave the load even longer, and you might have to wash your clothes all over again. It’s especially important to switch your clothes quickly if you’re using cooler water. You should also avoid overloading the washer so that the detergent can work properly.
Ensure a Safe Laundry Room
A safer laundry room is a healthier one, especially if you have kids of pets. Make sure that any chemicals and cleaners are out of reach. Locking them away is best if you have curious children, although putting them up high can work too. Keep the doors of washing machines and dryers closed to prevent anyone from crawling in. It may be unlikely, but it doesn’t hurt to check for cats or toddlers before you close the door and turn on the machine. You never know who might have climbed in! Good ventilation helps to make the room healthier too, preventing damp or mold.
Use Green Dry Cleaners
You can’t always wash everything at home. Sometimes, you may have a garment that needs to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning doesn’t mean that no liquid is used, but it does mean that there is no water. Chemicals are used instead to clean your clothes. You might be concerned about the products that dry cleaners use, but you can find green options. Green dry cleaning methods avoid using harsh chemicals. Traditional treatments could be unkind to your skin or the environment. Instead of petrochemicals, it can use products such as liquid silicone.
However, it isn’t always easy to find a green dry cleaner. If you struggle, it may be best to avoid buying things that need dry cleaning. It is easy to check labels or information when you’re shopping online. There should be clear instructions on garment care so that you can check. If there’s something you must have that is dry clean only, you also may be able to clean it at home. However, it’s important to test out a small patch of fabric first to see what happens.
A healthier and greener laundry room and routine are only a few steps away. It doesn’t take much to make your laundry room more natural.
Tia, and TipsfromTia.com is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.