Monday, February 1, 2010

Green Your Laundry

Laundry is a fact of life, a never-ending cycle of dirty and clean clothes. When it's wash day, there are things to consider that saves money and energy, along with helping the environment. Here are some tips to consider:

Your Mom would probably cringe when she reads this BUT "It's OKAY to use cold water when washing dirty whites."
Using hot water for both washing and rinsing uses three and a half times more energy than washing in warm water and rinsing in cold. To put it in a better perspective - Washing every load on the hot/warm cycle (in a top loading machine and an electric water heater) for a year is equivalent to burning about 182 gallons of gasoline in a car; in an average (19.8 miles per gallon) car, that'll get you around 3595 miles. So, wash in hot/warm, or drive almost 3600 miles -- same difference.

Use an efficient Energy Star washing machine.
The newest, most-efficient washers use four times less energy than the least-efficient machines, and save up to $70 a year in energy costs.

Save laundry until you have a big load. Save time too!
It takes less energy to do one big load than two smaller ones. But don't overload the machine or nothing will get clean.

Use Environmentally Friendly Laundry Detergents.
Seventh Generation is a brand that is Eco-Friendly and widely available in Berks County. You can learn more about their products and download coupons on their website at


  1. I LOVE Seventh Generation. It works - our clothes get really clean and they don't have a heavy perfume smell. The Giant on Lancaster Avenue in Shillington have their products always in stock. I used to use Sun and Earth but switched to Seventh Generation. The coupons on their website work at Giant too.

  2. Seventh Generation is great. I've been using them for years. The best smelling clothing still comes from hanging it out on a washline. I do it year round (well not when it is 15° in the morning), but I haven't used my drier in years and I don't know what half the controls are for or what they do. LOL!

  3. I've learned to do laundry ONE day a week and the family knows they must wait until Saturday for clean clothes (except for the occasional soccer uniform that needs attention)! It works for us (family of 4). Less energy and less work for me since I was guilty of throwing in a load of wash before or after work most days.

  4. Oh - I agree. One laundry day a week. I read once that people spend LESS time if they go to a laundromat, compared to the time they spend at home doing laundry at sporatic times. You can spend hours doing it. Or at least my husband does! :)

  5. I wash in cold.

    My family is allergic to many laundry detergents so when I find one that doesn't cause a rash...I stick to it.

    It feels like I am always doing laundry. I might try the once a week tip.

  6. Use a clothesline to dry most of your clothes. In the winter, I hang everything except the socks and underwear on clotheslines in the basement. I put the shirts on hangers and hang them on the slats of the wooden crib side that I hung parallel to the celing with hooks. Doing this reduces our electric bill, helps our dryer last longer and helps to humidfy the house.

  7. There are laundry magnets available which can be used in place of any detergents at all. I have been using mine for a year and a half and am very pleased. No more softeners necessary either. No unwanted scents. Bought mine at the EnergyFest in Kempton, but you can get them online

  8. I have virtually not used a heat setting on my dryer for my entire adult life, including the years with two children and a husband. I do use the air fluff setting for a few minutes before hanging them (shirts hung on hangers)so that they do not need ironing. This method saves time, money and the environment. I mostly hang clothes in the basement to avoid sun bleaching the colors.

  9. I like the idea of washing only one day a week but our township had sent out in their newsletter to not wash more than 2-3 loads at a time to save the septic system. Any info or comments?