This is a guest post by Edna Thomson:
Green and Budget Friendly Laundry Tips
An average family does numerous loads of laundry per month, using plenty of electricity and water to do the trick. This not only increases environmental footprint, but also adds up to monthly bills. It is difficult to keep your clothes clean and protect nature at the same time. Not to mention, it can be a costly adventure (think: buying a high-efficiency washing machine and sticking with expensive biodegradable products). But don’t stress out. There are ways you can go green with your laundry routine and save some greenbacks. Check out our budget- and environment-friendly laundry tips.
Use concentrated detergent
Concentrated detergent is the name of the game. It takes less space, therefore more product can be transported using less fuel. This reduces both carbon footprint and packaging. In addition, you can use the product longer since very small amounts are necessary for one load.
Wear garments more than once
What a better way to spend less on laundry than doing less laundry? If you wear your garments longer between wash cycles, you will cut down on your laundry costs. As you know, your clothes’ lifecycle depends on how often you wash and dry them. (Do wash your garments, just don’t get too obsessed over cleanliness.)
It goes without saying that this rule of thumb applies only to some types of clothes. You should definitely wash your underwear after every use (socks, bikinis and boxer shorts in particular). However, skirts, shirts, dresses, T-shirts, tops and blouses could probably be worn a couple of times or more between laundering. It depends on many factors such as what you do for a living, whether your clothes get heavily stained on a regular basis, whether you sweat more, and so on and so forth.
Stretch your laundry detergent
Use a half cup of powdered washing detergent rather than a full cap. Nowadays, detergents are very powerful and you need only small amounts of product to get your garments clean. If you want to double your powdered laundry detergent, just transfer half the contents of a box of product into another clean box. Combine one part borax to one part washing soda and add the mixture into one of the boxes. Repeat for the other box.
When it comes to your liquid laundry detergent, here is how you can make a double batch of it. Take an empty laundry detergent bottle and transfer half the liquid from your new detergent into it. Fill the rest of the bottles with water. Shake gently and carefully. Use as usual.
Skip the dryer
Isn’t it awesome that you can take your clothes out of the washing machine and into the dryer in the blink of an eye and let the appliance take care of them while you do your daily activities? You know what works just the same? Air-drying. Peg out the washing and let the sunshine do its thing. You know, sunshine actually sterilizes your washing, so it’s a great way to go. Not to mention, it doesn’t wrinkle or shrink your clothes unlike dryers. Besides skipping the dryer means your electricity bill will be spared. Remember that our ancestors didn’t have these appliances and they still survived. Their clothes too. Forget about the dryer and meet sunshine. The best eco-friendly and inexpensive way to dry your clothes.
Run full loads
Let’s be honest, running small loads might be tempting but it is not efficient. Instead of doing small portions of your laundry, always make sure to run full loads. If you can’t stick with this rule of thumb, at least make sure that the load size and water levels match accordingly.
Wash with cold water
This may seem counterintuitive, but washing your garments with cold water will get you the same results as when you use hot water. The only difference will be in the energy used. Of all the energy your washer needs to clean your clothes, about 80% goes into heating the water up. Skip over this step and you will cut down on your laundry costs.