Thursday, January 13, 2011

Change the World Wednesday - Laundry practices

Change the World Wednesday is hosted by Reduce Footprints, please check out her blog to play along.

This weeks challenge is:

This week accomplish one or all of the following Eco-friendly laundry practices:
  • Wash in cold water only
  • Use "Green" laundry soap (consider making your own)
  • Use vinegar in the rinse rather than using dryer sheets
Or ...

If you already do all of these things, all of the time, please write about it and share any other tips you may have.

This one is actually easy for me answer this week!
1)I already wash in cold water 100% of the time

2)I plan to go to eco-friendly detergent as soon as I use up all the stuff I already have at home.  You know me by now, I like to buy items when they are at a really good price, so I have a bit of a laundry detergent stash.  If I were a betting person, I would bet that I could finish out this year using the detergent I already have at home.   

The only exception I can think of is the sports detergent, haven't found an eco-friendly one yet and it's a must for stinky running clothes. Seriously, before I knew there was special detergent for sports clothes I was using normal detergent and my official running gear was stinky coming out of the wash/dryer.  If you use any moisture wicking sports item, sports detergent is a must.   I use it on an average of 2 loads per week (lights and darks).

IF any of you use an eco-friendly laundry detergent already, I would love your thoughts on the the different brands and which you prefer. I'm not afraid to order online if need be.  If you have come across an eco-friendly sports detergent, I would love it if you could leave a comment and let me know which brand, where to find it. 

3)see #2.  I have a lot of liquid fabric softener that I got really cheap. I bet I could finish out the year on what I have of this too. haha!  Once it's finished, I plan to use vinegar in the wash.   I also plan to make wool dryer balls to replace dryer sheets.  I do have 2 un-opened containers of dryer sheets left, but imagine I'll go to the wool ball method later this year.   If you are interested in making your own wool dryer balls, the directions at Good Mama seem easy, although I haven't tried to make any yet.  My Mom's a knitter and I already asked her if I could have her scraps so I didn't have to buy any wool.  I've saved some nylons that had runs and would have been thrown away too.   If you don't want to make any, I've done a search for them on Etsy and the prices seem reasonable (especially when you factor in never having to buy dryer sheets again). 

While the challenge doesn't mention drying, I thought I would touch on that. It seems that there is an effort by many to go back to line drying and hanging clothes up outside.  My family actually did that when I was growing up.  While this would be a great thing to do now, especially on towels and items that have to be dried twice as long it seems, it's just not possible for me.  My allergies are horrible and there's no way I could handle wearing clothes that had been dried outside and had pollen stuck on them.  As it is, I have to take allergy meds all year round, and I have to take two different kinds because one just isn't enough.
However, that being said, last year I did dry the small bathroom and kitchen rugs outside. I hung them over the edge of the deck in the sunshine.  I plan to continue to do that too.  

I'm tempted to see if I can rig up some kind of laundry line in the laundry room so I can hang up towels, socks, and similar items that don't get thoroughly dried the first time through the dryer. 


  1. How did I miss this post?? I'm so sorry ... but will definitely mention it this week!

    I would love to dry my clothes outside but our apartment complex doesn't allow it. I'm considering drying racks to put in my bathroom ... they can be folded up and put away. My only concern is that I wait to do full loads so I don't think one rack would handle all of our wash. But even drying some of it that way would cut down on dryer time.

    Here's another tip ... dry consecutive loads immediately, one right after another, so that the dryer doesn't completely cool down. It's saves a bunch of energy. It even works if your dryer has the cool-down phase.

  2. Small Footprints - no worries! I probably forgot to link it. haha!

    I actually installed two laundry lines in my laundry room this past weekend. I set them so the lines aren't always up, since one is in front of cabinet doors, but they are there for when they are needed. I actually did 1 load last night and hung up 4 socks. was better than putting them through the dryer a 2nd time.

    I'm actually going to work on an update post for this soon.

    Oh...and I ordered a toaster oven. Now I just have to wait for it to arrive and for Husband to use it. HE doesn't know I ordered it yet. lol