There are a number of ways to make your laundry room more eco-friendly. These include air-drying your clothes, using cold water, and avoiding toxic chemicals in laundry detergents. You can also switch to a concentrated detergent if you are able.
Air circulation is the most important thing when drying clothes in your laundry area. Your clothes need to be near a window, ventilation system, or even an air conditioner. It is a good idea to turn your clothes over often so that they dry evenly. Heavy fabrics, such as sweaters and bathing suits, retain moisture. Shaking them before laying them out to air-dry is also important.
Even if you don’t own a clothesline you can still dry your clothes in your laundry area. You will need to purchase a drying rack or clothes rod. These can be purchased at hardware stores. The drying racks can be hung above the dryer or over shower curtain rods. The metal clothes racks can be hung over the back of doors as well. One clothes rack should be able to dry two loads of laundry at a time.
Another benefit to air-drying clothes in your laundry room is that the process is gentler on your clothes. The heat and tumbling of laundry machines can wear away the fibers in fabric, resulting in lint and fuzzy stuff in the lint trap. This happens particularly in natural fibers like cotton and wool. Damaged fabric is more likely than normal to shed lint and show wear around the edges. You should also be aware that not all neighborhoods or homeowners associations allow air drying.
Cold Water Saves Energy
When it comes to laundry, using cold water can save you money and energy. Most clothes are cleaned using hot water, which uses more energy per load. Warm water uses 75 to 90 percent of energy, so switching over to cold water can be a significant energy-saving move. According to Energy Star, by washing clothes with cold water, you can save an average of $66 a year on your heating bills.
Although hot water is more effective at cleaning dirty clothes than cold water, it can also release tiny plastic fibers. These microfibers end-up in the water and eventually pollute the oceans. Synthetic fabrics release microfibers into the water, which causes an average household to release 533 million microfibers each year.
Another way to reduce your energy bill is to wash less frequently. Although it may seem like a small thing to do, each load adds up. By reducing the number of loads you do, you can save a lot of money.
Avoid Using Toxic Chemicals In Laundry Detergents
Avoid laundry detergents containing 1,4-Dioxane if you want your laundry to look great. This chemical is known to be an irritant and can cause severe skin reactions if inhaled or touched the skin. It is also one among over 25 potentially hazardous chemicals in laundry detergent formulations. These chemicals can cause skin irritation and organ toxicity, and are also known to be carcinogens.
Two toxic ingredients are common in liquid laundry detergents and dish fluids: SLS and SLES. These ingredients can cause organ damage, reproductive effects, hormone disruption, and many other harmful effects. They are also harmful to human health and can cause damage to the environment and aquatic life. While it may be tempting to purchase the cheapest liquid detergent, it is best to choose one that is gentler on your skin.
You should read laundry detergent labels to ensure you are getting the best product. Many of the popular brands contain toxic chemicals, which can cause allergies, dry skin, and even cancer. These ingredients are usually hidden behind complicated words and secret numbers.
Reduce Waste By Switching To Concentrated Detergents
Concentrated laundry detergents can be a great way of reducing the amount of laundry room waste. Concentrated liquid detergents, sometimes called ultras, use less detergent and need fewer refills than their less concentrated counterparts. Plus, they have smaller packaging and therefore require less shipping, recycling and fuel.
To make your own concentrated detergent, combine one part concentrated laundry detergent with one part water. Start with a small amount and gradually increase the quantity until you reach the amount you need. Many companies don’t have to list the ingredients of their products. It’s best to look at their websites and read third-party ratings in order to find out what they contain.
Concentrated laundry detergents are better for the environment as they require less packaging. You can use one dispenser per wash cycle instead of using multiple plastic bottles. These bottles are recyclable and biodegradable, and can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.