Sunday, January 4, 2009

Laundry List

That's a picture of my clothes on my drying rack in my house.  I have found that the months in which I can "line" (or in this case rack) dry my clothes, I save at least 20% on my electric bill.  20%!!!!  There are a number of ways to dry your clothes without using a dryer.  

Most people have heard of a clothesline and in the summer months or if you live in a place that is warm and sunny year round this is a great option for a number of reasons.  It gets you outside (and gives your arm muscles a great workout) and the sun helps to take stains out of clothes.  If you are in a colder climate or if you can't always make it to the line, these racks are great because they you can hang your clothes inside and then place your rack outside or keep it inside under a heating vent or near the fire.  The rack I use is made out of reclaimed wood and fits up to 32 square feet of laundry.  One of my favorite earth-friendly websites, Gaiam also has a couple different racks and clotheslines as well as a number of other eco clothes cleaning alternatives.  

And just in case you are looking for more, here is a laundry list of my favorite laundry products and tips:

1. I swear by Charlie's Soap.  I have been using it for over 3 years to clean our laundry.  That's 3 boys (including babies) and me, a dog, cloth diapers and the woods, and still nothing works better.  Not only that but I have also used it to actually clean the dog, my car, and this spring I am going to use it to power wash the house.  The best thing about Charlie's?  I buy the 5 gallon bucket of laundry powder, use it for all these things, and it lasts me over 2 1/2 years!  That's less than $5 a month people!!!

2. I confess, I used to use bleach on everything, most especially my whites.  But if this toxic chemical can actually eat through things, imagine what it was doing to our skin, our airways, and our ground.  What was I thinking?  Well, probably that I didn't know any better.  Then I found oxo-brite, and seriously, a few scoops in with the wash is just as good!

3. Make it cold baby!  Washing your clothes in warm or hot water (unless maybe they are whites) isn't getting them any cleaner and is just making your bills higher and the planet more polluted.  Wash your clothes in cold whenever you can.

4. Can someone tell that I am wearing my jeans for the third day in a row?  Probably not.  Besides, they always fit better then anyway!  So unless your clothes are stained or stinky, try putting them back in the drawer to wear again.   And when you do throw the laundry in, make sure you have a full load.  Do you really need more laundry to do?

5.  If you do have an extra stinky load, try throwing a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the wash with them.  One of my favorite things to do is throw a few drops of lavender oil on my reusable dryer sheet with my bed sheets.

6. Speaking of dryer sheets...most f them have traces of lead in them.  LEAD!  So opt for a reusable option like dryer ballsstatic Eliminator Re-Usable Dryer Sheet, or even just vinegar in the rinse cycle to help soften your clothes.

7. Keep your lint filter clean (on the inside and outside of your house) so that when you do use your dryer, it is as effective as possible.

Leave a comment and help others, what do you do to make laundry a better experience (is that possible)?  

1 comment:

Kate said...

I just love to shop at Gaiam store... It provides many eco friendly items...