I’ve been sharing tips to make each room of your home more sustainable one by one, and now it’s time for a more sustainable laundry! With a few small changes you can save water and energy, reduce your chemical usage and waste as well. I’d love to hear your tips too!
1. Wash in Cold Water
The absolute easiest way to make your laundry a more sustainable one is to switch to cold water washing. Up to 90% of the energy used to run a washing machine comes from heating the water, and these days most clothes and washing powders clean just well in cold water as they do in hot. You’ll save yourself a load of money as well as energy!
2. Wash Full Loads
The second best way to save yourself both money and energy is to only run your washing machine when it is full. It will take almost the same amount of energy to run regardless of how many items you are washing, so the less times you can use it the better. If your machine has the option to auto-set the water level to match the load size give that a try as well.
3. Dry Outside
To really up the sustainability factor of your laundry skip using the dryer as much as possible and make the most of the outdoor elements. Clotheslines and drying racks are your friend no matter how small your balcony or backyard might be, and best of all it’s completely free. Plus, your clothes will last longer as they aren’t being tossed around in a dryer!
4. Clean Lint Filter
If you do use a dryer be sure to clean out the lint filter after every use, as this will ensure it runs at its most efficient. This will shorten drying times and therefore save you energy (and money!) along the way.
If your dryer has a moisture sensor then be sure to use that as well. This will shut off your machine when it senses your clothes are dried, saving more energy as well as wear & tear on your clothes.
5. Skip Dryer Sheets
Somehow the world got convinced at some stage that we had to use dryer sheets but it’s just not true. Sure, they can help reduce static but they are often filled with not-so-nice ingredients which are dangerous for the environment and shorten the life of your clothes. You can make your own eco-friendly alternatives using cloth scraps and some everyday ingredients – there’s a simple how-to on the Wellness Mama website.
6. Separate by Weight
When you are using the dryer be sure to separate items by weight – dry your towels with other towels, linens with linens and the like. This will ensure everything is appropriately dried without anything being over-dried. Maximise each load and you’ll be cutting down on energy use in no time.
7. Use Eco Friendly Cleaners
Another easy eco-switch you can make is to choose natural laundry detergent in place of those packed with bleach and other harsh chemicals. Nowadays it’s usually pretty easy to find options at the supermarket, but if you want to go the next step then mix up your own at home. It’s cheap, cuts down on waste and takes no time at all to do! I’ve shared my go to recipe before which you can find right here.
Another option is to try out soap nuts, which go straight in your machine and can be used a few times in a row. They are a super natural alternative which create no additional waste, work well and are pretty cheap too!
8. Upgrade Your Machines
To really ensure a sustainable laundry, the next time you’re in the market for a new washing machine or dryer be sure to pay close attention to the water and energy efficiency ratings. They might cost a little more upfront but you’ll save more money in the long run, not to mention its better for the environment. It’s not just the top end machines that have good rating either (in fact that’s not even a given!), so there should be something to meet all budgets. You can also buy great electronics to solve your purpose from Clever Shop List and set up installments to pay back for the purchase according to your convenience.