The average clothing’s cycle consists of 75 to 80 per cent of washing and drying. Also, the average woman spends around $100 just on dry cleaning. Doing laundry has a huge environmental impact, it takes a lot of energy to heat water and run the dry cycle. Luckily, there’s a potential to reduce water use and energy use by going green with laundry habits. For example, just cutting the dryer, even for some time, can save you money. The dryer is on the top of the list for household energy hogs. So, here are 4 green laundry tips every fashionista should know. From how to make your laundry eco-friendly to how to reduce the carbon footprint.
Use Green Laundry Detergent
It’s important which chemicals you use to clean your clothes, because some of them can damage the fibers from clothes and shorten their life cycle. This is why it’s significant to go with fragrance-free laundry detergent. The green laundry detergent is plant-based and will have fewer damaging effects on your clothes. Remember that fragrance found in most laundry detergents are toxic chemicals that you don’t want on your skin, so it’s better to choose a fragrance-free laundry detergent that’s natural and soft. Also, don’t forget to wash new clothes first because it keeps their colours from running.
In addition, you can even make your own green laundry detergent. Most common ingredients for homemade detergents are baking soda, grated bar soap and borax. You can mix and match different scents and create one that you like the most. This way, you can create a green laundry detergent that’s natural, toxic-free, environmentally friendly, and nice on your skin.
Wash Full Loads of Laundry for Energy Efficiency
Older washing machines use more water than newer ones with the Energy Star logo. The average older machines use 40 gallons of water while new machines use around 18 to 25 gallons of water per load. To improve the energy efficiency of your washing machine, make sure to wash clothes in cold water. Believe it or not, 90% of energy is used just for heating the water. With more clean laundry products, there’s a great selection of brands to choose from for laundry detergent strips, bleach alternatives that keep your whites still white without hot water.
Also, only wash full loads of laundry to keep your washing machine operating at high efficiency. Some washing machines have a load size selector option, so make sure to select smaller loads if your machine isn’t filled all the way. The same rules apply to the dryer, too. Only turn on the dryer if you have a full load of laundry.
Hang Dry the Clothes as Much as You Can
Drying your clothes on a rack instead of the dryer saves energy and money, too. In addition, taking advantage of the sunlight and drying your clothes on a rack makes the clothes last longer. This is because air drying clothes causes less abrasion on the fabric. The high heat from the dryers can damage clothes and make them wear out more quickly. This is especially important for clothes that aren’t made of strong material, can’t handle the heat and shouldn’t be put in the dryer. The list of clothes that shouldn’t be put in the dryer are bras, blouses, camisoles, slip dresses, dress shirts and slip dresses. When you air dry your clothes, it allows them to breathe and last longer.
Try To Avoid Dry Cleaning
If you want to go green with your laundry, then avoid dry cleaning as much as possible. Dry cleaning is not a green process because most of the dry cleaners use dangerous chemical perchloroethylene or perc, for short. Many studies have shown that exposure to this chemical can lead to increased risks of cervical cancer, bladder, esophageal, reduced fertility, eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation. Fortunately, there are healthy and green alternatives. Some dry cleaners are going green by replacing dangerous perc for liquid carbon dioxide.
When you’re buying clothes, try to find clothes that don’t require dry cleaning and read labels before purchasing. In addition, many clothes, especially delicate ones can be hand washed, like wool and cashmere.