Expert Profile Menu
Apply for your Expert Profile Page
Expert Articles
Advertise with us

useNature Magazine - the Weekly Column - Tips - Info's - Stories

< Previous Article

8 Green Laundry Tips and Tricks to Save the World

Next Article >

Article by Organic Box

Organic Box Profile | Email | Website
Eco-friendly products for your green home & lifestyle. Brisbane 4000


Something as simple as doing the laundry has an effect on the environment. Washing uses electricity, creates water pollution and releases dangerous particles into the air. The repeated use of washing and drying machines increases the harmful environmental effects tenfold. However, cleaning clothes don't always have to hurt our planet. There are several things you can do to make your washing as green as possible.

Go For a Green Detergent

Most modern stores sell some type of green-friendly laundry detergent. These formulas are free from polluting chemicals, are biodegradable and will help you go "go green laundry." The good news is that one of the most harmful chemicals, phosphates, were prohibited from use in detergents decades ago. Nonetheless, you need to avoid detergents with other types of substances such as nonylphenol ethoxylate or artificial fragrances. These substances can still cause problems if they are released into the ground or life supporting waterways.

Don’t Over Wash

You don’t need to wash your clothes as much as you think. Some people insist on washing clothing items after one use. Under normal circumstances, this is totally unnecessary. One of the main ways to begin a green lifestyle is to rethink your washing schedule. Items like jeans only need to be washed once a week. If you need to freshen them up you can hang them outside for a few hours. You can also try using a homemade solution of alcohol and water to spray on spots with odor. These tips for laundry will keep clothing smelling good without having to go through a wash cycle.

Think Cold Water

Regardless of what most people think cold water cleans just as well as hot water. Cold water also uses less energy and does less damage to clothing. If a load is heavily soiled it is better to let the clothing soak in cold water with a little bit of baking soda. This will loosen up dirt and grime and it will come off easier in the washing cycle. Switching to cold water is one of the best tips for laundry.

Use Natural Stain Removers

When most people get stains they use additional chemicals (via a stain remover) to remove the spots. Stain removers usually contain harsh chemicals that stick around in the water after washing is done. Use of these products should be minimized. You can make an effective stain remover at home using environmentally safe products found right in your kitchen. Vinegar and baking soda have long been used as stain removers. The two can be combined together to make a stain-fighting solution. You'll get the power of commercial cleaners and the eco-friendly benefits of natural products.

Stay Away from Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is bad for the environment. The central ingredient of dry cleaning is perchloroethylene. This chemical is known to have a negative effect on human health and is equally bad for the atmosphere. The chemical is absorbed into the air and plays a role in thinning out the ozone layer. It is also easily transmitted into the ground where it can find its way to ground water.

The best way to avoid having to dry clean is to arm your wardrobe with the right clothing. Try to buy clothing that can be washed through normal methods rather than dry cleaned. If you still have delicate items in your closet, you can hand wash them as an alternative to dry cleaning. Hand-washed clothing can also be dried on a line outside to avoid shrinkage and dryer damage.

Do a Good Job Separating

To get the maximum efficiency from your wash cycle make sure to separate out clothes correctly. It is best to separate according to weight. Similar items will wash and dry faster when placed together. Really heavy items like towels should always be washed in a separate load.

Use an Eco-Friendly Washer

Nowadays, there are many washing machines on the market that seek to lessen their environmental impact. These are a great choice for people who are still learning how to go green laundry. A green washing machine provides the best of both worlds by making washing efficient and preserving energy and water. It is best to buy a washing machine that is Energy Star compliant. These machines can help you save over 7,000 gallons of water each year. It will also save a lot of money in electricity costs due to its reduced power consumption. You can also find a green coin operated washing machine at an eco-conscious laundromat.

The Benefits of Hang Drying

It might come as a surprise that you don't even need to use the dryer. In fact, using the dryer for every single wash cycle creates a fairly large carbon footprint for your household. Studies show that there is a 2.4 kg CO2e footprint when washing and drying in the average machine. The footprint is reduced to 0.6 kg CO2e when line drying is used. Hanging clothes to dry also makes them smell fresh and feel softer.

A Final Look at Green Laundry Tips


If you are ready to go green laundry the tips above are a great start. By incorporating these tips for laundry into your cleaning regime you'll save not only money but natural resources as well. You'll also find that "going green" isn't as hard as it seems. Most people who use these tips decide to make this lifestyle change permanent. It is satisfying to know that you can help save the earth right in your washing room!

21 Jul 2017

Article/Information supplied by Organic Box

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.