The secret to an eco-friendly laundry routine is hidden in the past,” says Barb Webb, author of the new book, Getting Laid: Everything You Need to Know About Raising Chickens, Gardening and Preserving.
Webb suggests returning to the tried-and-true laundry life hacks that kept our grandparents clean and green. They work equally well today. Her top tips are:
“Ditch the chemicals. Natural detergents with eco-friendly ingredients help save our environment. Plain and simple, water is our most precious resource. The cleaner we keep it, the happier the earth and future generations will be.
Assess your state of clean. Once upon a time, clothing was only washed when it was dirty. Jeans, in particular, can stand be worn more than once. Unless you are trekking through the Everglades, air that denim out and slip into the comfort another day (or two) before tossing it in the wash.
Back away from the detergent. Less is more when it comes to detergent. Really. Seriously. You do not need to fill the detergent cup until liquid mutinies.
Stop making your laundry fat. Don’t super-size your laundry, your machine can only stuff in so much. Get to know your machine and its capacity. The art of laundry zen is dependent upon keeping balance in the machine so that all of your clothing is tended to properly.
Chill out. You can help save the planet one laundry load at a time. Long before energy conservation was in the forefront, my grandma knew how to wash a budget-friendly and earth-friendly load of clothing by using cold water for 90-plus percent of her wash loads and using sunlight and air to dry the laundry on a clothing line.
If you have ever wrapped yourself in a fresh-laundered and air-dried blanket, you totally understand… the little bit of muscle-power this chore takes is worth every last scent!
Dress au naturale. Natural fibers rule the laundry kingdom. Materials like cotton and linen can take a beating and triumph over the toughest laundering you can throw at them. It amazes me that my mother still has bed sheets my grandmother passed downed to her when I was a child. Cotton truly is king!”
“At home, I like to use leftover club soda in a spray bottle to clean windows and floors”, says our editor, Cassandra Rosen. “Try baking soda with lemon juice or vinegar to get out stains on the counter, instead of bleach or powdered cleanser. White vinegar is also great to remove rust stains, ball point pen marks, and hydrogen peroxide works great to remove red wine or blood stains from carpet or clothes.”