Wondering how to green up your laundry? Here are some tips I have found useful:
1. Wash your clothes in cold water as the most significant environmental impact of laundry is the use of energy to heat the water.
2. Be sure to use an eco-friendly detergent - free of phosphates, chlorine, ammonia, petroleum solvents, and animal products which has not been tested on animals. Or try making your own laundry powder:
Simple Washing Powder
8 cups baking soda
6 cups borax
4 cups grated castile soap ( like Dr. Bronner's)
2 tablespoons essential oil
Combine baking soda, borax, and soap flakes, add essential oil, and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1/8 cup of powder per load.
3. Use one of the many nonchlorine bleaches which are widely available or make your own bleach.
1 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup lemon juice
12 cups water
Store in a labeled plastic jug.
Add 2 cups per load.
4. Hang your clothes to dry on a clothesline. It will save energy, prolong the life of your clothes, and help keep whites bright. Some studies also show that line drying in the sun kills bacteria.
5. Ditch the conventional fabric softeners which recent studies have revealed contain cancer-causing and neurotoxic solvents such as toluene and styrene. Try one of the eco-friendly versions or use 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the wash cycle of your clothes.