Green laundry or laundry green
November 12, 2008 1:32pm CST
Step 1 Use cold water. Using hot water takes about 3 times the amount of energy as cold. If you are worried that the detergent you use is not going to dissolve then go to next step Step 2. European detergents are formulated to use hot water, but in the States, our detergents work just fine in cold water. Step 3 Use soap that dissolves in cold water. Always start by filling the machine with water and adding the soap before the clothes are added. You can opt to use half a cup of baking soda to cut down on the amount of detergent necessary for 1 load. Most of the cleaning action actually comes from the agitation of the water by the machine and not by the soap. (Go ahead and try washing your clothes with no soap and see if you can see a difference!) Step 3 Find a soap that is environmentally friendly. There are many that are on the market today, but no real definition on what is natural and safe for the water--so you might have to do a little research in your area. Don't be fooled by clever marketing--see what is actually in the soap and what you are paying for. Many people buy big tubs of detergent that are filled with fillers and whiteners and perfumes based on a TV commercial. There is enough information available to know that less is better. Step 4 Hang out your clothes to dry. If you have ever watched your electric meter while the dryer is running, you will realize that your money is quickly being sucked up by the electric company! Clothes smell wonderful after hanging in the fresh air and the sunlight naturally whitens them. Clothes will end up being cleaner since most stains are set in the heat of the dryer. I can't hang my clothes out but I'm sure going to try the baking soda and I already use a green soap.
• United States
13 Nov 08
Pat the Florida sun is brutal on clothes. My mother always hung the clothes and so did I until I moved here. For one the heat will melt you in the summer and your clothes. My mom was fortunate enough to have a shaded lot here. My yard had plenty of palms and just one corner with shade, the same corner that the dog claimed, so no hanging for me. I do miss that fresh smell though. My delicates and silky type of fabrics I hang in the garage rather than use the dryer.