The laundry room can be one of the most toxic rooms in the house, yet is completely unavoidable. Sigh.
Laundry is not a task that I – or even most people I would venture – enjoy. We still often find ourselves washing and folding massive amounts every week.
This is particularly true for those of us with children who like to dig in the soil and eat with gusto! And even though those sweet cloth diapers drying on the line is something to swoon over. The dirty ones? Not so much.
Luckily there are lots of ways to reduce our impact on the environment and minimize our own exposure to toxic chemicals.
Green and Non-Toxic Laundry Tips
Wash less. The first step to eliminate our trips to the laundry room is to only wash our clothing when necessary. Clothes are not dirty after the first wear, unless we are digging in that aforementioned dirt. Washing our clothing less will keep them looking better for longer.
Wash cold. Only wash when you have a full load and do it with cold water. It is just as effective as warmer temperatures, plus it saves energy, money, and is gentler on clothing. Stained clothing may need a little extra love, but cold water is ideal for every day.
Eco-friendly detergent. Make a switch to a natural detergent and avoid the bleach altogether. Look for something plant-based, biodegradable, and free of fragrance, dyes, brighteners, SLS, to name just a few. Another alternative is to make your own laundry detergent!
Rethink the dryer. For most laundry, the dryer is completely unnecessary. Dark clothes can be hung to dry inside all year while light clothing, towels, diapers, and sheets love a little time in the sun. When you do have to use the dryer on occasion, try wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
What are your best tips for an eco-friendly, non-toxic laundry routine?