May 9th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
If you live close to your mom, show gratitude for all she has done over the years by tackling her laundry today—and consider giving her an eco-friendly cleaning makeover.
When doing loads of laundry (or stacks of dishes), remember to use less detergent. Appliance experts say many of the repairs they make can be traced to detergent overuse. Today’s appliances have been created to use less water in their cleaning cycles, so less soap is generally required.
Far too often, people equate “clean” with tons of suds, but too much soap can make dishes filmy and streaky and leave clothing stiff. Many environmentally friendly detergents are concentrated, which means less is required for thorough cleaning.
New laundry technologies and ENERGY STAR ratings also cut energy and environmental costs.
“Today’s clothes washers are much more energy-efficient than older models, and manufacturers are introducing new features like LG’s 6Motion technology, which cleans clothes while using less water and energy,” says Betsy Poczkalski, a home economist for LG Electronics USA.
With this new technology, a cold-wash option penetrates deep into fabrics, while providing the same performance as warm-water washing and using up to 51% less energy.
For Your Organic Bookshelf: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning
Read More:Give Mom a Green Laundry Break
September 19th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
We’ve talked about different ways to soften fabrics when you wash and dry your clothes (plant-derived dryer sheets), as well as products to avoid (toxic, beef fat-infused dryer sheets and laundry balls).
I’ve also reported on ways to green your washing machine, the importance of ENERGY STAR-rated washers and eco-friendly dryers.
Today, I’ll conclude this series with a look at two of the most low-tech, yet effective, ways to soften fabrics:
- Organic distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
According to Deirdre Imus (yes, she’s Don’s wife), author of Green This! Volume One: Greening Your Cleaning:
Distilled white vinegar, preferably organic, is the best and healthiest softener. Just put a tablespoon in the rinse cycle, as you would any of the toxic fabric softeners. (Don’t overdo it—you don’t want your clothes to smell like vinegar!) Your clothes will come out soft every time.
In lieu of vinegar, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle, she says.
If you want your clothes to smell nice, add a few drops of your favorite organic essential oil to your washer’s rinse cycle, notes Imus, founder and president of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. As an alternative, place a few drops on a washcloth, and toss it into the dryer with your clothes.
Also by Deirdre Imus
Read More:Drying with Deirdre