If there is one thing I do a lot of it's laundry. Laundry used to be one of the more costlier and toxic things in my home. Take a moment and think about all the money you put into washing your clothes, and the chemicals. In our pursuit of clean, bright,soft, white laundry we have exposed ourselves "to an onslaught of chlorine bleach, optical brighteners (which may promote allergic reactions), artificial fragrances and numerous other chemicals." (See tomorrows blog for a list of chemicals in fabric dryer sheets and softeners alone)
Have you ever read the label on your detergent and fabric softeners? One day after perusing a organic baby book at the beginning of my pregnancy I sat and read labels. It changed (among other things) my washing, drying habits and my utility bill.
So instead of washing clothes like this:
I wash clothes like this:
Here is how I wash clothes:
- Cold water. It cuts energy consumption to 1/2 which translates to dollars on your energy bill
- Line dry clothes when possible ( if you can't do it outside a great indoor spot is hanging over your shower curtain rod). Outside line drying brightens whites, gives clothes a "fresh" smell without synthetic fragrances, and saves money. If you can't line dry keep your dryer lint collector clear to help hot air circulate better
- I use a non-toxic detergent (charlies soap) which is only 1 tablespoon per load. It contains no petroleum products, phosphates, chlorine or synthetic fragrances.
- Add 2-8 drops of tea tree oil to your wash. It helps kill bacteria.
- If you use liquid detergent replace your fabric softner with 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of baking soda. It's non-toxic and has the same effect (if you use charlies soap, I have the big 5 gallon bucket of it, you don't need the fabric softner)
- Skip the chlorine bleach, If you have a septic tank it's bad for the bacteria in it. If you inhale it is harmful, weakens some fabrics, and "can react with organic materials in the water to form toxic by products". If you really feel the need to brighten whites or feel there are germs to kill, just add 1 cup of white vinegar per load. Line dry clothes in the sun to whiten.
Real clean has no smell!
Green Goes with Everything by Sloan Barnett
Healthy Child, Healthy World by Christopher Gavigan