Laundry list

Laundry tips from Seventh Generation:

  • Use the cold water wash option whenever possible, and you’ll save 85% of the money and energy consumed by a hot water load.
  • Air dry your clothes on a line in your yard or on a rack set up in the bathtub or basement. Air drying saves energy and is free! Most electric dryers cost over $75 a year to operate, and gas dryers are only a little less expensive.
  • Consider a front-loading washer. Front loaders are gentler on clothes and use up to 36% less water and 60% less energy than top loaders.
  • Use laundry detergents made from natural, biodegradable ingredients. Conventional detergents contain polluting surfactants like alkylphenol ethoxylates, or APEs. Natural laundry products use safe, biodegradable ingredients such as vegetable oils.
  • Check labels and avoid gimmicks like optical brighteners. Brighteners coat clothes with an unhealthy chemical that reflects light to trick the eye and make whites appear whiter.
  • Never use chlorine bleach. It’s harsh on clothing, and can combine with organic matter in wash water to form toxic by-products. Instead, use a hydrogen peroxide-based bleach. These are far gentler on fabrics and much better for the environment.
  • When you do use your dryer,

  • Do fewer loads. Use towels and wear sweaters more than once before washing.
  • Check out Project Laundry List for more information.

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