American Cleaning Institute - For Better Living

Clean Ideas: Going Beyond Green While Getting Clean

Laundry Tips That Promote Sustainability

Sustainable laundry practices are good for the environment ... and good for your budget. While it may be easy to find green products, going beyond green is about more than choosing a green product. It's about proper use, dosage and recycling. Follow these simple tips and make a commitment to go beyond green in your laundry room!

  1. Make proper use of your washing machine's capacity. Washing one load will take less energy than washing two smaller loads. To get a feel for proper load size, check your machine's load capacity, and then weigh out a few loads of laundry to get a sense of how much volume 10 or 18 or 20 pounds represents. Based on this, use your eye to judge the volume for future loads.
  2. If your hot-water supply is limited, start with the hot-water wash load, then follow with warm, then cold.
  3. Use cold water for the rinse cycle.
  4. Pay attention to water levels and select the right amount of water for each load of laundry. Avoid over-filling your washing machine to save water and energy.
  5. Follow garment care instructions to select the right water temperature. Select a lower water temperature when possible.
  6. Presoaking heavily soiled clothes may mean that a cooler wash temperature can be used.
  7. Treat stains promptly so no extra laundry cycles are required.
  8. Use the recommended amount of detergent, bleach and fabric softener. It will give you top performance and can help you save money and a small piece of the Earth.
  9. Concentrated laundry products save packaging and transportation energy costs. Do your part by disposing empty laundry product containers at your local recycling facility.
  10. The two biggest energy uses when doing laundry come from heating the water and drying the load. Always follow fabric care labels and instructions: wash with the coldest water possible and spin at the highest recommended speed to remove water.
  11. When drying clothes, put similar types/weights together. Lightweight synthetics, for example, dry much more quickly than bath towels and natural-fiber clothes.
  12. Don't over dry clothes. Too much heat, too often, can help wear them out before their time. If you take the clothes out while they are still slightly damp, it can reduce the need for ironing – another energy saver.
  13. To conserve energy and save money, consider using a clothesline to dry your laundry outdoors, instead of using your gas or electric dryer.
  14. Clean the dryer's lint filter after each use. A clogged filter will restrict flow and reduce dryer performance.

Download the free tip-sheet, "Going Beyond Green: Laundry Know How for Consumers," and share with your friends and family. Tell us your ideas about how you are going beyond green in your laundry room on our Facebook page.


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