The Joy of Laundry?!
Whether the chore of laundry is a soothing, pleasant experience for you or painful act of carting things to and fro while playing the waiting game, there is more to laundry than just household necessity. For one, there are ecological factors like water over-usage, detergent contaminants and fabric sheet/softener toxins. (Ok, so that’s three but they happen to fall under the umbrella of ‘environmental concerns’). There’s also a financial cost to doing laundry: Having to purchase supplies. And depending on where you live, having to pay for water usage.
While I love the smell of clean clothes, I don’t like the pollutants and chemicals in most conventional laundry soaps. But nor do I love the cost of eco-friendly products – being on a budget mostly. But also due to the fact that my husband will throw articles of clothing in the hamper straight from his closet (like folded up jeans), as well as items that were maybe just “looked at the wrong way” (I tease him about this but think it’s partially true).
I am happy to say, nonetheless, that I’ve recently discovered some laundry tips that save me money, don’t (hopefully) harm the planet, and keep toxins off our fair skin. I did plenty of research and went through some trial and error before finding the best/most basic solutions, which I gladly share with you.
Buy environmentally friendly dish soap (not hand soap) in bulk. Then use some for the kitchen sink and some for the laundry machine (1/8 cup per load). Not only will you save lots of money, you will save trips to the store, prevent further damage to the environment and her creatures, and not exacerbate skin conditions. Plus, your clothes will smell yummy. (Dr. Bronner’s liquid soaps will also work and make the planet sigh in relief).
Instead of dryer sheets, use loosely wadded up foil balls. They will help soften your clothes – and more importantly – prevent static! Just one will work, but sometimes I use two, when weaning an old one out and new one in. They last about a month. The foil balls will eventually become so compact that they stop working/preventing static. Just toss in the recycling bin!
A bonus, I notice that our clothes still smell great even after *fully drying in the dryer and without the added fragrances and chemicals in dryer sheets (the dish soap I’m using is naturally scented with lemon). *If you still have problems with static, you may be over-drying your clothes, especially the all-synthetic ones.
One last note.
When buying in bulk we’re doing our part by not ‘consuming’ excessive packaging.
So give it a try. I hope your laundry experiences only improve from here on out! Your body and our planet as well will thank you with a silent wink.