Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Let The Sun Do All The Work - Eco Laundry In The Summer

This is the one we have
It is summer, the perfect time to line dry your clothes! The best way for you to dry your clothes is line drying, it is easier on the wallet, leaves your clothes smelling great and naturally takes out stains. The down side is waiting for the sun! Luckily most of us are experiencing hotter weather now that it is summertime. For the few warm days that I can line dry outside I have a retractable clothesline. It attaches to one side of our fence and connects to a hook on the other side. The best part is the retractable feature since most days I have to dry inside.

For me living in a foggy coastal beach town does not allow for outside line drying for most of the year. For those of you in a similar location there is a solution. For indoor drying you will need to buy a laundry rack, these usually are more vertical then horizontal and work well for laundry rooms. The only downside is having enough space and heavy fabrics take forever to dry. The upside, other then saving money, is your clothes will last longer and colors will stay brighter. 

 More On Eco-Friendly Laundry
My passion for eco-friendly laundry happened by accident. I am allergic to...well it is easier to say what does not give me hives. Years ago I had a battle of the dirty clothes, laundry detergents and dryer sheets were constantly giving me hives no matter which brand I used. I became so frustrated that I abandoned laundry soaps all together for a while and washed my clothes with baking soda. That got rid of the hives but did not leave my clothes with that yummy clean smell and it was not enough for messes that a baby could throw my way. Here is how I clean my clothes using products that leave me hive free, smelling great and with zero residue.

For laundry soap I love Biokleen products. They are so concentrated that you only need a tablespoon of soap for an entire wash cycle. For baby messes I add a scoop of baking soda and run the water on a medium temperature. I have also recently discovered a brand called Nellie’s which sell soap in small squares that last for a few loads. I am still on the fence about that product because I finally found something that does not flare up my allergies but I thought it was worth mentioning because it is the brand that I use for my dryer balls.

White Without Bleach
Bleach, just say no. Bad, bad, bad...get rid of it. There are natural ways to bleach your clothes and clean your home. The combination of baking soda and vinegar naturally whitens and hydrogen peroxide will also work. For washing machines just use your soap as normal but add some baking soda then pour a little vinegar into the bleach drop off for your washer. You can also whiten your clothes by line drying, for more on that see below.

Machine Drying
In the past I used Method dryer sheets because they were closer to nature and did not make me itchy. When I was visiting Eco Carmel a few weeks ago I found Nellie’s Dryerballs. I had heard of dryer balls before but never took the time to research why they are used. These stood out from others I had seen before because they came with lavender oil fragrance sticks which are placed inside one of the balls to give that yummy laundry smell. Here are some reasons to switch to dryerballs. 1) They are reusable which means they are better for our planet then dryer sheets. 2) They reduce the needed drying time saving you money and resources. 3) They naturally soften fabrics. 4) They reduce lint and wrinkles - this was a BIG selling point for me. I really hate wrinkled clothing and sheets but I rarely have time to iron! 5) They last about 5 years and each fragrance stick will last for 10 loads.

Small Steps, Big Results
You do not have to have a complete laundry overhaul, small steps have a large impact. You could change just your laundry detergent or add dryer balls or line dry just a few items. You will be surprised how much money these simple steps will save and if you are full of allergies like me you will be hive free!

Online Resources
Biokleen: http://biokleenhome.com/
Nellie’s: http://www.nelliesallnatural.com/
How to use dryer balls: http://www.ehow.com/how_2123231_use-dryer-balls.html 
Retractable Clothes Line: http://www.sanliv.com/bathroom-accessories/series/retractable-clothes-line/


  1. We line dry nearly everything! We've found that it helps keep our clothes from shrinking (and when you're really tall, this really helps!) Can't usually do it outside, though...too many creatures like our backyard and I don't really want to find anyone nestled up in my favorite sweater!

    ♥ Bethany


  2. Hi! New follower! I'm currently transitioning to making my own household products as our store bought products run out. Have you ever tried making your own laundry detergent? I've heard good and bad things on the topic. I'll be stopping in on your blog from time to time I'm excited to see what else you have to share!

    I came across your link on the Etsy blog team :)

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