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6 eco-friendly tips to use in the laundry room

By Flow Wall
March 3, 2014

There are so many places to practice eco-friendly living, including the laundry room. First you'll need to install your laundry room cabinets and other built-in storage accessories because organization helps create less waste. Then check out these six eco-friendly tips:

1. Buy energy efficient appliances

Energy Star washers and dryers use 20 percent less energy and 35 percent less water than their standard counterparts. If you have a big family, opt for a washer with a large capacity to reduce the amount of cycles you need to run. You'll save 15 gallons of water per load, compared to the 23-gallon expenditure of traditional units. If your washer or dryer is more than 10 years old, it is time to upgrade.

2. Use a cold temperature

A majority of the energy (up to 90 percent) that's used when washing clothing occurs when the water heats up. Reduce the amount of electrical output even more by running your clothes through the cold cycle. Check around for detergents that are specially made to be used with cold water.

3. Only run full loads

From time to time you may be tempted to run a half load, but don't do it unless your washer has a setting for a reduced load. Most energy-efficient washers use about 40 gallons of water per cycle (older washing machines use even more), so you can save water if you only wash full loads.

4. Go natural

Having an eco-friendly lifestyle means using natural products when you can, so consider picking up some green detergents and stain removers. Many of these products are free of chlorine, bleach, synthetic dyes and fragrances. Instead, the cleaning liquids are sourced from plants and are safe to used on kids' clothes, and some work especially well in cold water. Dryer sheets can be harmful to the environment because they are made from synthetic materials. Use a specific eco-friendly brand, go without them or make your own DIY version.

5. Air dry clothes

When you get a chance, air dry clothes instead of cranking up your dryer. You can use wire rack systems to hang your clothes and allow them to dry the natural way; or when the weather's nice you can put them on a line outside, giving them a fresh scent.

6. Wash some items by hand

Another eco-friendly tip is to wash some clothes by hand. Children's clothes and some smaller garments may not need the robust cycle of a washing machine. This helps you reduce the need to turn on your washer.