Green Products, Homemaking

Laundry Room Evaluation

Today I am evaluating how well I’m doing with green and/or frugal spending and habits in the laundry room. There are six of us here: two adults, two teens, one child and a baby (who wears cloth diapers). I do a lot of laundry! I wash an average of 10 loads per week. My husband washes his work clothes on the weekend.

  • 2 cloth diapers
  • 2 baby
  • 2 whites
  • 3 darks
  • 1 miscellaneous

I used to separate our clothes into three categories: whites, lights, and darks. But then (and I have no idea why) we started just separating into colors and whites. This has been helpful because it means I can wash loads earlier because they are fuller faster. Our clothes have handled being combined but maybe that’s because we don’t wear the color red, lol.

I encourage the kids to re-wear things that haven’t actually gotten dirty, like pajamas and even blue jeans. I re-wear, too. If we haven’t gone anywhere and we were stuck inside due to rain or whatever, our pants can certainly be worn again the next day. Shirts, undergarments, and other articles of clothing that are soiled are obviously thrown in the bin to washed.

Related post: Evaluation the Bathroom

cloth diapers hangingI use All powder laundry detergent; I’ve also used Tide Free but it’s much more expensive than All. I don’t like scented cleaners because I get tension/contact headaches easily so I choose things that are scent-free. These detergents may not be the most eco-friendly, but I’ve tried making my own in the past and found that they didn’t clean as well (and what’s the point of washing clothes if they aren’t going to be fully clean afterward?) If I find a natural detergent that actually works, I will gladly make the switch! ^_^

dryer-ballsI dry the majority of our things in the dryer, but I also hang some things to dry. When I use the dryer, I throw in wool dryer balls in place of dryer sheets. If I’m hanging to dry, I use coated hangers and wooden clothespins; I hang things above the washer and dryer as well as on a shower rod nearby. When I’m feeling especially energetic and frugal, I hang a lot more, but when my week is full and I’m not caring as much about the environment or our wallets, I only hang the cloth diapers. :P

knobs

I keep the dryer’s settings on Casual, and turn the knob to Energy Preferred. I also turn the super-obnoxious-annoying-and-startling buzzer to ON. As much as the kids and I despise the “end of cycle signal,” it prevents clothes from drying longer than they need to (it will cycle off and then on again about five times) and also prevents them from needing to be de-wrinkled later because they didn’t hung up right away.

Related post: Evaluation the Kitchen

One to wash, one to wear.

I read the above suggestion (from the Great Depression era) years ago and have stuck to it with most things. Bedding, towels, and other non-wearables…all of us each have two. The only issue I’ve found with having so few of these kinds of things is that you have to buy higher quality due to the amount of washing and wear they receive. You can’t buy cheap bed sheets, wash them all the time and then expect them to hold up for long. :/


Okay, so I need to hang more clothes to dry, find a natural detergent, and buy higher quality non-wearables when possible.

How do you save money and/or the environment in your laundry room?

10 thoughts on “Laundry Room Evaluation”

  1. We also do many loads each week, I don’t know how two adults can have so much laundry to do. We re-wear lots of things. For example, I know that in some countries people use their bath towels only once. It’s not usual here. We use our towels 3 or 4 times, hanging them outside after each use and then they go to the laundry. We change the sheets every Saturday. Obviously underwear and shirts go to the wash immediately but not jeans or pants. We normally wear them 2 or 3 times. If we are wearing layers, maybe the second or third layer (usually a sweater or cardigan) can be worn twice because it was not in contact with our body and sweat. I use powder detergent from an expensive brand but I only buy it when is half-off. The store brand ones were not working for us. Portugal is a very sunny country so we usually hang our clothes to dry. When it’s raining we take them to a washing station because we don’t own (or have space) for a drier. I guess that’s it. That’s how we handle our laundry and try to save time and money.

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  2. Urgh, I hate laundry! We also re-wear (pants and pajamas). I can scarcely get the kids to re-wear because, well, they’re kids and still young enough to soil their clothing. Oh well. We use Nature Clean unscented for the diapers. I buy it at my local “green” store. They sell it in bulk so I just get my bottle refilled when needed. We also hang the vast majority of our clothing. We actually bought two clothing racks and put our clothing on hangers and on the racks. Once they’re dry, we only bring the clothing (still on the hangers) up to our closet. It’s wonderful!

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  3. Yes, I’m big on rewearing my clothes as well if they’re not soiled or scented from cooking (I rewear pants, shirts/sweaters, and PJs). My husband will only rewear jeans, ugh. We just started having the girls rewear their Pjs (so twice overall), and that helps. I try to use a lower heat setting on the dryer when I can (for the girls’ clothes, for sure). Also, we definitely do just darks and whites!! And I do the kids clothes separately, at least for the next few years. The only way I’ve figured out how to save money on laundry besides rewearing clothes is to watch for sales on detergent. :/ Thank you, Target Cartwheel! We use All Free & Clear, but I always wondered how homemade detergents worked – scratch that!!!

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  4. We are a family of four, 2 adult, 2 kids. I don’t have a dryer – too expensive on electricity. I hang stuff out to dry and then pop it in the airing cupboard. If it is raining I hang it on the heated towel rails in the bathroom.
    I sort clothes out just like you, two piles, light and dark and encourage the kids to re wear outer clothes again, the scratch and sniff test is a favourite! Will it be ok to wear again, I don’t like washing clothes unnecessarily because I think it shortens their lifespan.
    The only thing I need to do now is train my husband to pick up his dirty clothes and carry them to the laundry basket instead of just dumping them on the floor by his side of the bed. That would be an amazing achievement…

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