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My husband is a green freak and I am a frugal person. Some time this combination does not work well but we try our best to be frugal and environmentally friendly. Here is what we have learnt from our experience of being frugal and environmentally friendly in doing laundry.
- Buy front-load energy star washing machine: These machines use less water and energy. Front load machines may cost more than top load machines but in the long run, it will save money. If you are replacing your washing machine consider buying a front load energy star machine.
- Buy washing machine with auto sensor: These machines sense the load size and adjust the water accordingly. That means less water usage and less heating cost.
- Use cold water to wash: When you wash in the cold water you not only save energy but it is also good for the clothes. I use cold water wash for most of the time and but time-to-time wash the whites in warm water.
- Use green or environmentally friendly laundry detergents: I use Sunlight Green Clean. This does not have Chlorine or artificial dyes. There are other environmentally friendly laundry detergents available in Canada. Here are few other examples: Green Works laundry detergents, PC Green Laundry detergents and Seventh Generation laundry detergents.
- Buy laundry detergent on sale and use coupons: Laundry detergents are expensive but those go sale frequently. Recently, I have seen sales for laundry detergent almost every week. You can keep laundry detergent for 1-2 years and so buy when it is on sale and keep it for future use. Coupons for laundry detergents are available through manufacturer website, flyers, store coupons etc. I have found Sunlight coupons in milk bags recently and used it to buy few bottles of Sunlight Green Glean. The retail price of this detergent (32 loads) is around $7.50 and it was on sale for $4.00 and use $2.50 coupon and bought it for $1.50 (less than 25% of the retail price).
- Wash during off peak hour: In Ontario you are charged lowest hydro rate during off peak hour. Do your laundry after 9.00 pm or before 7.00 am on weekdays or weekends and holidays to save money.
- Use cloth racks to dry the clothes: I dry our clothes in the cloth racks in side house during winter and outside in summer. It dries in a day.
- Clean the dryer vents: Cleaning the vents improves efficiency and reduces fire risk.
- Don’t use fabric softeners. Fabric softener contains chemicals. According to Environment Health Association of Ontario, it is the most toxic product produced for daily household use. It has been found to be associated with numerous illnesses and chronic conditions. I use dryer balls instead of fabric softener. I know some people use vinegar but I have heard that it may be bad for rubber parts inside the washing machine.