A lot of power and water is used doing your laundry. Here are a few tips to help decrease the impact of doing laundry on your utility bills.
Post your favorite laundry tips.
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When washing clothes, I always add the detergent into the filling machine tub before I add any clothing, and I manually swish the agitator around a bit by hand to help dissolve and evenly distribute the detergent. I think this helps increase the cleaning power of my laundry detergent.
Editor's Note: It also helps prevent stains from laundry detergent.
No matter how hard I try I just can't make myself wash my clothes in cold water. I wash towels and whites in hot and everything else in warm. I always wash full loads and rinse in cold.
I always wash in cold water and I find that I used liquid detergent and it dissolves fine. I do a small prewash by letting it agitate and then turning the machine off for at least 10 minutes (with the clothing in the machine) I switched from a electric water heater to a gas one and my hydro bill is at least half what it was. I used to have some stains untill I did the prewash. letting the detergent have a chance to work on the stains seems to help, before finishing the wash cycle.
I have an LG twin tub washing machine. I use Surf washing powder in cold water and use white vinegar instead of Sta-Soft. I also line dry towels, sheets and pillowcases.
I agree with Cindy. I can't use cold water to wash. I just feel that my clothes just don't get clean. I wash whites in hot water. The other loads in lukewarm water and cold for rinses. I do like to hang my laundry out on clear, windy days. It makes the clothes smell so good.
I also choose to use warm/hot water to wash and cold to rinse. I use about 1/3 of the amount of detergent recommended and absolutely NO fabric softner on my towels! It makes them slick and less absorbent. I haven't had any of the "stinky towel" problems we're hearing about so often. I can't help but wonder if using cold water contributes to that problem? Next time you do laundry do an experiment.........do not add ANY detergent to the load.......just put in your clothes and let the washer fill and agitate a few minutes......then open the lid and look!
I just can't justify wasting warm water and soap so I often plan for at least two loads of laundry and reuse the wash water from the first load to do the second load. (Or even the third) I have a large garbage can and a couple of pails handy that I keep in my laundry room strictly to use as my suds saver equipment. If I wash a load of light clothes like white t-shirts I will leave the lid up while the washer is washing to prevent the cycle from draining the water. My machine needs the lid down for draining and spinning. When I am ready with the hose in the large container I will put the lid down and set the cycle to drain the hot soapy water into my containers. I replace the hose into the pipe so I don't also catch the rinse water into my saved soapy water. (It would also overflow!) I keep a small sieve to scoop the lint that seems to swirl to the centre of the saved water as my machine has feature that empties the lint with the wash water so I screen it out before I reuse the water. (If there is any lint) I also hang an empty water softener bag on the taps to recycle as a garbage bag. When the load of laundry is finished and I am ready to wash the next load I use a smaller pail to scoop the water to fill the machine with my saved warm, soapy water. This is great exercise. I also have a wringer washer that I sometimes use if I want to soak something or speed up washing clothes by washing two loads at once. Saving your wash water, if it is not too dirty to use again will save on soap, save on the gas to heat the water and save on water.
I always turn the shirts and sweaters inside out before washing them so the deodorant washes off better and there is less wear and tear on the decals on printed t-shirts. My oldest son actually told me about this. He also said to never dry his shirts because I shrink them so if I use the dryer I always take them out while damp. I also turn the pants inside out for washing.
I mix my soap and water before adding the clothes by setting the level to minimum and after it agitates I reset it to high to finish filling as I add my clothes.
My favourite laundry soaps are Wonderwash, Country Save, Nellies and I often add some Borax or Pink Solution. I recently bought some Ecos from Costco, which is also an environmentally friendly HE laundry soap. In the summer I hang the clothes outside. Just before the t-shirts are dry, I take a handful of braided hangers to hang them on to make room on my lines for more clothes. The pin marks also seem to disappear. If they don't, a light spritz of water will relax the wrinkle. In the winter I will fluff them in the dryer and then hang them on my braided hangers to finish drying. I bought foldable laundry umbrellas from Regal Gifts for drying. The t-shirts then go directly into the closets to eliminate folding. I hang the heavy jeans by the bottom of the legs, one leg on each side of the towel rack held by two clothespins. I have two towel racks so there is plenty of room and the bathroom is the warmest room for drying.
I never use fabric softeners as they just coat your clothes and towels and they will not be absorbent. Why wash them if you are going to grease them up again? It also coats your dryer so it is best to "Never" use any at all. Dryer sheets are also the cause of "streaky windows" if you use cloths dried with softeners to dry your windows. My boys have also mentioned that they are not itchy any more since I have quit using dryer sheets. Our family is also healthier and have had fewer colds. Those scented products might hinder your immune system. I know that I cannot sleep if I visit someone's house overnight that has used dryer sheets or scented laundry soap.
In the summer when I am really ambitious I will even save the rinse water and carry it outside for my trees, grass, flowers and garden. I have also carried out some of the soapy water to splash on the vines on my garage to rid them of aphids. (dish soap as well)
My house faces north so I tied yellow ropes in the front to use as lines and also in the back of my house. In the summer I like to mostly be in the front yard and in the fall the sun shines best behind the house so I use my lines in the back yard. Sometimes it is too windy in the front so I'll use the ones in the back. (Or visa versa) While hanging clothes I set my basket on a lawn chair so I can shake all of the shirts out and drape them over the chair ready for hanging. I also have two ironing boards. I keep one handy to give me extra counter space outside for folding clothes. (Or even doing vegetables on) You can set it to any height if you are sitting or standing.
As you can tell I enjoy laundry and all of the games that I can play doing it. (My boys tease me and ask me if I am playing my laundry games again, ha ha)
I mentioned "Pink Solution" as one of my favourite products. It can be used as laundry soap, carpet shampoo, jewellery cleaner, added to dish soap to give your dishes a shine like you've never seen and give dishwashing a whole new experience, (it quickly soaks anything off of your dishes) added to dishwasher soap for superb shine again, in the carwash bucket with water to wash a car and have it look like you just waxed it, (I do this often in the rain so the rain rinses the car) (chrome bumpers and hub caps too) wash your white runners to give them that new look again, to wash my boat and boat windows so there is no water spotting, to clean my folding shower doors and marble tub surround, to clean my ceran top stove and other appliances, to clean yellow fur balls off my white carpet, to clean house windows so clean that they are invisible, to make my mirrors glow and my list goes on. It is my number one product that I would not be without! It is safe for any job and the environment.
One last hint of mine is with borax. I dissolve some in a spray bottle with water to use as a freshener for carpets before I vacuum, on the litter box to cut the litter dust and on my furnace filter to freshen the air.
There are websites for all of my favorite products. Easy to search and find. All well worth your while. I can't say enough good things about them.
My favourite dishcloth is the micro fibre cloth with mesh on one side and micro fibre on the other side. It is great for scrubbing or wiping. Their matching tea towels are also the best. I keep some for dishes, windows, and dusting and for the car. I sew two together to make a big one for drying dishes. They are cheap and available at Giant Tiger. Some people don't like them because if you have rough hands or nails they tend to grab.
To keep my hands soft I use rubber gloves to protect them and Beeswax skin cream for a moisturizer. (Beeswaxskincream.com)
I use this on my face as well. After many products this is my one "must have." Great for my face, lips, hands and I have even given this as baby gifts for diaper rash prevention and cure. I am getting off topic but this is to keep in line with all of the other products that I use that are healthy for sensitive skin.
I could go on about my pots and pans, mixers, waffle iron, steam iron and flourmills. I will try to find another thread for those. Thanks for reading and I hope that I have given you a few ideas to try or research. I'd be glad to help you find websites or more info anytime. I braid my own hangers and crochet my own pot scrubbers and have hints on those too.
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