Swapping out your products and routines for more environmentally friendly and less toxic options is easy … but it requires that initial effort of researching and switching things. Sadly, a lot of people get overwhelmed or discouraged before they even begin.
This post is sponsored by GE Appliances, and today I want to break down some simple ways to create a greener laundry routine. These simple changes will take minimal effort and save you money while creating a cleaner, greener home!
When looking for appliances for the BnB, one of the things that I loved about the GE Appliances was that you can monitor the units from your phone and see the status of the load of laundry, which is super convenient when you realize you have a guest coming the next night, ha! You can also pre-load the detergent. That means you aren’t guessing at the amount to use and wasting it, you can add the whole bottle at once and over time the machine will automatically use the right amount, meaning less waste!
Tip 1: Stop buying dryer sheets.
Did you know that dryer sheets are toxic? I know that may sound crazy to some, but look into it (I could write a whole post about this, but it’s too much for today). The synthetic fragrances used in dryer sheets are not good for our skin, our lungs or the environment. These unnecessary ingredients are linked to asthma, migraines and skin issues.
I know that many people are afraid that if they don’t use dryer sheets that their clothes won’t smell nice or that they will have more static. I can tell you from experience that I haven’t used dryer sheets in years and our laundry smells amazing and static is not an issue.
Replace your dryer sheets with wool balls (or make your own). They scent your laundry naturally and absorb water, making it dry quicker. Add 2-3 balls, each with a few drops of essential oil to each load of laundry. The combination I am currently loving is Fir Needle and Spearmint (you can shop essential oils here). I also sometimes use Fir Needle and Lavender.
If you’re vegan or you want to avoid wool, make your own reusable dryer sheets from cotton or any reusable material.
Tip 2: Buy clean laundry products.
You don’t need fabric softener. I haven’t used it in years. All I use is Seventh Generation Free & Clear. With a young child in our home, it’s even more important to me to use products that are good for sensitive skin.
There are a lot of brands that market themselves as clean that aren’t. It’s annoying, but it’s true. When you go to the store to buy cleaning products, just flip over the bottle and read the ingredients … if it contains "fragrance" or "perfume," it’s artificially scented. Avoid these. What’s crazy is that I’ve found synthetic fragrance even in products that say "unscented" on the front label.
I know checking the labels feels like an extra step, but it’s no different than checking the labels on foods you buy. It gets easier over time and you learn more and it helps protect you from false marketing claims. Bottom line: Learning to check labels on cleaning (and beauty and all household) products makes you an empowered consumer. It’s worth the effort!
Tip 3: Make your own cleaning products.
I love browsing Pinterest for clean recipes! Over a few years, I’ve learned to make my own room sprays, bug sprays, pillow mist, bath oils … if you name it I’ve probably at least tried to make it.
Making products feels silly at first—like this huge extra step. But after you collect the necessary supplies (I have a cabinet in my office full of carrier oils, base soaps and essential oils and use these glass bottles), it saves SO MUCH time and money to just make your own. I make at least one household product every single week. In the past few weeks, I made a sheet spray to sanitize our pillows after we’d been sick, an anti-spider spray, a kid-safe room mist and a nice smelling mist for my clothes as I was cleaning out my closet. It’s super easy and fun!
Tip 4: Use reusable supplies for anything you can.
From wash cloths to shopping bags, there are so many ways to reduce waste. This is something fairly new to me! Recently, my husband and I started to look for ways to reduce the amount of trash we were creating and once you start to pay attention … it’s kind of everything!
Reuse instead of buying new. Buy used if you can. Try to cut back the number of disposable things you buy, replacing them with things you can use for years to come.
I hope these tips have been helpful to you! I’d love to hear any solutions you’ve found as well. I am definitely a work in progress—still learning all the time.
Thank you so much to GE Appliances for sponsoring this post!
xx – Elsie
Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.