Monday, March 30, 2009

#44 Ditch the Dryer sheets

Okay, so I get the occasional sock stuck inside a pair of pants.  A little static cling is not more trouble than I used to get from using dryer sheets.   There are a plethora of reasons NOT to use dryer sheets.  I will not go into detail, because I'm lazy and other people have already done that.  One of those places is at healthy and green living.  The reasons not to use them include some very nasty chemicals and some not-so-good long term effects on your clothing.   Other reasons for me include sensitivity to them (they make me itch!) and of course, no need to waste all those materials.   Also, most of static cling comes when you over-dry your clothes.  Be sure to set the dryer so that it stops before they get static cling!
There are some alternatives out there.  One is to use vinegar in your rinse cycle (too much trouble for me,) and another is to use a dryer ball (controversial, since most are made from PVC-- anyone know any that aren't?)   I go for the simplest of all methods.  Use nothing.  There. 

Pros: Less chemical-infused clothing and air, less skin irritation,  less packaging waste.  Oh, and I haven't mentioned yet that using dryer sheets causes unecessary wear-and-tear on your dryer if you don't wash your lint trap (and possibly a fire hazard?)

Cons:  Static cling.  (Did you know though, that most static cling occurs in synthetic fibers?  Use natural fiber clothing, and it won't be such a problem!)  My laundry doesn't smell nice.  But as long as it doesn't smell at all, I'm okay with that.

Monday, March 23, 2009

#43 Sort the "heavies"

Oh my!  When I started this blog I thought I'd be done by now with my 100 things.   Life has just gotten in the way.  I'm not giving up though-- I am going to try to post more frequently.

So, don't you hate it when you go to get your clothes out of the dryer and there are a couple of things that aren't dry?  Usually towels or jeans.  Or what I like the call the "heavies."  So there are two ways to handle those.  First, just make a separate load of the heavy laundry.  Anything that normally takes a little longer to dry.  Then you can plan on running that load a little longer.  The other way is to stop the dryer when most of the clothes are dry and hang up the ones that are not dry so they can finish drying.
By the way, my wish list includes a decorative laundry arbor so I can hang clothes outside in the summertime.  As it is, I have an indoor rack for diaper covers and odds and ends.

Pros: Less dryer time means energy saved and getting laundry through more quickly.

Cons: Sorting heavies means that you may be mixing parts of different colored loads.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

#42 Wash in Cold (or at least not hot)

I used to think that my clothing, and particularly my whites, would not get clean unless I washed in hot water.  Not true!  I have switched to using cold or warm to wash, and always cold to rinse.   I notice no difference in the way my clothes wash.  And I'm not using any special cold water detergent.   I found this great website that has charts of what the costs are per load at different temps.  I know there is a lot of variation, but it will give you an idea of how much the temperature affects the cost.  It also mentions on this website that "washing your clothes in hot water instead of cold water for a year uses more electricity that leaving your refridgerator door open for a year 24 hours a day!"

Pros: Use less electricity, therefore spend less money and reduce carbon emissions.   Less shrinkage of your clothing.

Cons: I can't think of any.