Going Green The Laundry Way (w/Giveaway)

There are many different ways individuals can “go green” from saving water to saving energy. From recycling to eating local, etc. But today I wanted to give you some basic tips and ideas for going green the laundry way. Every one of us does laundry in one form or another so it’s a basic household activity that, through some simple steps, can be made a little greener almost immediately. Here we go:

Image by jP

1) Make sure you keep your laundry in a breathable bag or laundry basket. Stay away from plastic bags and bins. There’s no reason to include unneeded plastic in your laundry routines.

2) Wash your laundry with cold water. They’ll get clean just fine using cold water. If you have stains that you are worried about, pre-treat them.

3) If you are able to, hang your clothes out to dry rather than using the dryer. Let nature help you with the laundry.

4) Only wash when you have a full load of laundry. It wastes time, water and energy to run your washer if you only have half a load. Wait until you have a full load, then wash away. Be sure it isn’t too full though…

Image by Mike Willis

5) Look for non-toxic cleaners. You don’t want toxins being added to your clothes. Toxins are no way to “clean” anything.

6) This goes for stain removers too. Some examples: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda can act as a natural deodorizer. A spray bottle filled with half water and half vinegar can be used to pre-treat stains. 1/2 cup of lemon juice added to the rinse cycle will help your laundry smell fresher and cleaner.

Now, if you have to dry clean, find a “green” dry cleaner in your area.  And I don’t mean one that says it is green. I mean one that uses a method such as GreenEarth® Cleaning, Wet Cleaning or a CO2 Dry Cleaning method. You can learn a little about these options below:

And while New Yorkers would be smart to take advantage of Green Apple Cleaners and their CO2 dry cleaning method, anyone can take steps to green their entire laundry experience starting with getting a Green Garmento dry cleaning/laundry bag.

Made from recyclable, water resistant, breathable and eco-friendly material, the Green Garmento bag works whether you use it as a laundry bag, hamper, duffel or garment bag. When it gets dirty, simply toss it in the wash and hang it up to dry. Plus, no more of those plastic bags from the dry cleaner! That alone makes it a great deal.

Of course, if any of you are like Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, you can always opt for the special GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) Green Garmento bag. Take it from Sorrentino when he says, “There’s nothing sexy about plastic bags“.

Now I must admit, I’ve personally had the chance to try out the Green Garmento bag (thanks Jennifer) and love it. It’s very versatile. You can wash it in with your regular laundry. It’s eco-friendly and it’s a wonderful way to not only store your clothes and/or transport your clothes to the dry cleaners, but transport them home sans plastic. (Although, you might have to get your family and dry cleaner genned in to the wonders of using a Green Garmento bag to bring the dry cleaning home ‘naked’.)

BONUS: Thanks to Green Garmento, a few of my readers also have a chance to win their very own Green Garmento bag! All you have to do is comment below and let us know what steps you take to green your laundry. Also tell why your household could use a Green Garmento bag!

Here’s to hoping everyone can take a few extra steps towards going green the laundry way!


  • Jamie

    Love your tips!
    I am trying to be greener in all areas throughout my life. I stopped using the dryer and have been doing lots of line drying (and saving the $1.25 to run the dryer 😛 ) and switching to natural non toxic cleaners. Feels great to do my part to help the environment AND to make my own body and house less toxic.

    The green garmento bag is a GREAT way to keep even more plastic out of the house!! No more plastic bags!

  • David Leonhardt

    Good list. We wash only in cold water, and it works fine. And only full loads; you’ll save money that way. Also, do you throw your PJs in the wash after only one night – after wearing them for only 6 or 7 or 8 hours (or 4 or 5, as some people I know)? If you wear PJs for three nights instead of one, you can reduce the amount of laundry you do to save $50/year or more per person. (Don’t try this with your undies!)

  • Brooke

    Excellent tips! We recently bought an energy efficient washer and dryer which seems to be making a big difference in cost and also how clean our clothes feel. We only wash in cold water with full (but not overfilled) loads. The Green Garmento bag is a wonderful idea as I hate all that plastic – the dry cleaners use one plastic bag for each individual garment! Wasteful and certainly not biofriendly!

  • No Dry Clean

    Hi, we’ve created a search engine / google map of alternative cleaners near you at nodryclean.com

    Check it out and please add to our database if you know of any other locations (including wet, co2 and silicone – GreenEarth).

  • PungPoo

    Seems pretty logical when you think about it. Wow.

  • Miranda

    We cloth diaper, so we have more laundry than most people. But, to combat that we do the following:

    Homemade, chemical free laundry ‘detergent’
    Line dry everything
    Wash only on cold
    Jeans and pj’s get worn more than once
    We are also currently setting up a system to collect the used washer water, which will be used for watering plants, watering the lawn, washing outdoor items, etc. Since we don’t use chemical detergents, we aren’t putting anything gross into the ground with the water.

  • Erin rushton

    I try to dry my clothes outside when possible.

  • chandan h

    We are suffering water shortage in our apartment.I have prepared a PPT based on your article and distributed it other members.The response is good.Thanks.

  • ines

    Thank you very much for the tips! I didn’t know laundry gets clean even if you use cold water.

  • MamaHearts

    Excellent tips! And just like using a reusable shopping bag for groceries, the idea of a reusable garment bag is a no-brainer. Love the tip for vinegar + water as a pretreater – thanks!

  • Rainwater Harvesting

    Thank you for posting this! You offered some really useful tips about going green with your laundry.

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