Clear, Clean and #Green Your Home Room by Room Part 1

Green your home one room at a time with these helpful hints from Just About Greener Living. Avoid commercial and scented detergents instead replace with chemical free alternatives for doing laundry and keeping your clothes smelling fresh.

Spring has come and gone, but you can still clear out the summer’s clutter and green your house one room at a time. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a 4 room apartment or a 2 1/2 story house, you can tackle it a little each week or each month. Oftentimes the biggest rooms seem the most daunting, so let’s start with the room most often used – the laundry room.

Clean and Green up your laundry area.

Commercial Detergent or DIY Detergent?

How many loads of laundry do you have every week? Two, four, six, ten loads of laundry and how much are you spending on commercial laundry detergent? And what about the chemicals in those plastic bottles and allergies? If your budget is tight and you want to stretch your dollars farther and reduce toxicity, consider a green alternative to commercial detergents.

Detox Your Laundry Area

Dryer Ventilation– Dryer vents can contain more than 25 toxic chemicals especially if you use scented dryer sheets and commercial detergents are used and are even more toxic if not vented outside or become clogged. Clean out your vent once a month and vent outside if possible. Use a ventilation fan to prevent breathing in toxic fumes. Clogged vents are also a fire hazard, clear vents both from your dryer and external vents yourself or contact a dryer vent cleaning company.

Clogged vents are toxic and can be a fire hazard.

“Researchers have found that dryer vents can emit more than 25 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets are used, including seven VOCs classified as hazardous air pollutants,” according to an article from Natural Home and Garden.

Manufacturers are not required to list all their ingredients especially ones that are scented, and oftentimes contain hazardous ingredients known to be harmful to you. (What you don’t know, can hurt you.)

Laundry Pre-treatments – These too can be toxic if inhaled and can contaminate your water. Instead try a mix of washing soda, baking soda and water. Peroxide also works pretty good on whites, test first though.

Eco Friendly Laundry Detergents – If you don’t have time to make your own detergents, then do make the eco conscious choice and look for eco friendly detergents that are plant based such as Method Laundry Detergent, Seventh Generation, Planet Inc., and Eco Soap Nuts. Look for coupons on Facebook and in your local newspapers to save on Method and Seventh Generation too.
Clean Washer – Sounds redundant, but residue from softeners and detergents remain in your washer even after the rinse cycle as well as bacteria, grease and other contaminants. Run a cycle with white vinegar and hot water to remove such residue from your washer periodically.
Avoid Bleach – Choose vinegar and hot water or pre-soak stained clothing to avoid the toxicity of bleach. Only use in small amounts if absolutely necessary. Do NOT mix bleach with vinegar or ammonia as it creates a toxic chlorine fume.


Look for more ways to clear, clean and green your home room by room soon!

Save Money with Homemade Laundry Detergent

Spend less with this homemade laundry detergent recipe.

Everyday I think of how I can make 1 change in my daily routine to be more green or substitute a commercial store bought product for something that is safer for the environment as well as for myself and family.

Today, I did a load of laundry using a phosphate free laundry detergent. I buy the largest bottle of the least expensive brand I can find every month. However, I still cringe that I have to buy my laundry detergent in a plastic bottle (I try to avoid buying products that are plastic). I have a friend who makes her own laundry detergent in bulk, which she says lasts her family of 5 about 2 months!

So I found this DIY laundry detergent recipe that is not only easy to make, but also eco-friendly and safe for your family to use too.

-1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Lavender, Citrus, Peppermint, Almond or Baby soap
– 1 dry cup of Borax
-1 dry cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
-optional a few drops of tea tree for disinfecting (esp. good for cloth diapering)

*grate soap into sauce pan- add 2 cups of water- stir, dissolve.
*into a five gallon bucket add Borax, washing soda and tea tree if using.
*dump melted soap liquid into bucket and stir quickly
*add water to about 3/4 of way to top- stir and put lid on.
*set overnight- measure out 1/2 cup of liquid for light loads and 1 cup for normal.

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What recipe have you used for homemade laundry detergent? What is the cost comparison & effectiveness of using your own detergent vs. commercial brands? I’d love to hear your comments below!