As we recommit as a congregation to creating a green sanctuary for us at UUCNH here are some things you need to know what you can do in your green cleaning attempts and doing the laundry efficiently.
Green Cleaning Idea: Dryer Balls
We’ve recently learned about dryer balls; these can be made of plastic or rubber, but the best option is natural fibers, normally wool. These ensure a non-toxic addition to your drying experience, allowing you to do without fabric softener or dryer sheets.
You just put several balls into your dryer and reap the benefits. They shorten dryer time, soften and fluff clothing. They improve airflow in the dryer; if you’ve had wet clothing trapped inside large items like sheets, these little balls will make that problem history. They’re said to reduce wrinkles, cut down on static, and decrease lint. They are inexpensive, and online sources say they can be reused hundreds of times. To enhance your experience, we’re told you can splash a few drops of essential oil onto wool dryer balls to make your laundry into a fragrant experience.
Green Cleaning ideas for clothes washing
Wash items in cold water when hot water is not needed for sanitation purposes. Water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. New laundry detergents are designed for cold water. Unless you’re dealing with oily stains or items that need additional sanitation such as underwear, towels, facecloths, etc., washing in cold water will generally do a good job of cleaning. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half. Using the cold cycle reduces energy use even more.
Run full loads. Clothes washers use about the same amount of energy regardless of the size of the load. Run full, but not overfull loads. Use the high-speed spin or extended spin option. This will decrease the amount of time it takes your clothes to dry.
Clothes drying ideas to save money
Use sensor drying instead of timed drying on your clothes dryer. This ensures the dryer will automatically shut off when clothes are dry This feature saves energy and reduces wear and tear on clothes from over-drying. Use the low heat setting for clothes drying unless high heat is needed for sanitation purposes. Longer drying cycles on a low heat setting use less energy. When extra sanitation is required consider hanging clothes outside in the sun. The sun is just as effective as bleach and considered to be one of the toughest killers of germs. Run full loads. Run full, but not over-packed loads. Use the high-speed spin or extended spin option on your clothes washer. This will decrease the amount of time it takes your clothes to dry.
Dishwashing with green cleaning in mind
Let your dishwasher do the work whenever possible. Use the dishwasher for items that are dishwasher safe. The dishwasher uses 85% less water and about 40% less energy to clean a 12 piece place setting as compared to handwashing according to a European Study. Skip rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Just scrape off the solid remains and skip the rinse. Today’s dishwashers are designed to power off the mess.
Run full loads. It takes the same resources for one dish as a full load.
Clean Naturally for green cleaning
White vinegar seems to lead the list of natural cleaners. Sprayed on full strength and allowed to soak, white vinegar can disinfect and deodorize most surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen. Mixed with water, it provides a great cleaning fluid for windows and mirrors; combined with warm water and allowed to stand in a sink or tub, it can loosen hard-to-remove stains. Diluted with water, sprayed onto a shower curtain and left to soak, it can remove stains. One cup of vinegar in a gallon of warm water can be used to mop bare floors-and does not have to be rinsed, saving time over commercial cleaners. White vinegar is also said to work well on carpets.Rubbing alcohol can be used to make handy disinfectant wipes; just add it to a pack of chemical-free baby wipes. It can also be used with a cloth or cotton swab to clean metal surfaces such as faucets. Baking soda mixed with water can be used to clean porcelain surfaces; use it to clean the toilet as well, by just sprinkling it into the bowl and scrubbing as usual a bit later. A fourth common ingredient in recipes for natural cleaning is essential lemon oil, which can be used, among other goals, to remove hard-water stains on metal surfaces.
Tips and Tricks
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