post-vacation laundering the eco-friendly way

This post is sponsored by #Tide for Socialstars™

Living in the Southern California desert, I’m very aware of the footprint I leave.  We just recently left a 7 year drought that had us scheduling sprinklers and pool pumps at night, taking shorter showers and choosing drought-resistant landscapes for our home.  Now that summer is coming, we’re thinking about electric as well and how we can keep our energy bill down while still maintaining a comfortable AC temperature.  Life in the desert does not come without it’s struggles, but as a desert-lover, it’s worth it to me.

Laundry.  We all have it. None of us want to do it.  My family just got back from a long weekend at Knott’s Berry Farm which was fill with excitement – one of the best mini vacations we have taken to date.  We rode everything at least twice, we got caught in the rain, we ate the best jam on the planet, we meet Charlie Brown and Snoopy tucked the kids into bed at night.  Magical.

When we arrived home, I threw all of the suitcases and other loose laundry (like pool towels) in a pile and then went to bed.  I generally like to start washing clothes the same day we return from vacation, mostly because they are extra dirty (sweaty, sandy, muddy and/or soaking wet).  I just couldn’t do it this time.

Today is a new day, though, and I’m ready to tackle all of the vacation laundry with my favorite laundry detergent, PODS® Plus Downy laundry detergent pacs.  It’s a good thing because we are heading back out on the road before the sun comes up on Saturday.  This weekend, we’re driving up to Big Sur in Monterey County to go camping, which I’m really so excited about.  Can you imagine the laundry I’ll be bringing back, though? **dead emoji**

I’m always looking for ways to lower our environmental impact while also lowering my energy bills.  Laundry is a great place to start.  Here are my favorite tips for going green in the laundry room:

switch to Energy Star-qualified appliances.   Switching to an energy efficient washing machine can save as much as 7,000 gallons of water a year.  Over the course of an average lifespan of a washer (approx. 11 years), that’s enough water to give SIX people a lifetime supply of drinking water.  That blows my mind.

skip the dryer sometimes.  Secondary to only your refrigerator, the dryer is the biggest energy hog in your home.  I try to skip the dryer as much as I can, especially with towels, blankets and bedding.  The bonus here, on top of saving $$, is that when you hang up laundry to dry outside, they end up smelling SO much fresher.

use dryer balls.  An easy way to reduce drying time is the addition of dryer balls.  Not only do they reduce drying time, but they also reduce wrinkles.  I have two kinds (6 balls total) going in every load: spiky plastic balls and wool balls.  You can infuse your laundry with a lovely scent by just putting a couple drops of essential oils onto the wool balls <– best tip.

wear things more than once.  Levi’s recommends washing jeans every 2 weeks, so when my daughter throws her jeans in the dirty pile after one wear, I go a little nuts.  Other items to wear more than once: pants/skirts (3-4 wears), jackets (5-6 wears), PJs (2-3 wears).  This practice also means less laundry to do each week.

wash in cold water.  90% of the energy used during laundry is for heating the water.  Wash your clothing in cold water, which is gentler on your favorite fabrics and helps them last longer.

When laundering your clothes in cold water, make sure you have a detergent that can dissolve in any temperature.  I recommend Tide® PODS™ Plus Downy®.  This is my go-to detergent because it gets the job done.  For my post-vacation loads, I use two pods.  Make sure to put the pods into the washing machine before clothing to ensure they dissolve completely.

Tide PODS® Plus Downy clean and condition in just 1 step.  Each pac completes 4 tasks with these 4 ingredients: detergent, brightener, stain remover and Downy Fabric Protect.  They work with both standard and high efficiency washing machines and have HE Turbo technology which provides 6x the cleaning power in half the time.  One pac is better than 6 doses of a leading bargain brand liquid.  How about that for handling touch post-vacation loads?!

Note: always store laundry pacs safely in their original Tide container – up and away from children and pets.

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