Laundry Soap

There can be harmful chemicals and phosphates in your laundry soap so be sure to do some research and choose your products wisely. There are a number of safe and healthy products on the market.

Canned Goods

Raise your own fruits and veggies or buy local. Either way you’ll have a better idea of where they come from, what has been sprayed on them and they will be so much fresher. Check with the Master Food Preserver Program at WSU Extension, 360-397-6060 if you want to learn more.

Furnace/Heater

Many of our homes run on natural gas, electrical, or oil furnaces. If you have an older furnace, just remember to change your filter monthly. And if you’re in the market for a new furnace, look for the Energy Star seal, which signifies a higher AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating. The AFUE rating is represented as a percentage. A 90 to 95 percent rating will be what you’re looking for in this market (of course, the higher the rating, the better). More information about heating and cooling systems is available on the Clark Public Utilities website, as well as a Heating Comparison Calculator.

Dryer Sheets and Detergent

Manufacturers are not required by law to disclose the ingredients used in artificial fragrances. The result: your laundry becomes a bed of volatile organic compounds (VOC), including several hazardous air pollutants. Two of the chemicals commonly found in dryer sheets—acetaldehyde and benzene—are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens.

Be mindful of what you are using to wash and dry your clothes. These products affect not only personal health, but air quality and water quality as well. Use products without any fragrance or scent to avoid these unregulated health hazards.

If you must have a pleasurable scent, toss a bit of lavender or a few drops of essential oil on a reusable cloth into the dryer before you run it.

And if you must have soft clothes, add ½ cup of baking soda in with the detergent during the wash cycle. Adding ½ cup of vinegar into the fabric softener container should do the trick, too.

Washer and Dryer

According to Energy Star, the average American family washes 300 loads of laundry each year—that adds up to a lot of water and a lot of energy. The average Energy Star washer uses 50% less water and 37% less energy than standard washers. Also consider converting to a front-loading washer, which uses about 70% less water than its older top-loading cousin.

There are some easy tips for keeping your laundry costs down:
  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold water detergents whenever possible
  • Wash and dry full loads
  • Don’t over-dry your clothes
  • Clean the lint screen in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation and prevent fire hazards
  • Even clean beneath and around the lint screen with a vacuum occasionally
  • Use the cool-down cycle and moisture sensors on your dryer to save heat in drying
  • Schedule every now and then an inspection for your dryer vent. Make sure it is not blocked—it will save energy and may prevent a fire.
  • If nothing else, consider air-drying your clothes on a line or drying rack. That way, you’re only using your arms’ energy and the magic of open air.
  • Laundry Soap

    There can be harmful chemicals and phosphates in your laundry soap so be sure to do some research and choose your products wisely. There are a number of safe and healthy products on the market.

  • Canned Goods

    Raise your own fruits and veggies or buy local. Either way you’ll have a better idea of where they come from, what has been sprayed on them and they will be so much fresher. Check with the Master Food Preserver Program at WSU Extension, 360-397-6060 if you want to learn more.

  • Furnace/Heater

    Many of our homes run on natural gas, electrical, or oil furnaces. If you have an older furnace, just remember to change your filter monthly. And if you’re in the market for a new furnace, look for the Energy Star seal, which signifies a higher AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating. The AFUE rating is represented as a percentage. A 90 to 95 percent rating will be what you’re looking for in this market (of course, the higher the rating, the better). More information about heating and cooling systems is available on the Clark Public Utilities website, as well as a Heating Comparison Calculator.

  • Dryer Sheets and Detergent

    Manufacturers are not required by law to disclose the ingredients used in artificial fragrances. The result: your laundry becomes a bed of volatile organic compounds (VOC), including several hazardous air pollutants. Two of the chemicals commonly found in dryer sheets—acetaldehyde and benzene—are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens.

    Be mindful of what you are using to wash and dry your clothes. These products affect not only personal health, but air quality and water quality as well. Use products without any fragrance or scent to avoid these unregulated health hazards.

    If you must have a pleasurable scent, toss a bit of lavender or a few drops of essential oil on a reusable cloth into the dryer before you run it.

    And if you must have soft clothes, add ½ cup of baking soda in with the detergent during the wash cycle. Adding ½ cup of vinegar into the fabric softener container should do the trick, too.

  • Washer and Dryer

    According to Energy Star, the average American family washes 300 loads of laundry each year—that adds up to a lot of water and a lot of energy. The average Energy Star washer uses 50% less water and 37% less energy than standard washers. Also consider converting to a front-loading washer, which uses about 70% less water than its older top-loading cousin.

    There are some easy tips for keeping your laundry costs down:
    • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold water detergents whenever possible
    • Wash and dry full loads
    • Don’t over-dry your clothes
    • Clean the lint screen in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation and prevent fire hazards
    • Even clean beneath and around the lint screen with a vacuum occasionally
    • Use the cool-down cycle and moisture sensors on your dryer to save heat in drying
    • Schedule every now and then an inspection for your dryer vent. Make sure it is not blocked—it will save energy and may prevent a fire.
    • If nothing else, consider air-drying your clothes on a line or drying rack. That way, you’re only using your arms’ energy and the magic of open air.