Ok so... it was a great, but long weekend. The kids had a great time at LTC. Then I got sick. But, I'm feeling better and catching up on the Sustainability Series. We'll continue today with step five: switching to scent and dye free laundry products. Homemade and "green" laundry detergents and softeners are great options, but often they're expensive and hard to find. However, scent and dye free versions of national brands like Tide and All can be great middle grounds.
The dyes and scents in traditional products get washed out with the wash water and seep into the ground and our water supplies and reservoirs. By using products that don't have these additional chemicals, you can make a great environmental impact without having to make a huge change in your laundry routine.
How It Helps: The dyes and scents added to laundry products, like I said above, end up in our water supplies and reservoirs. This includes many lakes and rivers. The impact of these and other chemicals on our waterways is tremendous. These chemicals change the pH balance of the water creating a hostile environment for many water dwellers. While an all natural "green" detergent is likely to have a smaller impact on our water ways, going dye and scent free is a great start!
How You Do It: Buy your favorite laundry products in the dye and scent free version. Pretty much all of the major national brands offer a dye or scent free version. If you can find and afford a phosphate-free or green product, that would be an even better option.
Cost: The "green" detergents can be pricy. Making your own detergent can be cost saving. However, if you just go with the dye/scent free products, they cost the same as the scented and dyed version.
Don't worry about products that don't have scent leaving your clothes "smelly." When properly washed, your clothes will be clean and therefore won't smell. I was worried about clothes (particularly husband socks) being smelly when I switched over, but it's never been an issue. Further, the scent and dye free products are less likely to create allergic reactions! All around, a great option!