As we resolve to kick off the new year with a fresh start, there’s no better place to start than in the laundry room.
After all, we spend a great amount of time there. We wash, fold and iron to deliver meticulously laundered items to our families. But are the clothes actually as clean as we think?
They may not be. Hard-water deposits and soap scum can adversely affect the sheets, blankets, clothing and other items that pass through.
Rather than working floor to ceiling, start at the top. Clear out cobwebs, clean window tracks, organize cabinets and dust shelves. Then get ready for the real dirty work.
Washing Machine: It seems funny that we should clean inside a washing machine. But the truth is, grime builds up and can transfer to clothing. To clean your washing machine, set it on the hottest cycle and add about four cups of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda. When filled with water, let the machine agitate for a couple of minutes and then turn it off for an hour. In the meantime, clean rubber gaskets, inside the lid and fabric softener and bleach dispensers (be sure to take out and clean any removable pieces) using a toothbrush and the water inside the machine. Drain the washer and wipe any leftover residue with a vinegar-soaked cloth.
Clothes Dryer: Lint should be removed after every use in order for a dryer to run efficiently. But once in a while, we also need to clean behind the filter. To do this, vacuum inside the vent with a hose. Using a damp cloth, thoroughly wipe the lint area and drum to remove any residue. Also, remove the vent pipe and flush that out as well.
Floor: Sure you wash your floor. But do you clean every square inch of it? Unplug appliances and move them and any other free-standing item to clean the floor underneath. Vacuum first then scrub away with your favorite environmentally friendly floor cleaner.
Air Freshener: Now that your laundry area looks clean, it’s time for it to smell clean. Open the windows to let in fresh air and spritz some gentle lavender water. Sliced lemons steeped in warm water or fragrant flowers from your yard also make great air fresheners.
Supplies: Replace store-bought laundry soap with your own natural handmade version. There’s scores of recipes online that are fun and easy to make. While you’re at it, dump the toxic dryer sheets and stock up on reusable, energy-saving LooHoos Wool Dryer Balls to soften your laundry—Mother Earth will be glad you did.