WASHINGTON, April 22 (UPI) -- Ultraviolet radiation from the sun kills germs on laundry dried outdoors on a clothesline and gives clothes a chemical-free fresh scent, cleaning experts say.
The American Cleaning Institute, formerly The Soap and Detergent Association, says whether it's Earth Day or laundry day, consumers can save energy, water and money by making a few changes.
"Millions of consumers do multiple loads of laundry each week, so even a slight change in behavior can have a huge payoff for the environment," Nancy Bock, vice president of consumer education at the American Cleaning Institute, says in a statement. "While you may find it easy to choose a product that is labeled green, going beyond green is about more than just product selection. It's paying attention to each step that you take before and after you start the wash cycle."
-- Using the recommended amount of detergent, bleach and fabric softener can help save money and a small piece of Earth.
-- The two biggest laundry energy uses come from heating the water and drying the load. Wash with the coldest water possible and spin at the highest recommended speed to remove water.
-- Consider using a clothesline to dry laundry outdoors, instead of using a gas or electric dryer. Clothes are disinfected when dried in the sun -- whites will get whiter in the sun, but dry colors inside out to prevent fading.
Project Laundry List estimates families can save about $25 per month off by drying clothes outdoors.