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Eco-friendly ways to do household chores

Chores can be the bane of our lives, but making them more efficient and less harmful to the environment can turn them into motivating tasks. Get the gloves on, turn up the music and follow our tips on how to do common household chores in an eco-friendly and fun way.

Reducing water usage

Install water-efficient appliances around the house if you can and turn the tap off when it isn’t needed. Only use what you need and get into the habit of doing just that. If you have a shower and a bath, mix up your routine every now and then. When bathing, fill up with hot water first below the halfway point, and then add in cold water so you can create the right temperature more efficiently. You may find you need less hot water than your first go. 

Green laundering

The most efficient way to do your laundry is to wash with full loads to use less water and energy. But, if you find that you have a small load or just a few tea towels and clothing items that you could do with cleaning and using, don’t forget good old-fashioned handwashing. Wash with cold water first and use low temperatures for the washing machine. 

Hanging washing out to dry

When clothes are washed, instead of using more energy with a dryer, hang them out on a washing line rope, clothes airer or ceiling airer. Better yet, when hanging laundry on a clothes line, use an organic, natural cotton clothes line or a jute clothes line.

Composting and food waste

Nowadays, we’re more apt at recycling and some local councils provide households with food caddies and green bins for our food waste. Make sure you’re always on top of the stock of your biodegradable food bin liners and that you’re using them! Food waste is also brilliant for composting, so you can help your garden as well as the environment. 

Being more methodical with your car journeys

You may be the household taxi driver, dropping off everybody to their clubs, parties, schools and workplaces. On top of that, you need to do shopping trips and any other errands. Have you thought about your fuel wastage here and carbon footprint? Often, people get a bit complacent and end up heading out a few times in a short space of time to end up covering more mileage when they could have got a few errands done in one trip. Taking the time to plan out your journeys better, thinking about grocery shops and other trips that could be done on that same outing can help you save on fuel and money.

Using the same bags for your groceries

The constant increase in the prices of plastic shopping bags drills into us how important it is to minimise our plastic bag usage, so we mustn’t forget our own reusable shopping bags. You can get bags for life and fashionable or plain shopping bags that you can use time and again. You can even get shopping bags that come in small easy-to-carry-and-store bags. Use a rucksack to help carry loads on your back, and keep those reusable bags in the car ready.

Gardening for green waste

When you need to do the lovely chore of weeding, or clearing up garden waste, remember your green bins. All the green waste collected (which includes compostable food waste) gets transported to a composting facility in the UK, where the compost created gets used in farming, landscaping, horticulture, and as a soil improver.

Eco refills

There are many refillable cleaning products out there now. Many brands are creating pouches or big tubs of cleaning products like washing up liquid and hand wash for you to refill at home. Once the containers or pouches you have used to refill bottles at home are empty, you just simply send them back to the company.

Zero-waste shops

There are brilliant zero-waste shops on the rise, where you can go in and only top up what you need, therefore reducing packaging, whether it’s cereal, pasta, oils, toiletries etc. Some even offer eco-friendly cleaning products, like reusable bamboo towels, biodegradable coconut kitchen scourers, eco cleaning brushes, and biodegradable dishwasher tablets. So, from topping up fridges and cupboards to household cleaning, you can do it all in a significantly more eco-friendly way with zero-waste shops.

Sweep over vacuuming

Stick to sweeping where you can, especially on harder floors. We may turn to the vacuum out of habit, but you’ll be using more energy each time, when you may only need to sweep. Plus, when your household cleaning soundtrack is motivating you, sweeping won’t drown it out like a vacuum will, and a sweeping brush makes a great home concert microphone stand. 

There’s also the mechanical carpet sweeper that doesn’t use power, but uses brushrolls to lift dirt – they’re also great for spot cleaning. And if you do use the vacuum, you can get energy-saving models; just remember to empty them out regularly so that they’re always working efficiently. If the vacuum is full or near to, it will have to work harder, using more energy.

Declutter and donate

Next time you’re doing a clear-out, think about donating or even upcycling. Fabrics and clothes work great for arts and crafts or house DIY projects. Decluttering is not only brilliant for the whole household to make more space and to improve organisation, but it works wonders on the mind and can be very therapeutic. Sorting and decluttering can create order in our lives and helps us organise our own minds. And you may be surprised what you find or forget what treasures you had stored away.

Eco-friendly cleaning

With vinegar, water and baking soda, you can get a whole lot of cleaning done without having to stock up constantly on fancy cleaning products, building up plastic in the house. Some examples are with:

Oven cleaning: 

  1. Mix a half a cup of baking soda with a little water to make a paste
  2. Apply the paste on the inside of the oven, staying away from heating elements (gloves recommended)
  3. Allow the paste to sit for half a day
  4. Use a damp cloth to clean out the dried paste
  5. Spray some vinegar on any baking soda residue
  6. Wipe the oven clean with a damp rag
  7. Enjoy a sparkly looking oven again!

Cleaning the fridge:

  1. Create a solution of vinegar and water, using equal parts
  2. Empty the fridge’s contents
  3. Removes drawers and shelves
  4. Spray down the fridge with the vinegar-water solution
  5. Let it sit whilst you clean the drawers and shelves
  6. Then, scrub and wipe down the fridge
  7. Before putting back the contents and food items, make sure they are all clean on the outside

Condiments:

Again, using a vinegar and water solution, simply wipe down condiment bottles to erase germs and grub from those greasy hands that have passed them around.

Recycle pet bedding

Double check with your local council and recycling, but in general, pet bedding can go in your green food and garden recycling bins. So that’s hay, straw, chipped wood, sawdust and wood shavings that can all go in the green bin. 

Microfibre cloths

Sponges can get the job done, but they often are disposable because of the germs they harbour and plastic deterioration. Paper towels aren’t always effective and you have to go through rolls and rolls. With microfibre cloths, you get high-quality cleaning because of the technology of the fibres designed to pick up and wipe away germs and dirt effectively. They’re also reusable and machine washable, so they’re more hygienic than sponges and retain fewer germs.

Now that you’ve got some inspiration in how to make your household chores more eco-friendly, it’s time to put that playlist on and get started! Then after, why not unwind with some relaxing candles – saving on electricity. 

For natural and organic ropes, washing lines, airers, cords and twines for DIY or crafts, we’ve got it all here at Rope Source! Contact us for any more info on our products, or simply browse our site.

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How to clean your washing line rope

Clean washing line rope

When spring comes around, it’s time to get the washing line rope out. But, is it looking a bit dirty and in need of a clean? Maybe you’ve kept it stored in a dark shed gathering grime and dust, or have you just found it in the garden, forgetting you’ve left it out for a year? No need to worry! Here’s how you can get it squeaky clean again.

Cleaning PVC washing line ropes

Let’s get the easiest of the washing lines to clean out of the way first. With PVC clothes lines (or any plastic or steel-core clothes lines), it’s a simple wipe down. For tough stains, a damp cloth or sponge with soap will do the trick, otherwise it’s pretty easy and quick to clean down the PVC lines. 

With natural and traditional washing line ropes, it’s a bit different. 

Cleaning a cotton washing line rope

As cotton clothes lines are of a fabric material, they just need a slightly stronger and more caring cleaning process. When dirt can soak in and stain, it’s no wonder they need a bit more of a helping hand. 

What you’ll need:

  • Bucket of hot, soapy water
  • Bleach (2-3 tbsp) or tea tree oil (8 drops)
  • Cup of vinegar
  • Rags, cloths or sponges
  • Protective, cleaning gloves

Method:

  1. Mix together the vinegar, bleach (or tea tree oil) and hot, soapy water in the bucket
  2. Soak your washing line rope in the mixture, leaving it for at least 30 minutes or until you see the water changing colour
  3. Wearing protective gloves, use your rag, cloth or sponge to wipe down the washing line rope in the mixture to remove stains, dirt and grime etc.
  4. Once you’ve wiped and washed the rope, drain the bucket and fill it up with hot, soapy water
  5. Use a clean sponge or cloth to wipe down the rope again, making sure to remove anything that may have got left behind
  6. Drain out the bucket again and fill with warm water
  7. Rinse the rope a few times until there’s no soap
  8. Hang the washing line rope up to dry 

Make sure the rope is completely dry before putting any clothes on it to dry. If you’re using jute clothes lines and don’t want to bleach it, use tea tree oil or a strong disinfectant instead.

You can also put it in a pillowcase or mesh bag to give it a run through the washing machine before hanging out to dry.

Keeping your washing line rope clean

No matter what the material of washing line rope, there is a handy tip to help keep insects and spiders off them. Use duct tape around the ends of your washing line with the sticky side up to deter or trap any creepy crawlies from getting on your line and into your clothes. 

For plastic and PVC lines, wipe them down regularly to keep them from collecting dust or grime. For traditional washing lines, you may want to do a little soak every so often. But, it may be that they just need a wipe down, too. If any stains build up, that’s when a soak will do the job or a more generous wipe. 

Advice has been guided by Mom with a PREP.com.

Need help deciding what washing line rope to get your hands on? Talk to Rope Source; we’re the experts in all things rope and lines! Contact us here, or call us on 01204 897642

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What is the best washing line rope to use?

The warmer months mean we can benefit from saving energy and electricity by being able to hang our washing up on the line, allowing our clothes to air dry and catch the outdoor spring and summer breeze. But, what is the best washing line rope to use? Well, let’s take a look at the great variety of clothes lines. 

Stretchability and length

First off, when choosing a washing line rope, you need to make sure it has great stretchability because it will be taking the weight of heavy wet clothes. When clothes dry on the line, they lose a lot of weight, and so the line will be gradually moving throughout the day. Not only that, you need to make sure the line has good length to hold your load. Of course, it depends on the size of your garden. If you can’t get enough length across your garden – either vertically, diagonally or horizontally – you could hang up a few washing lines. 

Let’s go through the different materials.

Natural washing line ropes

If you’re into more organic and natural resources, you can get washing line ropes made in jute and cotton.

Cotton clothes lines

Cotton clothes line

Cotton clothes lines are one of the softest to touch and are super friendly on clothes. And just because these are the softest of the washing line materials, it doesn’t mean they are weak. You can get cotton clothes lines with synthetic cores to give better strength and durability, as well as weatherproof cotton clothes lines

Jute clothes lines

Jute clothes lines are incredibly thick with jute cores and are made from plaited, organic jute fibres. The jute core and plaited construction make them hard-wearing, even when wet. A jute washing line rope is another option for a natural and traditional clothes line. 

Natural washing line ropes are the most sustainable, eco-friendly and biodegradable option. For versatility, they can be used for a range of DIY home projects, pulley systems and handy uses.  

PVC washing line rope

With PVC washing line ropes, you get more variety with the option for colourful lines – from grey PVC clothes lines and Kleenwash white PVC clothes lines to orient coloured PVC clothes lines. They can afford to be constructed to a thinner line because of the material and are extremely durable. The PVC outer means they’re super easy to wipe and clean, so if you’re not wanting to worry about ruining or dirtying your washing line rope, these work wonders. 

Retractable washing lines

Retractable clothes kit

A retractable clothesline kit is perfect for those who don’t want any fuss. You simply mount them to the wall and can rely on them to neatly tuck away the washing line when you’ve done with it. The plastic casing comes with a steel hook, wall bracket and instructions, so you’ll have everything you need to install it straight away. 

Steel-core washing lines

Steel core coloured clothes line

Steel-core clothes lines can come in a range of colours, with white, blue, green, red, yellow and beige. The clue is in the name, as this type of washing line rope gives extra support and strength because of its steel core. The hard-wearing outer can be cleaned with a simple wipe. 

Polypropylene washing line rope

Polyline polypropylene clothes line

With speckled styles and a range of colours – with purple, green, red, yellow, blue and white – polypropylene clothes lines can work with so many different gardens. It’s the polythene fibres plaited in a strong construction that make these super resilient, hard-wearing, and water and rot proof. The durable cord material also makes it a versatile line that can be used as a pulley line or for general tying applications. 

Alternatives to standard washing lines

  • If you don’t have a lot of space for a traditional washing line, a rotary dryer can work brilliantly, and you can always add in a rotary replacement line
  • A ceiling airer can be used indoors whilst allowing clothes to dry naturally by hanging
  • Another drying tool for indoors is a concertina clothes airer, which can also save on energy bills by allowing clothes to dry naturally. They can be easily folded up and put away 

Deciding on the best washing line rope is all about personal preferences and factoring in your household and space. If you’re no fan of plastic or PVC materials, then the natural washing line ropes are for you. If you need something that’s easily put away, the retractable kit is ideal. If you want a washing line that’s easy to clean down and that can take the weight and be super durable, the PVC or steel-core lines do the job. 

To discuss lengths, colours and preferences, contact our friendly team at Rope Source; we know a thing or two.