Eco laundry may be the most affordable and DIY-friendly option when launching a sustainable green laundry website store for off the grid and on the grid.
Using eco laundry (green laundry) products is certainly cheaper and easier than installing solar panels or buying a a $1500 washer/dryer set.
At its simplest, all DIYer’s need is a length of cord and a couple of posts or hooks, and part of the laundry is done.
If they don’t have posts, hooks, pulley kits, clotheslines, etc., that’s where your rural eco laundry website store come in.
Your website should also have a blog that instruct customers how to set post units in the ground to save horizontal space anywhere in the yard.
Or set up a drying rack indoors—that’s especially valuable in winter when their houses could use the extra moisture in the air.
Here are some handy, low-tech eco laundry alternatives you can source, make and sell on your website store such as :
If you’ve seen clotheslines stretching overhead in a street, alley or courtyard, you’ve probably seen a pulley clothesline.
These clever devices allow you to stand on a deck or balcony and pin the laundry to a line that stretches to the pulley attached to a post or structure some distance away.
When the clothes are dry, you take off the first clothing item from the line and pull the line closer to get the rest.
The clothesline moves so you don’t have to.
For the novice, it’s wisest to buy a super heavy duty clothesline kit that comes with all the necessary hardware.
Price points for kits should range from $75 to $200.
If you live in a rural area and have artistic wood working ability, there’s no reason not to create attractive clothesline posts for farmer’s wives, homesteaders, and local hardware stores.
Posts can be made from rot-resistant lumber like recycled cedar, redwood or any hard wood, rust-resistant metal such as galvanized or stainless steel.
You may even consider installing clothesline posts by setting the posts in 18-inch deep holes, and anchor them with concrete to keep them from leaning.
Secure the crosspiece about six inches above the head of the person who will be using the line the most.
Allow about 50 linear feet of line for a load of laundry.
If there are potential local customers who really want to hang their clothes out and are willing to pay for a handmade setup, you can charge up to $500 for custom clothesline posts and installation.
A range of factory-made clothesline posts are available from wholesalers.
There’s no guarantee, but generally, the cheapest ones tend to be flimsier and not last as long as their pricier counterparts.
After all, they are out in the elements full time.
Nevertheless, price points should range from $30 to $300, depending on size and quality.
Most posts are made of metal, but some are hand cut, attractive, native white cedar clothesline post kits.
Price point should be around $300 plus shipping.
Drop shipping is another option as well.
These clotheslines have one central post with four arms aimed in the directions of the compass.
They take up less space than a conventional linear clothesline, and most have enough line to hold about one load of laundry.
Some are designed to be pulled out of the ground and stored when not in use.
Believe it or not, in some countries, these outdoor umbrella drying racks are a symbol of middle-class success.
Prices could range from $30 to $200.
Here’s a selling point for clothespins on your eco laundry website store.
Instead of throwing clothes over the line without the benefit of clothespins, offer every type so the launderer can choose such as:
Give your customers a choice and let them decide which ones they want.
Clothes-drying racks are traditionally made of wood, however, many are now made of plastic or metal and may require some assembly.
Racks allow for a small load of wash to dry indoors or on the deck or balcony, as they are light enough to be moved around.
Some can be permanently attached to a wall.
Tops of the racks also make good spots for sweaters and things that need to dry flat.
And if you have a clothesline, but don’t want to offend your neighbors with your “delicates”, an indoor clothes drying rack is just the thing.
Price points could range from $40 to $300.
Chores get done faster if all your tools are near at hand.
So the best place for clothespins is right there with the clothesline.
A bag hanging on the line, waiting for you and your laundry is the way to go.
I bought a simple clothespin bag when I moved into my rural homestead, and it still does the job.
If you are handy with a sewing machine, you can make recycled clothespin bags from recycled kids’ clothes.
Or source bags for about $2 and mark them up $8.
Many homesteaders are serious about getting off the grid; so they don’t mind getting a little exercise while they wash with a hand-operated washing machine.
They can hold as much laundry as a conventional washer and have an outlet that attaches to a garden hose, making for an easy grey water connection to the ornamental garden.
Most of the actual washing takes place as you let the clothes soak.
Then five minutes with a hand-cranked agitator pushes the detergent through the clothes.
Suggested price points could range from $300 to $400 with another $150 to $200 for an attached wringer to squeeze out excess water.
These softball-sized dryer balls are often handmade from wool, fleece, felt, etc.
They can also be sourced on Amazon if your eco laundry store is an affiliate website.
Dryer balls can save drying time and eliminate static cling.
Launderers won’t have to use softeners or dryer sheets.
Two or more balls in your dryer can save 25 percent off your dryer time; and they really do work!
Price points could range from $5 to $10 a piece for these long-lasting, not-tech dryer balls.
Unfortunately, there are not enough chemical-free eco laundry detergents to go around at mainstream grocery stores.
Many people are allergic to fragrances and dyes, so an alternative is soap nuts.
They’re actually fruits that are de-seeded and sun dried.
Conventional detergents use a version of the compound that occurs naturally in soap nuts called saponin.
They are harvested from trees in the Himalayas, and their popularity keeps these forests from being clear-cut for lumber.
The soap nuts are organic, hypoallergenic and antimicrobial.
Therefore, they’re safe for septic tanks and grey water systems.
One and a half to two pounds of soap nuts cost about $20 on Amazon.
Since the majority of people use conventional laundry detergent, these are the best laundry detergents I’ve tested in order:
If you decide to start a rural eco laundry website store, feel free to rip-off the descriptions above.
Website stores are the future so get a multipurpose site that includes a blog to inform and communicate with your audience and customers.
About: I’m the author in residence of RuralMoney.com. Unfortunately, I am also a person with disabilities. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I love to share what I know and practice to help others survive and thrive in rural areas.
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