When it comes to saving the Earth, every effort counts. Actually, you can make a huge impact just by buying slow fashion and washing our clothes in eco-friendly ways. Don’t worry! These eco-friendly laundry tips are very easy to follow. They can also save you time and money.
Tip #1: Avoid Using the Dryer
While most brands now have an eco-friendly washer and dryer, it is still best to avoid using it whenever possible. Why?
First, it costs you money, as it uses a lot of energy. Ditching the dryer will reduce energy consumption, which is always good for the environment. Second, the dryer can be harsh, especially on delicate fabrics. Its heat can cause shrinkage, fading, and affect the overall quality of your clothing. Once damaged, you’ll be left with no other option but to get a new garment.
Tip #2: Lighten Linens and Remove Stains without Bleach
The key to brightened laundry without using harsh chemicals like bleach is lemon, peroxide, and vinegar. Soak whites in water with one-quarter cup of ANY of these ingredients. Then, hang your clothes to dry in direct sunlight.
Removing tough stains is easy to do with natural ingredients in your pantry! Did you know that stains caused by coffee, sugar products, and grease can be quickly removed using only white vinegar? Saturate the stain for at least 10 minutes before washing. This works well with yellow underarm stains, too!
For fresh stains, sprinkle on baking soda or salt to absorb as much of the tinge before adding vinegar. A paste made of vinegar and baking soda is another powerful, eco-friendly stain remover!
Tip #3: Use Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent
Phosphates increase the efficacy of laundry detergents. Unfortunately, when flushed out to natural bodies of water, they cause nutrient pollution. When water becomes overly enriched with minerals and nutrients, it promotes excessive growth of algae and plants, which then leads to a depletion of oxygen. For this reason, many companies have banned their use in detergents.
Always shop for an eco-friendly laundry detergent! Get those that are phosphate free! Skip the ones artificial fragrances, too, which are also among the most toxic components of any home product.
Tip #4: Wash with Cold Water
Did you know that the majority of the power usage of your washing machine comes from heating the water? By using the cold wash function, you can save money on electricity, clothes are less likely to fade or bleed dyes, and it’s better for the environment, too!
You can also pre-soak your soiled laundry in cold water for at least an hour and add a few tablespoons of baking soda. This technique will help loosen dirt and grime.
Tip #5: Turn Your Clothing Inside Out
Now, this tip may sound familiar. It’s not just eco-friendly; it also increases the lifespan of any clothing.
Washing everything inside out makes it easier to remove odors. It also keeps the outside of your clothing looking new and prevents the fabric from premature wear and tear.
Tip #6: Do Full Loads
Another eco-friendly way to wash clothes is to resist the urge of doing several small loads within a week. Even the most advanced and energy-efficient washing machines use more than 25 gallons of water. Imagine how much you can save if you always try to do full loads.
Tip #7 Wash Some Items Less Often
Not every garment you wear has to be washed after just a few hours of use. Outerwear and jeans can go more than a week between washings without getting soiled. To quickly freshen clothes in between washing, hang them out in the sun and fresh air for an hour or two. Another trick is to spray them with a mixture of water and vodka. The vodka smell will dissipate quickly, and the alcohol will help eliminate odors.
If you think you cannot handle these things on your own, you can always call us at Kelly’s Dry Cleaners. As a green earth cleaner in Durango, we only use eco-friendly methods. We can do nearly all types of fabrics, including those that are delicate or hard to clean!