So from the title alone, you are probably wondering, “How can I clean my clothes in a sustainable way? – is that possible?”
Let me give you some tips to try the next time you’re ready to load up your washer and dryer.
First, if you haven’t already, take a moment to read my earlier post on how to build a sustainable wardrobe to understand the importance of seeking natural fabrics when shopping for new clothing; you’ll get a better idea of how to commit to avoid shopping fast fashion retailers that contribute to the growing waste in our landfills. After reading, revisit this post to learn Eco-friendly ways to maintain a clean & sustainable wardrobe!
#1 Avoid Using the Dryer- Without putting in too much effort, I have already practiced this tip for several years! I learned this from childhood while watching my mom and grandma hang their clothes out on the line to dry. For them it was about saving on electricity. Using less energy is always a good idea for your wallet, an more importantly for the environment, so give it a try! This method also allows you to get a nice and even dry to your clothes in one attempt. Winter weather where you are? Try putting your clothes on hangers and hanging them along the shower rod or a garment rack. Place them near a window with ample sunlight to help the drying process.
#2 Turn you Clothes Inside Out- Another tip I learned from my mother (good job, mom!). Turning your clothes inside out not only will ensure your clothes are being thoroughly washed on both sides, but believe it or not, it will extend the lifespan of your clothing by preserving the outside (the part that everyone sees) over a period of time. Washing clothing in washer machines are rough to our clothing so why not do everything you can to keep them looking their best?
#3 Cold Wash- This one might confuse some but, about 90% of washers use their energy to simply heat the water, leaving only 10% of the machines energy to spin the motor that washes the clothes…That proportion seems a bit off, don’t ya think? Luckily, there are laundry detergents that will wash your clothes just as well through a cold cycle as it does during a warm/ hot one. Besides, its about the soap cleaning your clothes, not the water temperature. Extreme temperatures to our clothing can cause theme to loose their structure over time, so go for the cold if you can.
*Bonus* If you choose this option, remember that liquid detergents are best for cold water as many powder detergents need warm water to dissolve thoroughly into the water.
You can find a list of other eco brands here
#4 Baking Soda- Who would have thought there was ANOTHER use for baking soda? Sprinkle a bit into your laundry before washing to give it a boost in cleaning and deodorizing. It will also assist in maintaining your beautiful bright clothes!
#5 Put Down the Dryer Sheets- This is a no-brainer. Using fabric softeners and dryer sheets release harmful chemicals that break down the fabrics of our clothing with continuous use. Use a more sustainable product like dryer balls. They come in fun colors and are relatively in expensive to purchase! Try these wool dryer balls
What are your eco friendly sustainable methods during laundry day? I would love to hear your tips in the comments!