7 Green Laundry Tips Every Fashionista Should Know
It’s hard to believe, but the average woman spends about $100 a year on dry cleaning. And yet, plenty of women still wear clothes that are stained or have been worn multiple times without being properly cleaned. You might not be able to avoid all stains and wear and tear, but there are certain things you can do to extend the life of your favorite garments so they don’t need as much dry cleaning.
Here are 7 tips for green laundering every fashionista should know:
1) Use Green Laundry Detergents
Using chemicals to clean your clothes can actually damage the fibers and cause them to deteriorate more quickly. That’s why it’s important to go with a natural alternative. When you are trying to adopt a greener laundry routine, look for natural options that are plant-based and have less harsh effects on fabrics. Additionally, you should wash new clothes before wearing them for the first time to help protect their colors from running.
If you want to know exactly what has gone into your detergent why not make your own? Some of the most common substances used to create homemade laundry detergent are baking soda, borax and grated bar soap. One of the best parts about making your own detergent is that you can mix and match scents to create a unique combination. Plus you know exactly what is going to be touching your skin and can make something that is really environmentally friendly.
2) Wear It More Than Once Before You Wash It
When you wear your clothes more than once you are actually prolonging the fibers. This obviously doesn’t go for everything (like activewear, socks, and underwear – ew. Wash those immediately), but it does mean that you will be doing less washing, saving you water. It might seem like a really basic idea, but the less washing you have means the less laundry you have to do and therefore the less water you have to waste doing it. Did you know that you should turn your jeans inside out when washing them and that you can wear your jeans up to 3 times before you should wash them? If your clothing is not filthy, don’t wash it after wearing it just once.
3) Let Garments Hang Dry
Use a drying rack instead of the dryer. A drying rack can cut down on creases. Not only that but they’ll also save energy by taking advantage of natural sunlight rather than using household appliances. You might think that letting your clothes air dry is going to make them wear out quickly, but it actually does the opposite!
Air drying causes less abrasion on your fabrics which can help with their longevity. The heat that most dryers put off can be really damaging to clothing and hanging them up in a well-ventilated area allows them to breathe. There are even some clothes that you should never put in the dryer since they are not made of strong enough material. This list includes camisoles, bras, blouses, dress shirts, lace pieces, and slip dresses – among many others!
4) Refrain From Ironing Most Of Your Clothing
Sometimes wrinkled pieces happen, which is why we love our irons. However, it’s important to know that ironing can actually damage your clothes. This is especially true for fabrics like wool and cashmere where the fibers are very delicate. Before you go iron crazy, think about what you have in your wardrobe. If it’s made of a more fragile fabric then maybe keep the dry cleaning bills down and just smooth out the wrinkles with your hands instead of an appliance. Hang your clothes up instead of folding them. This prevents creases in delicate fabrics like silk or wool. It also means that you will have to do a lot less ironing in the first place.
5) Use The Wringer Method
If you find yourself with a lot of delicate fabrics and don’t want to sacrifice the convenience of your washer, using the wringer method is a way to get rid of excess water without having to use more machines. This method involves putting your delicates in a mesh bag (like the ones that come with some bras) and then placing them in your front-loading washing machine. Make sure you turn off the spin cycle if you’re using an HE machine and replace it with the gentle or delicate cycle instead. The clothes will be on their own so they can’t tangle and there won’t be as much friction so they won’t suffer from abrasion – two great reasons to use this trick!
6) Dry Clean When You Have To
If you can’t get away with not washing your clothes for a day, then at the very least you should try and dry clean when it’s necessary. This eliminates chemicals that come from typical laundering and doesn’t require too much water. It also won’t cause any damage to delicate materials or colors like some other methods can. If you can take care of things by just wet cleaning them, even better!
7) Give Your Clothes A New Life With Steam Cleaning
Live in a city and don’t have a yard to air dry your clothes? Set up a portable clothes steamer instead. You can use it on the go or at home for things that really need some love after being sat in your closet for too long. This is especially great for hand-washable fabrics since they will prevent water from getting into the garment while it’s submerged. That way you can get rid of stains without any chemicals or drying time!
Steam cleaning also helps fight off stains and odors while killing mites, bed bugs, and bacteria on stuff like stuffed animals and pillows – no more waking up with an itchy nose!
If you’ve been struggling with the daunting task of keeping your clothes clean, it’s time to get on board with some green laundering tips. These are a few changes that will help protect your garments from staining and shrinking while saving energy in the process! The best part about these tricks is they don’t require any additional purchases – just some common sense adjustments for how you handle your clothing.