What better way to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd then doing our planet a favor! We all want to do more for the environment – and we all need to do our laundry! Our tips for sustainable washing will do a world of good to our planet.
Earth Day & sustainable washing
Most of us are prepared to make significant lifestyle cuts to protect the climate. With today’s contribution to the “Earth Day” campaign, we’re tackling an environmental issue that you can easily address – even without restricting your laundry lifestyle.
After all, washing creates quite a mess. Every year, around 630,000 tons of detergent and 250,000 tons of fabric softener end up in the wastewater of a relatively eco-conscious country like Germany. What many people don’t know is that not all ingredients are broken down in the sewage treatment plant. Some end up in rivers, lakes, and the sea. This causes harm to aquatic organisms
10 tips for sustainable washing
- Do not wash too often. Hang your laundry out to air or try out textile fresheners. By washing less often, you not only save energy, but also have more free time!
- Always load the washing drum completely. As a rule of thumb, a hand’s width should still fit in the drum above the laundry.
- Choose temperatures as low as possible. Modern detergents work just as well at 90°F. Only towels should be washed at 140°F for hygienic reasons.
- Do not pre-wash. When targeting stains, rather use an ecological pre-wash spray.
- Use sustainable washing powder. You can also make it yourself easily and cheaply.
For 2 liters of detergent, take 7 tablespoons of grated curd soap, 4 tablespoons of washing soda, and 4 pints of water. Add a few drops of essential oil for the scent. Dissolve everything in a pot over medium heat, then let the mixture cool for about 2 hours until it has a jelly-like consistency. Pour it into a large screw-top jar. And look forward to clean laundry completely without chemicals!
- Do not use fabric softener. Instead, add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the fabric softener compartment. Vinegar disinfects, softens the water and dissolves lime deposits from the fibers of your clothes. This makes the laundry nice and soft and the colors shine like new. Don’t worry about the smell, it will dissipate as it dries.
- Dry your laundry on the line. Tumble dryers increase the CO₂ footprint of a typical 105°F wash by about 75%. You can skip that, at least in summer!
- Go for natural fabrics. Synthetic fibers such as polyester, acrylic, or nylon in sportswear can release microplastic particles into the wash water. Since these are not completely filtered out, they end up in rivers and oceans. You can find organic products here.
- Set a low spin cycle. This saves energy and your clothes are protected. It‘s also better for clothing with prints!
- And what about ironing? Dry it right and the ironing’s tight. Shake out your damp laundry, pull it into shape, and stretch it tightly on the line. You won’t need to do any ironing afterwards. If necessary, iron your laundry inside out and only at medium temperature. Your custom-printed T-shirts will keep in shape longer!