Ecologize your laundry!

Even though it is difficult to be ecologically conscious in every of our daily actions, there exist small changes that make a different in taking care of the planet. One of those is the way we do our laundry. Energy efficiency, microplastics and the way we dress suppose a key difference in this regard. This way, today we are going to offer some tips to do your laundry in a ecological and also cheaper way.

PRE-LAUNDRY

First of all, get use to check if your clothes are smelly or stained before dumping them in your laundry basket. Wash less often, make sure your clothes smell clean and you will be saving energy, money and time. This way you also can be sure that the load is full and you are taking full advantage of your washing machine.

Before washing your clothes, remember to pre-treat the stains on your clothes as soon as you need to dump it in the laundry basket. This will make easier for the stains to disappear and will let you use colder water in the wash. There exist a lot of different tricks to get rid of stains with natural products!

Choose natural clothing fibres over synthetic ones. Polyester, acrylic or nylon when washed leave behind small particles of microplastic. Recent research proved that the oceans and the animals that inhabit it are full of these microplastics, they are present in the fishes we eat and the problem is already severe. Choose organic cotton or wool, natural fibres in general to stop polluting the oceans (and if its fair trade, you won’t be contributing to inequality).

Don’t buy clothes that require dry cleaning, the chemical used in the process is linked to cancer and other health problems. There exist alternatives that use different chemicals that doesn’t harm the planet, but it will be easier if you just avoid it.

IN THE WASHING MACHINE

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Logically, the next time you need to buy a washing machine, make sure that it is energy efficient. It uses less than half of the water and electricity than a conventional one. The benefits go further than that, it is more delicate with your clothes and it leaves your clothes dryer.

When possible, try to use cold water instead of high temperatures. Most of the energy that the washing machine uses is because of heating the water. Besides, it also damage way less your clothes allowing you to enjoy them longer.

Be conscious with the detergent you buy and use less than you are used to. There are plenty of ecological options in the market. Even if the bio or organic options are a bit more expensive, take into account the money you will be saving by using your washing machine in the most efficient way. Try to avoid harmful chemicals and go for plant based detergents or oxygen base brighteners. White vinegar works really effectively as stain remover and softener. Nevertheless, don’t believe everything that is on the labels, not all green or natural labels mean what you think. In case of doubt, go for the shorter and more simple list of ingredients, scented detergents are usually not ecological.

DRYING

Avoid using the dryer as much as possible. Air-dry your clothes by an outdoor clothesline or a drying rack or any other kind of hanger, you can put it near your heater or stove to faster the process. If you really need to run the dryer, be sure to clean the lint screen and empty the water container. You can also consider a hybrid option, a short drying program and then hanging up the clothes will help against the stiff feeling of air-dried clothes. A good idea is to use dryer balls, it makes easier for the clothes to get dry and softer!

Benefits of clotheslines

As a summary, think before you shop. If like makeup, buy dark towels. If you’re a sweat a lot, maybe white sheets or shirts aren’t for you. Before you purchase clothes or other textiles, check how to take care of them and if its compatible to the way you want to do your laundry. Make sure the load is full, pay attention to the detergent and take into account that every small decision means a lot!

NIEVES PATIÑO MARTÍN

Internationale ESC-vrijwilliger uit Spanje, met een passie voor politiek en blij om meer ecologische en duurzame manieren te ontdekken in België.

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