Washing clothes ecologically is easier than you think. It`s neither complicated nor expensive. Just follow some very easy-to-remember guidelines so that you can save water, detergent and energy when doing laundry. Moreover, this change in how to wash clothes comes with bonus points: it will enable you to save money and keep your clothes impeccable for longer.
6 key factors to wash clothes ecologically
Less is more:
Wash your clothes less (except your gym clothes, there you have no other option). Whenever we put a washing machine we consume water and electricity, we contaminate the wastewater with the detergents and the microfibers loosen the garments, besides, our clothes wear out gradually with every wash. Therefore, whenever you can avoid washing a garment, do it. Sometimes ventilating the clothes outdoors to eliminate odours or clean a small stain (if the rest of the piece is clean) is enough so that the clothes last longer.
Hang your clothes outdoors instead of using a drying machine:
By avoiding the use of a dryer, you will be saving energy and therefore pollution. If in winter it takes a long time to dry your clothes, take advantage of the heating radiators at home to dry them.
Or, at most, at 30oC and use short programs in the washing machine: you will save on electricity and your clothes will remain in perfect conditions longer. Our clothes, nowadays, aren ́t usually very dirty so there isn`t a need for an intensive wash.
Use ecological detergents:
Everything we put in our washing machine will be discarded with the rinse water and it will end up flowing into rivers and seas, polluting the environment. It`s getting easier to find organic detergents in supermarkets or if you have the time you can make a homemade one. If you can’t find organic soap, another small environmental gesture would be to buy it in bulk to avoid an extra container. Keep an eye on the amount you use, especially if it`s concentrated. A small dose is enough.
Do not use fabric softener unless you have an ecological option:
Industrial softeners contain elements that are harmful to the environment and very difficult to eliminate in nature. In most cases, the effect it has on the garments is minimal except for the aroma. If you want your clothes to smell good you can perfume the closets and drawers with natural air fresheners or add a few drops of essential oils in the drawer of the washing machine or apply some drops to your homemade softener.
If you are thinking of changing your washing machine, then choose an energy-efficient one:
Among current appliances, there are big differences in the consumption of electricity, try choosing the most energy-efficient option. Before considering buying a new appliance try fixing the current one. Repairing it a sustainable option and it ́ll enable you to make the most of it for a few more years.
Prevents the microfibers from ending up in the ocean:
All garments release microfibers while being washed, even though the most harmful for the environment are synthetic fabrics (the unnatural ones). To avoid the microfibres getting into the rivers and oceans you can use a laundry mesh washing bag, for example, a Guppyfriend bag. Another option would be to install a filter so that it can gather all the microfibres. This filter can easily be found on the internet.
If these changes seem too much, start with the effortless ones and you will realise the impact it will have on your laundry later. You will eventually get used to it and you will see that washing clothes more ecologically is easier than it seems.