You’ve all seen the standard care instructions: Machine wash cold. Inside out. Hang dry. Right? How often do you follow the instructions? Probably not often if you’re anything like us.
The impact of frequent machine washing, the use of detergents, softeners, machine drying using dryer sheets add up to about 60% of the overall environmental impact of the garment.
Almost all detergents are optimized for cold water washing. There is no need to use warm or hot settings. It doesn’t do anything other than increasing your energy bill, harm the environment, and possibly reduce the durability of the garment.
Try Soap Nuts:
Soap Nuts grow on trees and are related to the goji berry. They contain saponin, a natural detergent, that releases when agitated in water. You use them instead of laundry detergent. Put a handful of nuts in a small muslin bag and toss it in with the laundry. You can reuse them until they fall apart and then compost them. Typically you get between 4-6 loads out of them. Soap Nuts are the only truly non-toxic and sustainable laundry option we’ve found.
It is still best to hang dry, but if you must use a machine dryer include a half dozen dryer balls to the load. These nifty things speed up drying time by between 20 and 30%. Also, they reduce wrinkling and remove any static build up, thus effectively working as dryer sheets.