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How to be more environmentally conscious when doing laundry?

Laundry isn’t usually on the top of people’s list of ways to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. If you are someone who does multiple loads of laundry every week, it could be having a more substantial effect on the planet than you might think. The amount of water, energy, and products used when doing laundry can inevitably add up. 

Washing and drying your garments in a more environmentally conscious way can make for a more Eco-conscious household. These simple switches will not only reduce the environmental impact but will also save you money while you’re at it. 

  • Washing clothes in cooler temperatures
  • Always make sure you wash full loads
  • Get a green washing machine
  • Use green laundry detergent 
  • Wash by hand
  • Cut down on drying time
  • Hang clothes to dry
  • Don’t iron unnecessarily
  • Get the professionals to take care of it

Washing clothes in cooler temperatures

Up to 90 % of the energy used when doing your laundry involves just heating the water. Most of us know that having a long, hot shower is less environmentally friendly than a quick, short one. The same applies when doing your laundry. 

Washing clothes at 30°C instead of 40°C uses about 40% less energy. Doing your laundry at a lower temperature can also be better for your clothes. Exposing your clothes to hot temperatures can shorten the lifespan of the garment.

Always make sure you wash full loads.

Reducing the number of loads you do per week will save water and save you money. Even the most environmentally-efficient loads can use up to 40 gallons of water per load. 

Try reducing your loads as best you can throughout the week to reduce your carbon footprint. You could wear some clothes more than once before washing. This solution doesn’t go for all pieces of clothing, socks and underwear come to mind, but not tossing your jeans in the laundry basket after one wear is the first step to improving your laundry habit.

Invest in green machines

We are not suggesting that everyone throws out their current working washing machine and head to the shop to buy a new eco-friendly one today. If you are in the market for a new washer or dryer, buying a greener model can save energy and use less water, lowering your bills in the process. 

High-efficiency machines use between 20% to 60% less water and as little as 50% energy as traditional washing machines. Investing in a green washing machine will significantly reduce your environmental impact at home. 

washing machine

Use green laundry detergent 

Conventional washing detergents can be very damaging to the ecosystems where the dirty water we wash down the drain can end up. Standard laundry detergent contains phosphates which can have disastrous effects to marine life that comes in contact with it. 

When purchasing more Eco-friendly detergents, make sure you keep an eye out for labels that indicate the product is biodegradable and phosphate-free. These detergents are often more gentle on the skin, too. 

Wash by hand

We know this option will cause some people to wince.  Hand washing can be time-consuming, but there are some ways to make the process easier. Tools like a pedal washer can allow you to exercise while you wash your laundry, helping your body and the environment at the same time.

Hand washing can give you a sense of just how much laundry you’re going through weekly. As well as helping you see where you can cut back on the amount of laundry you do. 

Cut down on drying time.

Your dryer uses up a lot of energy – so anything you can do to cut down the time using this machine will help the environment. Not using your dryer as much can also save you money on your electric bill. 

Little things like cleaning the filter in your dryer can also save energy. If the filter is clogged, the clothes take longer to dry, meaning more energy wasted. 

Hang clothes to dry

One of the most optimal ways to cut down on time using your dryer is to hang your clothes to dry. If weather permits, hanging your clothes to dry on the line outside can take away 100% of the energy used when using your dryer. 

For people who live in a warmer climate drying clothes outside can be quick and easy. Those who live in wetter corners of the globe, can always line dry indoors all year round. Hanging clothes to dry will not only reduce energy, it will also cut your electric bill and make your clothes last longer.

Don’t iron unnecessarily

Ironing is top of most peoples most hated chores list. So why not cut it out when it isn’t necessary? Ironing consumes excess energy and can deteriorate the fabric on your clothing. 

We understand that even the most environmentally conscious of us still don’t want to rock up to a job interview with a creased shirt. To avoid looking scruffy, all you have to do is hang up your shirt straight after the wash cycle is complete. For materials that are more prone to creasing, like linen, just cut the final spin cycle on your wash, leaving more water in the fabric, resulting in fewer creases.

Get the professionals to take care of it

It might sound unconventional, but commercial washers and dryers tend to be more efficient than domestic machines because they are bigger and can take bigger loads. By using professionals like Laundryheap, you can lessen the number of loads, meaning less wasted energy and water at home. 


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How To Naturally Make Your Laundry Fragrant

If you want to avoid using fabric softener or any other chemicals to make your laundry smell nice, there are several natural methods you can use that will make your laundry smell fragrant.

  • Essential Oils 

The best way to get anything naturally fragrant is to use essential oils. Simply fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice. Then, spray the natural formula on your clothes before putting them into the washing machine.

  • Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is a natural cleanser and deodoriser. For top loading machines, just add 1/2 a cup of baking soda along with your detergent whilst it is filling. For Front loading machines, add baking soda into the tray or inside the machine just as you would with laundry detergent.

  • Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is a natural pure mineral compound made up of magnesium and sulfate. It has numerous benefits including being a great laundry scent booster. Mix 1-2 cups of Epsom salt and 2 tablespoons of essential oil in a bowl or jar. Add 1-2 tablespoons of this mixture straight into your washer before adding clothes and wash as normal. 

  • Wool Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls are a natural alternative to using fabric dryer sheets. They reduce drying time, wrinkles and can help make your clothes smell good, naturally, too. Just add a few drops of essential oil to a dryer ball before each use.

  • Air Dry

Naturally air drying, especially on sunny days, will help freshen up your clothes as the sun helps to eliminate bad odours, giving your clothes a refreshing smell.


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How To Remove Chewing Gum From Clothes

Chewing gum is the most annoying thing to get rid of when it gets stuck on…well… everything! It’s more irritating, however, when you get chewing gum stuck on your clothes as it’s more difficult to remove.

Nevertheless, there are several ways to remove chewing gum from your clothes.

How To Remove Chewing Gum From Your Clothes

  • Ice

Apply ice on the chewing gum affected area until it has fully hardened. Then use a spoon or blunt knife to immediately scrape it off. You can apply ice on both sides of the material for quicker removal.

Alternatively, you can put your garment into a zip lock bag, folded, with the gum stain facing outside and place it in the freezer overnight. You should be able to gently peel off the gum the following morning.

  • Heat

All you need to do is apply heat onto the gum, whether it be by hot air or by submerging in hot water. There are several ways you can use heat to remove gum:

Method 1: Blow Dryer

You can use a blow dryer, on the highest temperature setting, to melt away the chewing gum. Which you can then peel off from the surface.

Method 2: A Kettle

Boil some water in a kettle, and place the gum affected area over the mouth of the kettle, so it catches the steam. Leave it for a minute or so until the gum softens. Then, remove the gum with a toothbrush.

Method 3: Hot Water

Submerge gum affected area into a pot of hot water and scrape off the gum with a toothbrush or blunt knife. Let garment dry and repeat if necessary. 

Method 4: An Iron

Place the garment on a piece of cardboard, with the gum facing on the cardboard. Using an iron on medium setting, iron the back of the chewing gum so it transfers onto the cardboard. Repeat process until the gum is nearly removed.

  • Rubbing Alcohol

This method is a much simpler one. All you need to do is pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a rag or sponge and rub the gum with it.

  • Hairspray

Spray some hairspray on the gum so it hardens, and then scrape off the chewing gum with a blunt knife or spoon.

  • Vinegar

Heat up a cup of vinegar in the microwave, to just below a boil. Use a toothbrush and dip it into the vinegar and start brushing off the gum. Keep dipping and brushing until the gum comes off. This method works best when the vinegar is hot.

 

If you still struggle with removing the gum or simply don’t want the hassle of trying to, send it to laundryheap and we’ll be able to take that gum stain right off.