Air Your Dirty Laundry

Air Your Dirty Laundry

Air your dirty laundry!

It wouldn’t be Clean Clothes Blog unless we talked about laundry.  Along with slow, thought-out fashion, clothing care has gone out the window, too.  Do you know what all those little logos on the tags mean? Or do you even read the care instructions until after your favorite sweater shrinks? Washer, dryer, single wear, repeat cycle.  There is a problem with that though - so much energy, water, and chemicals are used to keep our clothes smelling fresh.

A lot of clothing today is made out of synthetic materials, a.k.a. plastic.  Whether our clothes are natural fibers or synthetics, the fiber breaks down when we wash them, leaving bits of it behind. You may have heard about microplastics - I talked about them a while back in a post about the importance of natural fibers.  You know the lint catcher in the dryer?  It’s catching the breakdown of our clothing.  While natural fibers will eventually degrade to nothing, microplastics will never go away.  If you want to know more about microplastics, there is a documentary called Plastic Ocean on Netflix.  Check it out

I have line-dried my clothing for years now because I noticed that they pilled less and that my jeans lasted longer.  Although I limited my use of the dryer, I didn’t really think about the effects of washing.  I recently started using PiperWai, an all natural, charcoal-based deodorant, and I have noticed a difference in the underarms of my shirts. Every other store-bought deodorant left stains, yellow pits, and sticky residue on my shirts, which meant I washed them after nearly every wear.  Now I can sweat and my shirt will dry without smells, stains, or residues.

After buying better quality jeans and shirts that held their shape for multiple wears, I can hang them up again instead of tossing them in the hamper to be washed.  I want my clothes to last and washing can shorten their lifespan. 

 

By changing a few habits or buying some different products you can make a difference!

1.     Do less laundry - air it out.

2.     Spot clean – having a boxer dog means drool.  By spot cleaning I am often able to get rid of a stain without having to wash the item.

3.     Use a washer bag – this helps catch microplastics before they go down the drain. Here is a good brand.

4.     Limit dryer use - line dry!

5.     Change deodorants – I switched to PiperWai.  Or make your own!

6.     Don’t put dryer lint down the drain - trash it!

7.     Wear natural fibers – cotton, linen, hemp, wool, silk… they will break down in the environment eventually, unlike microplastics.

8.     Shopping for a new washer - get one with extra filters. Or add on a filter to your existing washer.

9.     Fill the washer up – creates less friction which means less micro plastic.

10.  Find a green dry cleaner – they use less chemicals. 

Other Resources: 

http://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/pft/2017/3/2/15-ways-to-stop-microfiber-pollution-now

http://rozaliaproject.org/stop-microfiber-pollution/

http://www.patagonia.com/blog/2017/02/an-update-on-microfiber-pollution/