5 Easy and Natural Laundry Hacks
1 – Hang your clothes out to dry. The ability that we have to run our clothes through the dryer is a great benefit to living in modern times. That being said, using the dryer actually significantly lessens the life of your clothes. They will last much longer (possibly years) if you hang them to dry instead. Depending on your living situation and space constraints this might not always be possible during the colder months, but the more you avoid the dryer cycle, the longer your clothes will last. Added bonus: doing this will help you cut back on your energy expenses.
2 – Skip the Dryer Sheets. For those that do use a dryer for their clothes, consider not using dryer sheets. Dryer sheets are typically used for two things; as a fabric softener and to avoid the dreaded static cling. The thing is though, dryer sheets are actually quite toxic and filled with chemicals. There are a couple of things that you can do instead of using dryer sheets to both soften your clothes and reduce the static cling.
- Use wool dryer balls. As wool dryer balls bounce around the dryer, they create a softening effect on your clothes. They also cut drying time which is nice!
- Use aluminum foil. As strange as it may seem, a rolled up ball of aluminum foil works just as well as dryer sheets for preventing static cling. It can also be reused multiple times which means big savings for you!
- Dampen a washcloth with vinegar. Take a washcloth and lightly dampen it with vinegar and place in the dryer with the rest of the load. The vinegar both softens clothes and reduces static cling.
- If you can’t break free of your dryer sheet habit, you always have the option of using less. Cutting each sheet in half is an effective way of making the box of sheets last longer. Plus, while it is not a natural alternative, you will be using less of the chemicals per load. You can also use each (½) sheet for two dryer cycles.
3 – Use cold water. There is no reason to wash your clothes in hot water. If you consistently use cold water for your washing routine, you will be saving money with each and every load.
4 – Keep a regular schedule of washing your machine. Washing machines stay busy cleaning clothes all the time (daily for some busy families). Make sure you maintain a schedule of cleaning your machine too. Special cleaner is not necessary. I have found distilled vinegar or bleach are your best options and they are both low cost. Many machines have their own cleaning instructions, so be sure to check.
5 – Shop smart. This tip doesn’t really have anything to do with “laundry” other than to prepare in advance. When shopping for new clothes, pay attention to the tag. Does it say “dry clean only”? If so, you should pass. Dry cleaning is a very expensive way to maintain your clothing, plus it is very, very toxic. The chemicals used by dry cleaners is considered by the EPA to be a “toxic air pollutant.” I don’t know about you, but something that is considered toxic to the air, is not something that I want on the clothes I wear against my skin.