10 Sustainable Laundry Tips For Summer
2022 Jun 10th
Laundry may not seem like the most exciting topic, but it’s one that we’re passionate about. Our Sleep Stylists are here to help you get the most out of your QE Home products!
While it may be a mandatory chore, doing the laundry is much more than that! There are so many reasons to appreciate doing the laundry. Laundering your clothes and bedding is a form of self-care (and caring for others). Clean laundry helps us feel comfortable, clean and healthy. For those with skin concerns, clean bedding is particularly important for keeping symptoms at bay. There are also plenty of people who don’t have access to clean laundry, so we try not to take it for granted!
However, it’s important to acknowledge the aggregate impact of laundry on the planet, and commit to doing our part to lessen the environmental burden. The chart below provides a snapshot of energy usage between various laundry methods.
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite laundry tips that aren’t just better for your bedding, but better for the environment, too!
Tip 1 - Sun cure your laundry
Did you know the sun is powerful enough to clean duvets? In fact, our official care instructions for our silk duvets are to sun cure them once a year, avoiding the wash altogether!
Less reliance on resources such as water, energy or specialty laundry products, and fresher laundry? One more reason we love the sunshine! It’s not just duvets that benefit from exposure to the sun. Get in the habit of ‘sunbathing’ your clothing and bedding to help kill bacteria and odors - peg those socks up to dry!
While sunlight helps to brighten lights and whites, be cautious when hanging intensely coloured or dark fabrics outside. Direct sunlight will cause unwanted fading over time.
Remember - silk duvets can be 'cured' in the sun! Pearl Mulberry Silk Duvet pictured.
Tip 2 - Do fewer loads
Whether using the washer or dryer, try to wait until you have a full load, this saves energy and helps your appliances run more efficiently! Make it a habit to wait until you have a big enough load before doing the laundry. This will also cut down the time you spend doing the laundry each week!
That being said, be careful not to overload your dryer either, three quarters full is roughly a ‘full’ load.
Tip 3 - Opt for a natural detergent
Most mainstream laundry detergents contain synthetic ingredients. These are chosen for their stain removal qualities as well as adding a pleasing (or irritating, if you’re unlucky) scent. Fortunately, there are now more options available than ever, that skip the synthetic chemicals in favour of naturally-derived and gentle-yet-effective ingredients.
We love Nellie's® Laundry Soda as an all-natural alternative to traditional detergents. Plus, it’s also fragrance free and safe for babies or those with sensitive skin! With equivalent cleaning power to traditional laundry soap and powdered detergent, this is the summer laundry essential. Unlike lots of laundry products on the market, it comes in plastic-free packaging, with the cutest eco-friendly & reusable tin.
Tip 4 - Always read the labels
Paying attention to care instructions - we all know we should, but it can be easy to forget or become complacent. Ensure you are giving your bedding and clothing the life they deserve by familiarizing yourself with the proper care requirements for each.
If you’re not sure - default to using a cold, gentle cycle and avoiding the dryer if possible. Don’t forget, you should always be separating lights from darks!
We’ve also removed some of the guesswork! Check out our Laundering and Fabric Care page to get loads of information on caring for your QE Home products.
If you ever forget what all of those symbols mean, you’re not alone! We’ve created a printable guide for you to keep handy in your laundry - Download Laundry Care Guide pdf.
Tip 5 - Ditch the dryer
Clothes dryers require more energy per use than most other typical household appliances. Opt for a clothesline or drying rack - especially during sunnier, warmer seasons. This will prolong the life of your belongings (goodbye surprise shrinkage) and save so much energy in the long run.
Living in the northern hemisphere (especially in places that get a lot of rain) it’s not always practical to quit using the dryer altogether. Luckily, there are solutions available to reduce drying time… keep reading!
Tip 6 - Need the dryer? Use dryer balls!
Instead of using single-use, chemically-laden dryer sheets, try reusable dryer balls instead. They combat static, cut down drying time, reduce lint and wrinkles, and even soften fabric!
Try our very own Linen Love Wool Dryer Ball Set & Laundry Blend. This bundle comes with 100% wool dryer balls (3 per set), as well as a special blend of essential oils. Simply add a few drops to your wool dryer balls to add a calming, natural scent to your laundry.
Tip 7 - Air-dry your items, strategically
Reserve space on your outdoor clothesline for large items like bedding and use a smaller indoor clothes rack for smaller garments and delicates. Do your laundry first thing in the morning to take advantage of the sunlight and warmer temperatures. When drying laundry indoors, choose well-ventilated spaces (near a fan or open window or door) and consider using a small dehumidifier to decrease moisture.
For bedsheets and towels, flip them halfway through the drying process to release any moisture and help them dry faster!
Tip 8 - Use cold cycles
Did you know that somewhere in between 80 and 90 percent of your washing machine’s energy usage is on heating the water?
If that wasn’t enough to sway you, use a cold wash to extend the life of your garments and bedding. Many detergents are now made for use in cold water, so cleanliness is no longer as much of a worry!
Tip 9 - Keep up with laundry maintenance
Always follow manufacturer instructions to ensure your washer and dryer are working efficiently. Emptying your dryer’s lint trap between each load shortens drying times and reduces energy costs. Neglecting this step also creates a fire hazard, so don’t forget!
Tip 10 - Wash only as needed
While bedding should be washed once a week to maintain a healthy sleeping environment, there may be other items you are washing too often. Unless stained or smelly, many garments can be worn a few times before going in the wash.
Synthetic fabrics can also release microplastics into the waterways, another reason to avoid overwashing. Consider using an eco-friendly solution like Guppyfriend Washing Bag to capture microplastics shed by fabrics.
As many of our customers will know, we’re always looking for ways to create a positive impact here at QE Home. We hope that these tips will inspire you to introduce new, eco-friendly steps into your household routine!
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