Amazing Eco-Friendly Laundry Tips
- Tuesday, 19 October 2010
I know I have written about eco-friendly laundry tips before, however I find this topic crucial since I try hard to prolong the life of my beloved clothing. I spend enough time hunting for the perfect outfit at the best price, so I had better take good care of my stuff. I get asked all the time about how to handle a variety of clothing care issues, so I am going to touch upon eco-friendly laundry again, this time with some new ideas that are helpful, cheap, and effective.
First, I have learned to eliminate those unsightly yellowing armpit stains on my white cotton shirts and tees. I use a natural antiperspirant and whatever it is made with does not stain my clothing. However, for those that have their antiperspirant of choice, here is how to handle those yellow stains: Add a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of water and let your stained shirts soak in this little pre-treatment solution as long as you can (overnight would be ideal). Note that this combination should only be used on clothing that can handle the acidic ingredients. Delicate fabrics such as silk, linen, acetate, and dyed clothing may become damaged from a pre-treatment. This is more for your white dress shirts and tees. Throw treated items in your washing machine using the cold water setting, as any heat will set stains. Another tip is not to place stained shirts in the dryer or iron over the stain because the heat will set the stain firmly in place.
Second, we have all left our laundry in the wash a little longer than we should have at one time or another. I do it – hey, I am busy and my priorities aren’t always getting my wash out as soon as the cycle ends! To keep musty odors from developing, I have discovered that adding a couple drops of lavender oil to the wash will prevent and eliminate any odor. Lavender has natural disinfectant properties and inhibits the ability for mildew to grow. This amazing trick is so simple and inexpensive that it should be on everyone’s ‘laundry list’ to try.
However, if your laundry has been forgotten for a while in the washing machine, you can redeem yourself by re-washing the load with hot water and two cups of vinegar. Once the first cycle is completed, re-start the load with your regular settings and laundry detergent. It may be extra work, but rescuing a stinky load of laundry is well worth it.
The final trick I want to share is one that I am sure everyone can relate to. Last winter, I had a great laugh as my 6’5” and 230-lb fiancé pulled out his shrunken green wool sweater from the wash. He held it up with his finger and thumb, and I doubt that it could have even fit a doll. He has since donated that sweater and I am sure there is a lucky 4 year old boy enjoying it somewhere, but I have since discovered a helpful trick to help re-shape any shrunken garments. Our old reliable friend vinegar can attempt solve this conundrum.
In a large pot, combine two liters of water with one liter of vinegar and bring to a simmer. Add the shrunken garment and let sit for 20 minutes. This process will loosen the fibers and allow the item to be reshaped. When the time is up, drain the pot and let the sopping wet garment cool to a handling temperature. Be sure not to rinse the garment. When it has cooled a bit, dry the garment by rolling it in clean towels. Once the excess liquid has been removed, lay the garment on a clean towel and gently reshape it. Don’t worry—the vinegar scent will go away after some time. Let it air dry and you should have your garment back to its normal size! However, if it has been placed in the dryer, this trick likely will not work as the heat causes permanent shrinkage.
With a few household ingredients, these additional eco-friendly laundry trips should help make sure your clothes look great and maintain their shape.