Laundry tips for “extra cleaning power” – save money and help clothes last
Rising bills are forcing many Britons to find new, cost-effective ways to tackle their laundry, however, some of these economic changes can also benefit the environment and even the lifespan of your clothes. Kate from My Plastic Free Home on Instagram and TikTok (@my_plastic_free_home), which is one of the driving forces of the eco-responsible store The Natural Life Shop (@the.natural.living.shop), sat down with Express.co.uk to share her top eco-friendly laundry tips.
“There are so many things you can do to make your laundry greener and some of the tips are so simple,” she said. “First, make sure you add the right amount of clothes for your washing machine.”
With the cost of living crisis, it can be tempting to try to put all your dirty clothes in the washing machine at once.
However, this can hamper your machine’s ability to properly clean each garment and can even leave a musty smell on clothes.
Specialists of Bosch Also point out that overloading increases the pressure inside the drum, especially when it is rotating at high speed. This could damage the drum bearings and even cause the glass door to burst.
If clothes are forced against the rubber door seal, they may end up marking or even tearing as the drum rotates. Instead, it’s best to leave a hands-width space at the top of the washing machine drum when loading. This is approximately equivalent to filling three quarters of the drum.
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Next, it’s time to choose your cycle temperature. “Washing in cold temperatures is also a great way to save energy and money, and even help your clothes last longer,” Kate explained.
“The same goes for air drying your clothes or using a clothes rack. Adding unnecessary heat to your washing and drying process shortens the life of your clothes and we we don’t want it.”
If you’re using a dryer indoors during the winter, using a plug-in fan can help speed up drying time by circulating air around your clothes.
While you might think a hot wash is necessary to remove stains, Kate has a simple trick to boost cold cleaning power. “I use eco-friendly washing detergent and add a tablespoon of sodium percarbonate to my whites for extra cleaning power,” she says.
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“Sodium percarbonate is an environmentally friendly product that is active for a few hours while it is running, then breaks down into oxygen, water and sodium carbonate in your wash water with no environmental impact.”
Sodium percarbonate is a white crystalline powder made from sodium carbonate, more commonly known as soda ash or soda ash. The powder is often added to store-bought clothes bleaching powders and can be used in many ways around the home.
Plus, it also works as a deodorizer, helping to remove bad odors from your laundry. The presence of soda crystals can also help soften water and increase the effectiveness of regular laundry detergents.
Even after your wash is done, drying your clothes on the line can help brighten the whites further. Kate said: “Sunshine is the best natural bleaching agent and is completely free.”
What are the advantages of a cold wash?
Most washing machines run cold at 30°C, although some offer the option of washing at 20°C.
Specialists of Parsley say switching to a 30°C wash could save up to 60% energy and help lower your bills.
While washing at a higher temperature may be beneficial for heavier soils, it may cause some items to shrink or colors to fade.
Most dirty everyday clothes can be put in a cold cycle and will wash well, including jeans. Woolen garments generally require a low temperature, gentle cycle and mild detergent.