Doing laundry uses a lot of energy and produces tons of greenhouse gases every year. The higher the temperature, the more by-products are released into the earth's atmosphere. Actually, our own mapping shows that 65% (other studies shows as much as 75-80%) of our clothing's lifecycle impact comes from washing and drying. This is because your garment will be energy to heat up both water and dryer, and not the least because your garment will be washed many times before it is time for recycling. No matter the percentage, we can conclude that washing and drying has a great negative impact on the environment and there is a lot that can be done to make a difference. Here are some of our best tips for green washing
WASH YOUR CLOTHES IN COLD WATER
There is big misinformation around hot water being better at killing germs. Technological advances in both machines and detergents have made cold-water washing highly effective. It is time to forget those washing instructions we learned from granny. And it might be time to upgrade to a new washer if you have one that is older than from around the mid-'90s.
Today's detergents are formulated with enzymes that kick into action already at low temperatures, so you can wash your underwear and sweaty sportswear in 40c without having to worry the least about evil germs.
When washing at a lower temperature, use a liquid detergent. It dissolves better at lower temperatures than the granulated ones. And make sure to use the right amount of detergent. Too much builds up in your clothes and too little will not get them clean.
FILL THE WATER
Many of us wash our clothes far too often. Many times, this leads to half-empty machines and clothes being washed that perhaps didn't need to run the cycle. Ask yourself if your clothes actually are dirty before putting them in your laundry basket. Or are you throwing them there out of pure habit?
Our tips: make sure to wait until you can fill the washer and fill it with clothes that actually are dirty (but avoid over-filling to let the machine work as its maximal mechanical power)
Frequent washing leads up to frequent drying. Instead of electric drying, let nature do its job and go for line drying. Even if the weather won't permit, there are always solutions for drying indoors. Your clothes will last longer, and nature will thank you. The UV light from the sun actually helps killing bacteria. Just remember to avoid hanging your dark clothes in direct sunlight, or they will fade.
And even if it says in your wash instructions, it can never be said too many times: don't put your stretchy leggings in the dryer, they will shrink or warp!.
STINKY, NO THANK YOU!
Odor in workout clothes is most commonly caused by a build-up of sweat, oils, and bacteria from your body. If you find that your sportswear is still a bit stinky after washing, follow our best tricks and the stink will come off like magic:
Turn the clothes inside out since sweat, bacteria, and oils accumulate on the inside. Also, dry-wicking is a topical treatment so turning your workout clothing inside out protects the techy fabric and will help those features that you paid extra money for to last longer.
Let sweaty clothes air out immediately rather than stuffing them into a plastic bag or a laundry basket.
Don't use more detergent than recommended since it makes it harder for clothes to rinse clean.
Baking soda is a known deodorizer and a lot of people swear by it. Just pour it into the detergent tray and let the machine do the rest.
Try pouring a bit of white vinegar in your softener compartment in the washer next time. For optimal results, add it during the rinse cycle. You can also pre-soak the clothing in vinegar or spritz it on with a spray bottle and let it dry completely before washing it. No, it doesn't stink of vinegar after washing.
Scrub the smelliest areas before washing. Just remember wet it before scrubbing.
Use Vodka. Yes. It is said (we are yes to try) that undiluted, unflavoured vodka is an amazing alternative to neutralise odours, especially in very old-smelling clothes that are difficult to wash. Just thoroughly spray it on, and then let it air out for a few hours. We hear that this is the go-to-trick on Broadway for costumes that actors use all night. Needless to say, though: sports and alcohol don't mix, so just leave that bottle for the next wash and run yourself on your Exerhigh.
Softeners break down the fibers that make your sportswear extra stretchy and firm. They also create a little film that sticks to the fabrics and makes them harder to clean. More odors and grimy bacteria, yikes! it will also block the pieces' ability to dry wick (wicking pulls sweat and moisture away from your body) and you pay money for that, so leave the softeners out!
TRY A LAUNDRY BAG
Your sportswear and delicate underwear will last longer when being washed in a laundry bag, not the least of they are being washed together with hard fabrics like denim or clothes with buttons or zippers. The laundry bag is the king or queen here. and not only that, washing synthetic fabrics send tiny plastic fibers into the wastewater after washing, causing microfiber pollution. There are special washing tricks to avoid microfiber pollution.
The two things that help a stain take hold into your fabric is time and heat. If possible, treat and wash your clothing immediately. At the very least, wash out the stain quickly and leave it to soak. Try a bit of saltwater, the salt breaks down the stain.
All forms of bodily fluids, both human and animal, are sources to protein stains. Examples are blood, sweat, milk, eggs and meat juices. The first thing you want to do is to add water. Lots of it. Rinse the stain out. Often enough, you can rinse the stain out with just cold water. Always use cold water, the stain can set in hot water since it changes the chemical structure of the stain. After rinsing and soaking, rub with a bit of soap and wash in cold water. Always keep the stain moist until it has been completely removed.
For yellow sweat stains, try soaking your garment in a bit of water and vinegar. If that doesn’t do it, make a paste with vinegar, dish soap, baking soda (bicarbonate works as well) and some hydrogen peroxide (Vanish for instance), rub it onto your stain and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. This works like magic.
And if all of the above tips don’t work for removing your stain, turn to your good old friend the sun. Sunshine does wonders for stained clothes. This is recommended first and foremost for lighter colored clothing since the sun will fade darker colors.