Although I purchased (and fell in-love with ) a washer/dryer last year for the house, I now share one very old washer/dryer with a complex of 8 flats. That one washer is quarter happy, always has crud around it from all the harsh chemicals people use (why?!) and seems to be constantly in use. This can make washing clothes rather a pain.
Since I don’t own that many clothes I want to keep what I do have and keep it in great shape – I don’t trust the complex washer and dryer to do that. And so I’ve hand washed most of my clothes forever – and guess what – I’ve kept most of my clothes like new forever.
My biggest tip is to not wash your clothes very often – some not at all which is handy for people like me who don’t really see hand washing as “beautiful” or “therapeutic.” Most people in the US cringe over that but there’s some sweaters and delicate blouses I only wear for special events or every now and then. Without dirt, stains or sweat all over it there’s no reason to wash it. I had a girlfriend here that washed her jeans after every wearing yet couldn’t understand why they faded and didn’t fit right after a month.
For things I must launder (towels, sheets) I never use dryer sheets – instead I use one of those reusable drying balls. And I use Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent, which does the job really well without breaking down the fibers.
With loads of laundry before me, I was happy to discover some more great green washing/drying clothing tips thanks to the Green LA Girl. I’m a huge believer in air-drying, too, and love my drying rack completely (perhaps a little too much – I never seem to take it down. I should, really).
And my best tip? Run out and get yourself some Bacout. This biodegradable product gets rid of any stain in clothes and carpets. I’ve used it on everything with success – even on delicates.