Airstream, Health, Uncategorized, Zero Waste

How to: Simplify & “Clean Up” Laundry

 

Laundry is a necessary evil of life for some, and a fun chore for others. I happen to enjoy laundry. Yes, it is sometimes time consuming & I’ll never understand how the laundry piles up so fast… in spite of that, I enjoy laundry time.

We cloth diapered my son and that’s when I started enjoying laundry. Cloth diapers are so cute and I learned a ton about laundry. There’s even a laundry science Facebook group & I took a laundry class at my old job! Who knew there could be so much to laundry I also happen to enjoy a good stain challenge. There seems to be something satisfying about getting that pesky stain out once & for all. Yes, I am a laundry nerd.

Simplifying Laundry!

Most people don’t enjoy doing laundry at all. I think there are 3 reasons for this-
1- People have too many clothes that are poor quality 2- they put off laundry until it piles up. 3- Lack of routine.

As part of our 40 day journey, we’ve talked a lot about downsizing the wardrobe. Did you know most women own at least 300 items of clothes & only wear 20-30% of them? Reducing the size of your wardrobe will make laundry day easier & organize your closet.

Finding higher quality clothing will also make laundry day easier. Fast fashion is a big problem. I’m not going in depth about it today, I will be in a few weeks. Check out “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” if you’re interested in more nLow-qualitylity clothing holds stains, pills & wears out, and is harder to launder. My favorite brands are Patagonia, Prana and PACT Apparel. They all have organic & fair trade clothes. Patagonia & Prana will repair your clothes for life. I recently had a 13-year-old pair of pants repaired by Prana!

Not ready to downsize or switch brands? That’s ok!
Here are some tips to help make laundry day easier.

Develop a pre-sorting method. I love the hampers with 3 or 4 compartments. You can sort brights/darks, lights & delicates. Mesh baggies are also awesome for sorting. Keep a couple by your hamper to sort smaller items. I love them for tiny little people socks, underwear & other small items.

Do not let laundry pile up until you have a mountain. Plan a routine for laundry. I know one family clothes in the washer every day & wash every night. If you’re single or a couple, once a week would be ok. Larger families should plan to do laundry every couple of days.

Remember our basic principle of a place for everything & everything in its place.   Keep the hamper close to the wash, have a laundry station & make sure all your clean items have a place they go to right away.

Don’t overload the wash. It’s tempting to toss everything in to reduce your number of loads. Laundry needs enough water to get clean & for the laundry detergent to get rinsed.

Keep everyone accountable to get dirty laundry in the right place. One Mom I know charges a “butlers fee” of 25 cents for each item she has to put in the hamper.

Teach everyone how to do laundry. Everyone wears the clothes so everyone should help wash.

Wash, dry, fold & put right away. Putting away laundry doesn’t take that long- just do it 🙂  Don’t let things live on the couch, bed or floor.  Time yourself next time & you’ll be surprised how quickly it goes.   Make sure your closet is organized & the process will go quicker.

Use More Effective Products & “Clean up” your laundry

Laundry day will be easier & more rewarding if you’re using products that work well. Don’t settle on a product because it’s what mom used or because it’s the cheapest at the market.

Did you know the effectiveness of laundry products can be affected by water quality, hard or soft water, and even by the type of machine & material of clothing? If your clothes aren’t coming clean, try something else. Sometimes adding baking soda to the wash or vinegar to the rinse cycle can help too.

As a self-proclaimed laundry nerd I have tried just about every natural/ecofriendly laundry detergent/ soap out there. For a while, I even made my own. I’ve tried castile soap, concentrates, powders, liquids, soap nuts and laundry strips. I have used products that barely got my clothes clean, products that left them smelling weird, products I had to rinse 2 or 3 times to get out and products that left my clothes awesome. Whenever I hear about a new product I want to learn more!

Washing in an environmentally conscious way is a great way to “clean up” your laundry routine. Most products work great in cold water and HE machines use less water. If you have an old top loader, they use so much water even your fullest loads can be washed on a smaller setting than you might think.

Cleaner Products & My Favorite Laundry Solution

We spend lots of time in our clothes. And we sleep on our sheets all night long. Some residue is almost always bound to be left behind on our clothing & bedding. Shouldn’t we make sure the products we’re using are safe for ourselves & the environment? I steer clear of brands that won’t disclose ingredients, have scary labels on the bottle or are full of synthetic chemicals. The Environmental Working Group has an awesome database you can run ingredients through to see any potential concerns.

Currently, we use & love, My Green Fills (MGF). Not only do we love the way the product works, we love that they are a completely Zero Waste company. My Green Fills sends jugs and powdered refills. You add water & mix. The packages are recyclable and it’s sent in recyclable boxes.  Prices are comperable to store-bought brands & it’s a product I feel is much safer than anything else I can get.

My Green Fills is a truly Zero Waste solution to laundry- plus it works great & is cost effective, safe & eco-friendly.
  MGF Laundry jugs
My Green Fills is a truly Zero Waste solution to laundry- plus it works great & is cost effective, safe & eco-friendly.
Pouches for refilling jugs

They offer laundry soap, fabric softener, bleach-free brightener, powdered stain remover, and the best stain stick I’ve ever used. We use the soap and stain remover on all our loads. I keep the stain stick on hand for tough stains & have yet to encounter a stain it won’t handle. They even have a private Facebook group for customers & they refer to everyone as “family.”

Shortly after getting MGF I did this experiment with my jeans. I had washed them with my old laundry product and then washed them again in My Green Fills. As you can see, the results are clear.

That’s the dirty water from my “clean” jeans after washing my jeans first in my old product and then in MGF. Gross! MGF did a great job getting them clean.

We’re washing all our clothes in the Wonder Wash. We don’t have a washer in our basement apartment & we purchased to use here and in the Airstream. I love it! It’s so easy and uses only a couple gallons of water. We’ve found MGF works great in the Wonder Wash. I use these cute little containers (the stain remover comes in one) and dissolve it with each load instead of using the jugs. This is 4-6 months worth of laundry for me in these containers- perfect for tiny living!!

My Green Fills is a truly Zero Waste solution to laundry- plus it works great & is cost effective, safe & eco-friendly.
Just a tiny scoop is needed for each load- this should last 4-6 months!

My Green Fills will send you your first 100 loads free if you’d like to try it. (Plus for every 5 people who get your free sample though me, I get a month free of soap!) It is a “subscription” where they automatically send you refills. However, you can cancel any time, customize exactly what you want (maybe you have plenty of fabric softener but are out of soap? You can get only soap) and change your delivery date. I get the largest bundle because it’s the most cost effective and then push back my delivery date until I need more.

The customer service is amazing & the Facebook group is fun and a nice community. If you have a laundry question they’ll help out and there’s lots of fun chats and games too. The owner, Stephen, is kind & cares about creating a safe product for people & the Earth. So many products I’ve tried are total greenwashing. MGF makes fun videos, posts lots of educational information & wants people to know they why behind their products as well.

As much as I like trying new things, I think I’ll stick with MGF!!!  (and, no, I’m not making any money off this post.  I just really love the product!!!)

MGF even has this creed on their site that shows their commitment to sustainability, quality & customers

I occasionally use soap nuts as well. I started using these when I cloth diapered and on my Mama Cloth. I purchased a huge bag of them a couple years ago and want to use them up so I mostly use them on my Mama Cloth.

An Easier Laundry Day!

I hope these tips will help you simplify your laundry day and make it an easier process. As always, feel free to reach out if you have any other questions.

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