The way you do laundry can make a real difference in the longevity of your clothes, even how often you have to wash them. Although we've always been known as a bit of a laundry witch, we learned a few new tricks from Danny Seo, the King of Green, when we hung out with him the other day. Danny's become something of an expert since consulting with Method on their new line of laundry products.
- One bottle of white vinegar
- One bottle of hydrogen peroxide
- A green laundry detergent like Method or Mrs. Myers or make your own!
- A can of tennis balls
Before you start, clean your washer by running it through one cycle with hot water to which you've added a bottle of white vinegar. This eliminates any soapy residue that may have accumulated inside your machine (and that may cling to your clothes causing them to attract dirt.) Consider doing this a few times a year.
Sort your laundry. We do whites, delicates and everything else.
For whites: Instead of using bleach, bad for you and bad for the environment, pour in one bottle of hydrogen peroxide along with your detergent (use less than what you think you need; the Method detergent uses just four pumps and we like that itty bitty bottle, which by the way, holds enough to wash as many loads as the giant bottles most detergents come in). Let the water agitate for a minute, then add your whites. For delicates and everything else: again, use less detergent. Using cold water is ideal but, depending on how dirty your clothes are, you might want to warm it up a bit. You can also set the laundry for a shorter cycle. Less soap means you'll need less time rinsing.
Drying: Instead of fabric softener or dryer sheets, throw in three tennis balls and a dry towel (Danny suggested one of the Quick Dri towels from JC Penney but any towel with do) along with your clothes. Towels are designed to absorb moisture; what they do for you when you get out of the shower will also work on your clothes. The tennis balls will prevent static cling, cut down on wrinkles and eliminate the need for fabric softener (the coating left by fabric softener is another dirt magnet.), Another way to cut down on static is to dry clothes made from synthetics separately.
[Photographs by Laure Joliet. For more information on her work, click here]