We’ve been working very hard indeed to find ways to help the environment, and although slipping into freshly washed bed linen at the end of the day gives us the perfect ‘ahh’ moment, doing your laundry isn’t always the tick in the ‘doing all we can’ box we’d like it to be.
We’ve turned to our very good friends at Wilton London for an update on their top tricks and tips for keeping the planet happy, whilst making your washing smell divine. Believe us, if anyone has the scoop on all things washing it’s Wilton London, with their range of non-toxic, eco-friendly detergents and conditioners (p.s. did we mention they smell great?)
Over to them…
Your laundry routine can be an energy intensive activity. But we have some simple tricks to help lower our emissions. This helps reduce the greenhouse gases we release from energy use and will lower your energy bills. This is your one stop shop for energy saving laundry tips, so you can help save the planet one wash at a time.
Saving energy during your laundry routine starts before you turn the washing machine on. Pre-treating any stains will help make sure you don’t waste energy by washing heavily soiled items twice or at a higher temperature than needed.
- The key to stain removal is speed. The quicker you treat the stain, the more likely it is to come out in one wash. Scrape off any excess with a dull utensil like a spoon or butter knife.
- If you’re out and about and need a quick fix, salt is great for absorbing any oil based stainage.
- When you have detergent to hand, it’s best to soak the item in a tub of lukewarm water, then before putting it in the wash, drizzle laundry detergent directly on the stain.
As bills rise into the winter, there’s a few quick tips to remember when it’s laundry day. There are more ways to save energy than using your machines eco-setting.
- Firstly, you can cut down the number of washes you do, by ensuring the machine is full before running. We know it’s tempting when you want to wear that one top to dinner, but it’s best to hold off and wait until your laundry basket is full.
- If there is one piece of clothing you want to refresh, you can do this by hanging it up outside, or putting it in the freezer for 20 minutes to kill any smells. Spot cleaning is the way to go for pieces like denim and knitwear that don’t need a regular wash. Washing less will also elongate the wear of your items, so it saves money on energy bills and on replacements.
- Make sure your laundry basket is full before laundry day. Washing full loads will mean putting on less washes and saving energy.
- Be careful to not overfill the machine, as this might mean your items won’t get a proper clean and might have to go in for a second cycle. Just ensure you can fit your full hand on top of the load before the machine goes on, giving room for the items to be properly cleaned. This way you won’t have to wash twice or go onto a hotter setting.
- Washing on cold is arguably the best way to make your laundry routine more sustainable. Going down to 20 instead of 30 degrees uses much less energy, and it will still clean your clothing effectively (especially when using Wilton). If stains are pre-treated, they won’t need a wash above 30. Most of the time, washing at a higher heat will even set the stain in place.
- Choose your quick washes wisely. For heavier soiled items, a quick wash won’t do the trick. But quick and cold washes are great for less dirty items. Quick washes also reduce the release of microfibres from clothing, which can be harmful to your machine and the planet.
Tumble driers are one of the most energy consuming utilities in the home, but drying laundry can feel never ending without using it. So, here’s how to speed up your drying in an energy efficient way.
- Utilise the spin cycle. Popping your items on for a quick spin cycle after the wash helps remove any more moisture, making then dry much quicker on the rack and saving energy on tumble drying.
- Hang your items on a drying rack, positioned next to the radiator. Putting items on the radiator will speed up drying, but it will also reduce the heat that gets to your home, so you might have to boost the heating higher then needed.
- Drying outside in the colder months might seem a little odd, but the cool air and wind will dry your items, even on an overcast day. Just keep shoes next to the door, and a keen eye out for any rain clouds.
- If you don’t have outside space, a good hack is to open the window a crack (if the heating isn’t on!) and hang your items up on a hanger on the curtain rail. The open window will also help aerate the room and make sure you don’t get any damp.
- If you are tumble drying, add tennis balls to the drum to speed up drying. This allows more air to circulate, and the items will dry quicker, they also make towels and bedding super soft.
- If you have lots of laundry, dry each load directly one after the other. The residual heat after each load will speed up drying and reduce energy costs a little.
Thank you for your tips, Wilton London! We can sleep a little sounder knowing we're doing our bit to make the planet happier. If you have any planet-kind washing hacks then please do feel free to share them with us too.