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Published on March 5th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans

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5 Tips for Fresher Laundry

Has your laundry lost its luster?  Are your once-vibrant towels and clothes no longer fresh and sweet scented?

Here are 5 tips to help revive lackluster loads…

Pack Loosely for Fresh Laundry

  • Pack loosely. Though it’s excellent practice to conserve energy by washing and drying larger loads, machines that are overloaded with items packed in too tightly will eventually yield mildew or a lingering musty odor.Here’s an effective strategy:
    • Balance heavier weaves, such as towels, with lightweight fabrics.  Packing too many dense towels together will, over time, produce that musty smell and worn-out feel.
    • Experiment with load capacity to see what your machine can handle.
  • Wash cold . . . when possible.  Items like sheets and bedding made from conventional materials need to be washed in warm water to dislodge and sterilize  dirt build-up.  Most natural, organic fabrics don’t need this warm water attention because they’re inherently antibacterial and antimicrobial—meaning that they naturally discourage mold, mildew, and allergens.
  • Freshen up . . . with a natural linen wash.  Look for sweet smelling, eco friendly products from known eco labels such as Seventh Generation or Method.  Toss a lavender bag in during drying.
  • Hang it on the Clothesline Fresh, Eco-friendly Clothes Drying

  • Brighten and shine. For sheets, towels, and clothes in need of some brightening, add ½ cup of distilled white vinegar to your washing machine during the rinse cycle.  This will help to neutralize grime and naturally whiten your laundry items while simultaneously softening them!Adding vinegar to laundry also:
    • Reduces the incidence of static and lint on your clothing
    • Cuts soap scum build-up in your machine
    • Helps to whiten sweat stains on clothing
  • Cut static to the quick. Static created during clothes drying brings unwanted EMFs into your personal space.  Try one of these minimization methods:
    • Place a tennis ball or tennis shoe in with drying clothes.
    • A ball of tinfoil can work wonders with unwanted static, and it can be used over and over again.
    • Try simply dampening your hands with water, and giving each item a firm shake as you remove it from the dryer.
    • When it’s sunny, a clothesline is the most eco-friendly way to dry your clothes—and it never produces static!

For additional laundry tips and advice, check out Green Guru Debra Lynn Dadd’s Q&A Forum.

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  • Guest

    I’ve never had any luck with the ball of tinfoil in the dryer. We tried standard Reynold’s Aluminum Foil, but the clothes came out full of static. What are we doing wrong? Or is it just so dry up north here in the deep of winter that the method does not work? (We hang on the clothesline in the summer months; right now there is three feet of snow in our yard — not conducive to hanging laundry.)

  • My towels never seem to smell fresh and clean. What is the best way to wash bath towels?

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