empty washing line

Winter Rest for Washing

Without the risk of sounding like a bit of a stinker, one of the things I love about winter is not needing to do my laundry as often. In the summer months clothes get sweatier, sandier and generally dirtier! But when it gets chilly outside, and my body turns to an icicle, I can get away with wearing outfits multiple times before they need to go through the washing machine.

A few months ago I swapped my usual washing powder to soap nuts, and have recently been experimenting with eco balls (which are awesome BTW!) to use less chemicals on my clothes. But it’s not just the toxins on our skins, and in our water, that excessive clothes washing contributes to.

It’s estimated that every year UK washing machines use £800 million of electricity, and 500 billion litres of water, just to keep up with our obsession for cleanliness. That’s a lot of time, money and natural resources to be spending on a few scraps of fabric to hide our nudity! Especially when you consider that demand for water has doubled in the last 30 yrs; and that by 2025, two thirds of the world population will face water shortage.

I know we don’t particularly want to offend peoples noses with our smelly clothes, but more often than not, a simply stain or musty linger can be enough for us to throw garments through a whole new wash. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has gone treasure hunting around the house for things to wash just because we need enough to “fill the load”! I don’t know about you, but I can think of a 100 other things I would prefer to spend my time and money on.

So this month, while everyone is making shopping lists for Christmas gifts, I’ve been making a list of ways I can ensure I keep my washing basket empty; way beyond the chilly winter months! So far I have:

  1. Hang up my clothes and stop leaving them on the floor to be covered in dust or cat hair
  2. Sponge off any small stains or dirty marks with a bit of water or soap
  3. Spritz away musty smells with a mixture of water and essentials oils (something fresh like tea tree or lemon mixed with something floral like ylang ylang).
  4. Layer clothes over stains – like a jumper of a strategically placed scarf.
  5. Don’t worry what people think – especially if you’re just pottering around the house or popping to the shop!

Anyone got any other tips for cutting down on clothes washing?

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Winter Rest for Washing”

  1. Lovely to see somebody else tackling this subject. It is ridiculous how we have become obsessed with ‘cleanliness’ in the late 20th century, in a way that would have amazed the Victorians with their obsession of cleanliness being next to godliness. Actually, for all our obsession, I don’t actually think repeatedly washed garments smell clean. They smell of the gunk we put in the washing machine draw.

    I’m a big fan of airing clothes in front of an open window too. Sounds a bit chilly in winter…? Actually a recent study into energy showed that we should throw our windows open in the winter for half an hour – like we did in previous generations. This draws out damp air and as dry air is much easier to heat than damp air, lowers our bill. Two birds with one stone! How’s that for lazy!

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      1. I think you’re okay if you open the windows half an hour before you put the heating on. Obviously best not to open them whilst the heating is on because, as my mother used to say: “You might as well burn green folding ones” although with inflation and whole sale prices that would probably be brown or even purple folding ones these days 😉

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  2. What a great post Trudi! I have considered using soap nuts, but haven’t invested in them yet. How do they work in the machine, do you just toss them in with the clothes?

    Also, in addition to not doing laundry as often, we have found we use less water in the winter by not showering… as much. That post shower chill of leaving a warm shower and stepping out into a breezy room doesn’t sound to appealing, lol. Thanks again for another inspiring post! ☮

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    1. Some brands of soap nuts come with a little fabric bag but I just tie them up in a sock! When they are combined with water the nuts create a natural soap. Amazing!

      I agree that getting out of the shower in this temperate is just horrible, I’m all for that extra 15 minutes in bed too 😛 x

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