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5 gentle alternatives to washing your clothes

How often do your clothes end up in the laundry basket after you have worn them only once? Clothes are rarely worn out, they are usually washed out. But how else can we remove stains and odors? Here are five alternative ways to refresh your clothes.


Washed out, not worn out

The washing machine has been called the pinnacle of the industrial revolution since it liberated women from the straining task of washing by hand. But for clothing care, the washing machine has been a step in the wrong direction.

The modern laundry process is everything but gentle. Vigorous spin cycles cause a tremendous amount of tear on the fabric and seams. Colors lose their luster prematurely, fabrics becomes thin and brittle, and the seams unravel. This is why garments tend to get washed out long before they are worn out.

Modern washing machines are developed to consume less water and energy than older ones, but still, as much as 20% of a garment’s total climate impact comes from the laundry process. The solution is to wash less often. The reward is not only spending less time doing laundry, but more importantly, that your clothes will last much longer.


1. Mist out bad smells

There is an excellent alternative to washing to disguise odors like the smell of sweat, fried food, or cigarette smoke. Steamery’s Fabric Spray is a quick way to refresh your clothes between washes. Spray directly on the source – in the armpit of your shirt to remove any unwanted odors and make your clothes feel fresh for a little bit longer. This is especially useful for clothes made of synthetic blends, where airing is less effective.


2. Hang your clothes outdoors to air

This is the most simple and natural way of getting rid of odors. Hang your worn clothes to air out overnight, and they will smell fresh in the morning. This trick is effective for all garments made of natural fibers; like cotton, linen, hemp, viscose, silk, and wool. For synthetic blends, we also recommend spritzing some fabric spray. Synthetic fibers, like polyester, acrylic, nylons, and elastane, are not breathable and may not benefit as much from being aired out.


3. Brush off dust, hair, and dirt

Clothes with superficial dirt that has not penetrated the fabric, like dust and hair, are still not dirty enough to be washed. You will come a long way with a reusable Clothing Brush. Brush off surface dirt from jeans or jackets before putting them in the laundry basket to prolong the time between washes. The bristles are made of sisal fibers that are designed for rougher fabrics. To remove pet fur, hair, dandruff, or lint from your clothes, try our reusable Lint Brush.


4. Steam wrinkles and creases

Your clothes will bear traces of your hectic days, looking dull with creases and wrinkles. Clothes worn only once are often tossed on the floor before they are put into the laundry basket, even if they are not dirty, stained, or smelly. Steam and put them back in the closet instead. The hot steam targets bad odors and bacteria, eliminating all signs of the garments being worn in the first place.


5. Target the stains, not the garment

Spills from lunch, berry stains from snacking, grass stains from the playground, or red wine stains from Saturday’s dinner party. The stains on our garments are clues to our everyday life. If you act fast and spot-treat the stain before it’s settled, you don’t need to wash the whole garment.

The general rule is that grease stains, like butter or any type of oil, should be treated with a fat dissolvent, for example, colorless washing up liquid or bile soap. Stains like blood, ice cream, berries, or grass can be removed with Oxi Spray. Spray directly on the stain, let it rest, rinse with water, and or gently dab with a sponge. When in doubt, use our Stain Remover to treat any kind of stain. You can also try to soak the stain with laundry detergent. We recommend using our specialized detergents that are designed to care for different kinds of textiles.

Try these methods before throwing your clothes in the laundry basket. Once you kick the habit of washing clothes that are only worn – and not dirty – you will never go back to doing unnecessary laundry again.

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