Laundry Pow(d)er: Do your laundry like a wizard
How-to Do Laundry like a Wizard
5 Simple Steps for a Great Laundry Day
Separate your laundry
And flip it inside out
Let’s get started. Properly sorting your laundry is what can keep your whites white, your darks darks and drastically reduces colours from bleeding and transferring from one garment to another as they tumble about. It’s also important to sort your clothing by fabric content as different fabrics require different care. When possible, wash your cottons with your other cottons, synthetics with them other synthetics and delicates with delicates. Please don’t ever wash your jeans with your bralettes - the laundry Goddesses may smite you for that (kidding...kinda).
When washing digitally printed or delicate garments (like your Tizz items or anything else you want to be a lil’ extra cautious about) it’s essential that you turn your items inside out before tossing them into the machine. This one extra step avoids heartbreak after the cycle as it really helps protect prints and keep colours vibrant.
Just Add Water
But not too hot - you’re hot enough!
The colder the temperature, the more gentle the washing will be on the fibers, and as a result, the less likely it will be that your clothing will shrink or discolour.
For cotton, the general recommendation is to wash from 30°C to 40°C degrees. 30°C degrees is especially recommended for darker colours or digitally printed fabrics to keep the colours from fading too quickly. (You can often find your 30°C setting under the ‘cold wash’ - just as a tip to keep in mind!)
As many of us are aware, laundering synthetic garments releases micro-plastics into the water system; the more friction that happens between clothes the more micro-plastics that are shed. But, by simply changing your washing machine settings to delicate or cold express cycles you can reduce microfiber shedding by up to 57%! This is a small change with a good, positive impact.
Another solution to reduce the amount of microfibers from ending up in our waters is to launder using fiber-collection bags. These are essentially specialized laundry bags that can catch 90-99% of microfibers before they enter water systems. One very popular option in Germany are the GUPPYFREIND bags.
And just for the little sud on top, colder washing also consumes less electricity which is better for the environment and for your pockets too. Ka-ching!
And then add soap
Sudsy and sustainable
We recommend liquid detergent (without phosphates) if you are washing cold or up to 30°C (which as you know, we are fans of). Unlike powder detergent, liquid soap doesn't require higher temperatures to dissolve. For our intimates we like to use the brand Ecover we find the soap is active but soft on our clothing. Some fading as a result of cleaning is normal for digital printing on natural fabrics but we noticed a lot less fading with this brand in particular (it seems to be common throughout Germany). If this isn’t an option or if you are looking for something even more low-key, pop into your local zero-waste shop (if you are lucky enough to have one in your area). Plastic-free and whole-foods stores often carry detergent dispensers of eco-friendly laundry detergents and you can even bring your own bottle to fill up.
Spin me Right Round Baby
(but not too fast or I’ll get queasy)
Paying attention to spin speeds can help protect your clothing and keep them in better condition for longer. Garments worth wearing are worth caring for. In general for cotton, the maximum recommended spin speed is 1200 RPM (Revolutions Per Minute which refers to the speed at which the drum rotates during a spin cycle).
It’s preferable to keep it lower - 600 RPM for lighter weight cotton and up to 800 RPM for heavier cottons - best to be on the safer side and not damage the clothes that are going for a ride.
- Lower spin speed means that it will be more gentle on your clothes but that your laundry will come out more wet.
- Higher spin speed means that it will be less gentle on your clothes but that your laundry will come out drier.
Tougher fabrics like cotton will be able to sustain a higher spin speed, whereas more delicate fabrics like wool or Tencel™ are better washed on lower spin speeds.
Decoding the Washing Machine
The icons you see on the soap drawer of the machine
If your clothes are excessively soiled (sounds gross but some people have jobs that are especially dirty like working construction or on a farm for example) you would use pre wash.The single bar is for pre-wash. For normal wear of clothing this is usually something you typically wouldn't use. The compartment labelled with two bars is the place where you add in your soap for a regular wash.
The compartment labeled with a little flower? That is for the fabric softener.
Hang Dry Your Laundry
Easy & breezy
Although typically in Germany many households don’t own tumble dryers, we know from growing up in Canada a lot of North Americans do. It’s a quick, effective and convenient way to have your clothes dry faster and even come out fluffier. Tumble drying, however, is not always recommended as it can damage the fibers of your clothes quite quickly. The heat can shrink some of your items depending on the fabric content, and of course, it consumes more energy. This makes for a more expensive and less environmentally friendly way to have dry clothes. If you have to tumble dry some items that's cool (some people like to dry their sheets and towels with a machine) but we would always recommend that for delicate pieces like intimates to hang them up and air dry them out. It definitely helps prolong their mileage.
Final Tips from our Team:
More detergent does not mean a cleaner, better wash. Using too much detergent can over saturate your clothing and that can make the fibers stiff and cause damage to them easily. Use the recommended detergent amount for the size, and the proper soap for textiles that you are washing.
We know you probably don’t spend too much of your day thinking about the inside of washing machines so let us just tell you that the inside can be abrasive and harsh on your printed and delicate clothing. So this point is worth emphasizing - wash your clothes, especially intimates and printed items inside out!
- ⅓ of Germans iron their underwear (I know..I was also surprised!). We iron the underwear during the production and packaging of your orders, but we always pay attention to the heat setting. If you are going to iron your clothes, make sure you are using the correct heat setting for the textile you are ironing. High temperatures kill bacteria and this can also be achieved by hang drying your items in the sun.
So there you have it. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to washing your laundry but remember our tips and ALWAYS double check the tags on your clothes for proper washing instructions.
Max R. Kelly et al, “Importance of water-volume on the release of microplastic fibers from laundry,” Environmental Science and Technology, Volume 52, Number 20, August 28, 2019.