🧺 WHY YOU SHOULD HAND-WASH YOUR LAUNDRY 🧺
Written By Zach Champ
OLD FASHIONED SOLUTIONS TO MODERN DAY PROBLEMS:
I like to hand wash my clothes. Too many this would seem an odd and dated way of maintaining one’s hygiene and the cleanliness of their wardrobe. However, most people are accustomed to the convenience of electric washing machines and drying machines. I want to take a moment to demonstrate and explain to individuals looking for a more natural and wholesome method of cleaning their clothes by saying that hand-washing is not only more beneficial for your wardrobe, but it is cost-efficient, more environmentally friendly, and more nourishing for the soul!
You may laugh at these claims, but consider the following…
1. HAND-WASHING SAVES MONEY:
Using electric washing machines and dryers uses energy which contributes to costs and expenses on your power bill. You have to rely on your electrical power source, which for many, is part of regionally owned and managed electric companies. Washing machines and driers use a lot of energy to perform their functions. It is estimated that American families spend upwards of $120 annually on electricity costs due to the use of washing machines and dryers (IGS, 2019). Not only that, but the mechanical action of the machines can damage your clothes! While it may not seem obvious, hand-washing clothes saves you money in the long run.
2. HAND-WASHING DOESN’T DAMAGE CLOTHES
You know how you have to clean a lint filter or screen before you use a dryer each time? That lint you collect and dispose from your drier is actually small pieces of fabric and material from your clothing that is stripped off during the intense heating and agitation of the dryer. You ever grab laundry from a dryer immediately after it finishes its cycle? It’s usually VERY hot and you have to wait for it to “cool down”. Why would you want to overheat your clothes like that? The damage done by such action results in the production of lint. You see this damage visibly each time you wash and dry your clothes with these machines!
3. HAND-WASHING CLOTHES IS GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
By hand-washing your clothes you are making a personal choice that helps reduces your ecological impact on the environment. Hand-washing, as mentioned before, saves electricity, which is usually the biggest expense with washers and dryers. Anytime we use large home appliances like washers, dryers, or even refrigerators and dish-washers, we are consuming large amounts of electric power. To get the electricity to your home from the sub-stations and power plants requires a complex system of power lines and electrical equipment spread across miles. This system relies on fossil fuels to transport and store and process all this energy. Making the choice to hand-wash clothes removes your part in contributing to the problem of fossil fuel pollution. Not only that, but many of the detergents and fabric softeners we use with laundry contain compounds that don’t degrade naturally and are harmful to the environment. These chemicals can easily end up in surrounding water sources in the community.
4. IT’S EASY TO HAND-WASH CLOTHES- HERE’S HOW:
It’s very easy to hand-wash your own clothes! The easiest way I hand-wash at home is by filling my bathtub with warm water. Once the tub is full I will place some soap or detergent in the water. You can use normal laundry detergent to wash the clothes or you can use baking soda which is just as effective. I place my clothes in the tub and then spin them around and scrub them with a brush to remove dirt and stains. I rinse the clothes after this initial washing and sometimes will perform a 2nd round of scrubbing and rinsing.
I then wring the clothes of water and hang them on the rails of my apartment’s porch to dry. I also hang them from hangars in the tree on its branches. I do the washing in the morning, early in the day, and hang them so they can be outside to dry during noon and the afternoon. The solar energy of the sun’s rays of light heats my clothes and removes water, while the wind also blows to help in this process. It only takes a few hours, but I end up with crisp, fresh-smelling clothes to wear. Plus, my clothes are gently handled by mother nature preventing damage and ensuring they last longer, allowing me to get more of my money’s worth out of them.
DON’T BE SHY, GIVE IT A TRY!
If you have access to adequate amounts of sunlight/daylight and a clothesline, or the ability to hang your clothes suspended in the air (or place them on a smooth rock!) then I would recommend you hand wash and air dry your clothes versus using a washing and drying machine. It’s cheaper, fresher, and more sustainable! Imagine enjoying fresh, clean, beautifully scented clothing during the spring and summer!
Hand-washing clothes may not always be feasible or the most convenient, but the rewards can be well worth the effort. In addition, knowing how to hand-wash your own clothes can come in handy during times when electricity or normal laundry services or not available. It is useful to know how to do certain tasks and objectives the ‘old-fashioned way’ because modern conveniences are not always guaranteed.
Our goal at American Gypsy Herbalist is to help spread methods like this that can enable people to still survive, thrive, and endure all challenges, while maintaining self-sufficiency.
After-all, if you want a job done right, sometimes you got to do it with your own two hands!