Eco-Friendly Clothing Care: Line-Drying & Spot-Treating

As you invest in high-quality pieces for your closet, clothing care becomes all the more important. But approaching it from an eco-friendly perspective can be confusing: why line dry my clothes? How do I line dry my clothes? Do clothes need to be spot treated before washing? What actually needs to be dry cleaned? We’re helping you get the lay of the land when it comes to eco-friendly clothing care.
By Printfresh Staff
June 2021
Eco-Friendly Clothing Care: Line-Drying & Spot-Treating
Eco-Friendly Clothing Care: Line-Drying & Spot-Treating

Line-Drying Your Clothes

Running the dryer wastes precious energy that can be conserved for other non-negotiable household tasks. Plus, you miss that delightful scent that comes with line drying clothes (the NYT did a feature on this phenomenon!). Here are our tips for how to line dry your clothes (including your favorite Printfresh PJ’s!)

• Use a vinyl or coated cord to hang clothes rather than cotton. A coated one can be easily wiped down to remove dirt and pollen so that it doesn't transfer to your newly-clean clothes.

• Shake clothes out before hanging them to help combat wrinkles.

• Hang items upside down to avoid visible clothespin marks. For example, hang t-shirts by their bottom hems.

• Take your clothespins inside when you’re finished with them. Wooden pins (our recommendation!) absorb excess water and pollen which can transfer to your clothes.

Photo credit: <u><a href="" target="_blank">Puracy</a></u>
Photo credit: Puracy

Spot-Treating Clothes

Instead of throwing out something you love because of an unfortunate stain, try some of our (almost) fail-proof tips for spot-treating those precious pieces.

• The most impactful thing you can do is clean the fabric immediately. The longer liquid, food or chemicals sit on the fabric, the more likely it is to fade, discolor, or even make a hole in the fabric.

• Blot, rather than wipe, the soiled item. This will keep the stain from moving further into surrounding areas.

• Flush (or soak) the fabric with cold water (hot water can cause a forming stain to set).

• For tough stains, dab a small amount of laundry detergent on the spot and let it sit overnight. Wash out in a cold-water cycle the next morning.

• One of our favorite go-to eco-friendly stain removers is from Puracy (it works WONDERS).

• Dry-clean only? It’s important to treat these as directed. Soap and water may damage the fibers.

Wash Your Clothes Less

We tend to throw things in the wash after just one wear, when most items don’t actually need it! Unless it’s stained (see above) or has a significant smell, most items you can get 3-4 wears out of them if you fold or hang them up properly after wearing. Try out an all natural fabric spray to keep things fresher longer.

Dry Cleaning Tips

As suggested above, if something says dry clean only, it’s important to follow the care directions. Finding an “organic” dry cleaner can be tricky, as there is no official certification process for organic dry cleaners. The main issue with dry cleaning is the use of tetrachloroethylene, better known as perc, and its classification as a probable human cancer-causing agent. Your first choice? Buy machine washable pieces you love! Second choice? Ask your dry cleaner specifics about whether or not they use tetrachloroethylene or DF-2000 (an alternative to perc, which is classified as a neurotoxin by the EPA).

We hope you feel a little more empowered to take care of those investment pieces the right way. Armed with information, take the first step and invest in a luxurious pair of PJs that will last you forever!

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PF MAG: Founder Amy Voloshin is passionate about creating a space that speaks to our brand, shares unique perspectives from pattern enthusiasts and finds ways to promote more sustainable living. Our blog PF Mag covers creative topics on all things lifestyle - including behind the scenes looks, fashion, design, travel, and home decor, as well as interviews with some of the people who inspire us most. 


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