Thursday, 13 June 2013

Laundry 101 with The Laundry Tarts

Part of buying better is the after-shop, taking care of the items that we spend hard earned cash on. When buying better quality (local, organic fibres, ethically-produced), the temptation to toss it in the wash and throw it in the dryer is not quite so high. The more I think about this, the more I realise I need a better way to launder. My 'wear it, fling it on the floor, pile it up and get around to it' routine, isn't working for the nicer items that are beginning to replace my former fast-fashion choices. I asked Jessy Doyle-Huberman, founder of The Laundry Tarts, for a few tips on getting the ol' laundry routine right.

What inspired you to start The Laundry Tarts?
I was in the natural health industry - nutrition, and when you start learning about food, you learn about products. I started making my own products and [that included] laundry detergent. Everyone loved it, so eventually I quit my job and dove in. It was a product based on necessity. It will be four years this July.

What are your best tips for keeping whites white?
Taking care of clothing the old fashioned way is better; sun, lemon juice, salt, and to treat things as soon as possible. For armpit stains, definitely pretreat or soak. I find with most people there is a tendency to just toss it in the washer and cross your fingers. Keeping whites white does require more elbow grease. My son's school uniform consists of a white shirt, so we go through 5-6 shirts a week. I pretreat his shirts when he comes home, and he has the whitest shirts in school!

Is handwashing better?
Absolutely. When you soak the materials, fibres swell, so no matter what you're using, the fabric will swell if you're soaking it. Hand washing is best. When you hand wash, you're retracting and expanding your fabric. There's a lack of agitation in a washing machine, so it just spins it around with dirt.

How to handwash?
Use The Laundry Tart powders to handwash. Fill the sink with warm water, add soap, add clothes, then scrub and squeeze out the excess water in a rolled up towel.

How do you feel about line dry vs dryers?
Line drying is better if you can do it, but the dryer is more convenient. It's better for the environment and clothing. Plus that nice smell of line dried fabrics.

How often do you think clothes need to be washed?
It depends on what you do with the shirt [or other item]. If you're doing heavy duty sweating, than one time use and then wash, but really it's to each their own, and it varies depending on whether it's t-shirts or jeans.

Is it Ok to wash clothes with towels?
It depends. I put jeans with towels. If it's a heavy duty material [that's ok], but not with anything delicate.

Any secret tips on stain removal?
We have a stain remover bar, the sweet spot stain remover bar, and it's awesome. Always pretreat stains, you should get them within 24 hours.

Why the 'sweet' idea?
The essential oils in The Laundry Tarts are safe for everything, and the fun scents are a guilt-free way to do your laundry. When I first started, I had a cocoa essential oil so I had this idea to do desserts, because I love desserts, and to make it fun for people, because laundry is pretty boring. It's also not something that you see everyday, you know it's usually a 'mountain mist' scent or something.  I wanted to make it fun and also something kids would be excited to do. The fragrances are food grade, and have essential oils, so there are the aromatherapy aspects to it. There are also no phthalates in it.

For more tips on laundering, there are some here on TLT blog.

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