Eco Wardrobe 101: Your Complete Guide to Green Garment Care

Learn how to reduce the environmental impact of keeping clothes clean through sustainable laundry upgrades and earth-friendly wardrobe care habits.

February 8, 2024
min read
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Caring for our clothing responsibly minimizes unnecessary environmental impacts of water usage, chemical pollution, textile waste, and carbon emissions. Implementing eco-friendly laundry supplies alongside sustainable cleaning and storage habits allows us to reduce our closet’s carbon footprint while extending the lifespan of favored pieces.

Follow these guidelines to embody conscience consumerism through an earth-friendly wardrobe.

The Environmental Impact of Laundry

Washing machines account for nearly 22% of indoor water consumption per household. Laundry cycles also release microplastics from garment breakdowns into wastewater streams, impacting marine ecosystems. Detergents themselves pollute groundwater further without even biodegrading fully. By upgrading equipment, minimizing usage frequency, and using plant-based formulas, we can shrink the ecological footprint left behind from keeping clothes clean.

Green Laundry Supplies and Equipment

Choose the most eco-friendly laundry appliances and non-toxic formulas available when outfitting your washing space.


Forgo petroleum-based conventional detergents by switching to concentrated, biodegradable cleansers like those containing plant-derived enzymes that dissolve stains naturally. Brands certified cruelty-free, vegan, and made using renewable energy take every extra step towards sustainability.


See if Energy Star rated washing machines make sense for your home, as they use 35-50% less water and over 50% less energy per load. Top loading high-efficiency washers utilize even less water than most front-loaders. Investing in quality machines built for longevity also reduces replacement waste long-term.


Gas dryer models considerably edge out electric dryers in carbon emissions calculations. When shopping for dryers, look for moisture sensor technology that automatically shuts off cycles when laundry is fully dried as opposed to running timed cycles that frequently over-dry past necessity.

Drying Racks

Skip machine drying altogether by using adjustable indoor racks that collapse for easy storage when not hosting freshly washed items to air dry. Stainless steel, aluminum and hardwood frames outlast plastic versions. Racks allow clothes drying to give off zero carbon emissions while protecting delicate fabrics from heat damage in machines.

Sustainable Laundry Habits

Once your eco laundry setup is ready, adopting these earth-friendly cleaning habits makes all the difference:

Wash Less Often

Over-washing garments unnecessarily shortens their lifespan by gradually breaking down fabrics. Instead, spot treat stains when possible and air out items between full wears.

Wash in Cold Water

Wash clothing using the warmest setting needed to lift soils present but no higher. For everyday laundry, cold water sufficiently removes odors and dirt build-up. Reserve hot water for special circumstances only.

Line Dry When Possible

Skip the dryer by hanging clothing to air dry whenever you can, especially for delicates prone to heat damage. Use drying racks to conveniently dry laundry indoors during off-seasons.

Stain Removal Without Harsh Chemicals

Eliminate stains safely using non-toxic homemade pastes perfect for delicates:

  • Baking Soda - Gently lifts dirt
  • Lemon Juice - Breaks down oils and perspiration
  • Hydrogen Peroxide - Bleaches organically
  • White Vinegar - Removes dark underarm staining
  • Salt - Absorbs lingering moisture

No need for perfumed specialty sprays or prewash sprays. A simple mix of kitchen staples tackles most laundry stains.

Natural Garment Care While Wearing

Use eco techniques between washes to keep clothes fresh:


Lightly spritz vodka between wears to eliminate odors from shirts and workout wear sans washing. The alcohol kills bacteria causing lingering scents rather than masking issues.

Removing Pet Hair

Rub hands briskly over garments covered in pet hair to statically reattract hairs plucked by contact. For better results, use a natural rubber pet hair removal glove suited for pulling off clingy fibers without wasting sticky tape rolls.

Touch-up Steaming

Freshen up wrinkled garments needing to re-wear again by hanging in steamy bathroom while showering rather than fully rewashing or ironing. The humidity relaxes fibers. Spot clean any new stains that arise though before rewearing.

Responsible Closet Organization

Organize your closet consciously using categorization tips that minimize unnecessary purchases:

Categorize by Season

Purge unworn pieces each seasonal rotation. As the urge strikes to purchase transitional layering shells, lightweight cardigans and weather-specific accessories, first shop what already exists unused in your current wardrobe by reorganizing categorically. Rotating stored off-season apparel back into circulation prevents duplicate spending.

Store Properly In-Between Wears

Use breathable fabric garment bags to protect special occasion pieces from dust between events rather than relying solely on dry cleaning for upkeep. Store cashmere and woolens during warmer months using cedar accessories to prevent moth damage. Use recyclable vacuum seal bags to flatten bulky sweaters and bedding for underbed or shelf storage as well.


Cultivate more mindful laundry, wearing and storage habits that reduce the ecological impact of keeping your wardrobe clean and cared for. With a few equipment upgrades alongside consistent adoption of green garment care practices, soon these intentional skills become second nature. By taking a holistic view of intersections between our own day-to-day choices and much larger environmental consequences, we rediscover the art of caring for beloved items respectfully.

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About Wood Blocks

Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge to curate a wardrobe that not only reflects your personal style but also aligns with environmentally friendly practices. From exploring the wonders of natural mothballs and sustainable garment storage to diving deep into DIY solutions and green living, we're here to guide you on a journey towards a more eco-conscious, stylish, and intentional lifestyle.

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