Organic cotton bedding is a great choice for a sustainable way of life, and it is easy to care for too. And if you care about trying to live in an eco-friendly way, then you should think not only about what you buy, but also how you care for your cotton bedding. Here are 5 tips to care for your cotton bedding in a sustainable way:
Wash at Low Temperatures Whenever You Can
Organic cotton bedding can be washed at any temperature. The occasional hot wash will not do any harm to it at all. But when you have chosen high quality organic bedding, you want to take care of it and keep it in use for as long as possible. Cared for properly, Sleep Organic’s bedding should last you years, even decades. And you also want to make sure you're washing it as sustainably as possible. This means washing at low temperatures whenever you can. Washing at lower temperatures will reduce energy use, and also prolong the life of your cotton bedding. Usually, a low temperature wash will be perfectly sufficient to keep your organic cotton bedding fresh and clean.
Another thing to think about is how frequently you launder. Do not wash your bedding more often than you need to. This can save energy, save water, and will also help to prolong the life of the bedding.
Use Eco-Friendly Laundry Wash Options
When you have taken the time to seek out eco-friendly, sustainable, healthy bedding, the last thing you want to do is introduce allergens and toxins through the laundry detergent you use. Fortunately, there are plenty of eco-friendly options for your laundry wash.
For example, you can use Castile soap, bicarbonate of soda and salt recipes, or soap nuts, which are great natural alternatives to chemical commercial detergents on the market – better for your own health and of course better for the environment too. Adding essential oils means you can make your bedding smell lovely – just as you wish and in a more natural way. Making your own eco-friendly natural detergents also means that you can avoid buying commercial products in plastic, and reduce waste.
Tackle Stubborn Stains With Eco-Friendly Solutions
At Sleep Organic our bedding is whitened without the use of chlorine bleach – we use a toxin-free oxygen-based process. Subsequently using bleach on your organic cotton bedding is certainly not recommended. And the good news is there are other, natural solutions to try to get rid of any stubborn stains. First of all, try to soak in cold water before stains set in. But if you do get some staining, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and even simple table salt can often be effective in getting rid of any stains on your organic cotton bedding. Rubbing a paste of bicarbonate of onto the stain and then rinsing it off half an hour later, for example, will often do the trick. As will soaking the bedding in vinegar, lemon juice, or salty water.
Tumble Drying on Low or Medium Heat is Fine – But Line Dry When Possible
The good news for those with busy lives is that it is perfectly safe to tumble dry your organic cotton sheets on low or medium heat. But of course, tumble drying uses a lot of energy and, especially if you do not have a renewable energy supply, it is important to reduce your household energy use as much as possible. Where possible, when trying to live in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way, you should line dry your sheets on a washing line outside. Where this is not possible, hang them on a rack to dry inside your home. Drying outside in the sun is best, if possible, because the UV helps kill off micro-organisms.
Line Drying Can Also Reduce Ironing
You can safely iron your organic cotton sheets if you need to. But it is worth bearing in mind that ironing consumes energy too. If you wash on low temperature and line dry your bedding rather than tumble drying, you should not need to iron your bedding at all. If you do decide that you would like to iron your organic cotton bedding, then iron it while it is still slightly damp, and iron at low temperatures to keep energy use to a minimum.
As you can see from the above, organic cotton bedding is easy to care for, and there are not really any specific care requirements to worry about. But it is worthwhile thinking not only about the sustainability of the cotton bedding you choose, but also how sustainably you wash, dry and care for it over time.
Nisa Shah, co-founder Sleep Organic