Laundry and dry cleaning are an important and even essential part of any modern human’s lifestyle, but over time the upkeep of our clothes can contribute to environmental damage and expose us to harsh chemicals. We here at Pearl Street Laundry have recently been making upgrades to try and minimize this environmental footprint as much as is possible, while still maintaining the premium service you’ve come to expect. We are currently transitioning to more natural cleaning methods when providing our wash-dry-fold service, leaving aside harsh chemicals where possible. By becoming more efficient in our cleaning process we also hope to eliminate a lot of waste and non-recyclable material that goes into the Laundromat business.
The first change we implemented was the use of vinegar as a fabric softener during the washing cycle. If you’ve never tried it before, don’t be worried, the clothes definitely do not come out smelling anything like vinegar, in fact, they come out supple, soft and static free – even more so than with traditional liquid fabric softeners and without the chemical harshness to the environment and our clothing. In fact, there are all sorts of chemicals that can be replaced with gentler things like lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar. There is a fantastic recipe book by Shea Zukowski that lays out all these different combinations and how they can help get your laundry and cleaning done in an eco-friendlier manner (my mom gave me this book years ago). We’ve also purchased biodegradable detergent and offer hypoallergenic detergent options for customers. Going green certainly is interesting and sometimes challenging, and we are learning new techniques and tweaks all the time to help out mother earth and reduce chemical exposure — all while helping you, the customer, get the best service in town.
Aside from harsh chemical treatments, the laundry and dry cleaning business has long been notorious for generating heaps of non-recyclable garbage. Traditionally, plastic sheaths are wrapped on nearly everything after it is dry cleaned, and all of that wasted plastic has to go somewhere eventually. Typically, it ends up occupying some turf covered landfill somewhere. We here at Pearl Street Laundry have decided to shift to a new type of biodegradable wash-dry-fold plastic bag. (You can check out the product we’ve switched to here.) It might be a small thing, but when it comes to the planet, every little bit helps!
Another tweak we’ve recently made reduces our garbage output, carbon footprint AND exposure to harsh chemicals - Woolzies! For those of you unfamiliar, the Woolzie is an all-natural eco-friendly ball of wool fresh from New Zealand’s finest sheep paddocks used in place of a dryer sheet. Three to six balls spritzed with essential oils are tossed into each dryer of clothing to aid in the drying process and reducing static cling. These balls help reduce drying time, and thus utility usage, while naturally fluffing your laundry. The ball works the same as or even better than a dryer sheet, except unlike a dryer sheet, these are reusable for 1 to 2 years and then when trashed decompose in a natural and brief fashion, and won’t take up space in a landfill for decades to come. Make sure to ask us about these responsible, all-natural dryer sheet alternatives when you come to visit us in person at the store on Pearl Street. We absolutely love them!
Feel free to join us in our attempt to go green! We are now selling re-usable dry cleaning bags as well. You buy them once and then use them again and again, helping keep all of that nasty plastic out of a dump.
However you plan to help the environment, know that you are making a difference. Small strokes fell great oaks, as they say, and we here at Pearl Street Laundry are standing by to make the process as pain-free as possible.