As the weather turns cooler and wind blows the leaves from the trees, our thoughts begin to turn to snowy days. There’s nothing better than hot chocolate and warm, fresh-baked cookies on a snowy afternoon, but first, you’ve got to earn it with lots of snow-fort construction, snowman-building, and sledding. Adults: Don’t forget snowblowing and shoveling. Put on your snowpants and your warm coat and WHAT IS THAT AWFUL SMELL?There’s nothing worse than having your kids smelling like a basement or attic storage box. Head off the problem now by cleaning their snowsuits, ski pants, and winter coats well in advance of the first snowflake of the season.
The ecoegg Laundry Egg is an effective and economical alternative to laundry detergent pods, laundry strips, liquid laundry detergent, and powder laundry detergent because it provides cleaning power without harsh chemicals. Because it’s reusable for multiple wash loads, it also reduces packaging waste.
Always check the fabric label for instructions on how best to wash a winter coat, parka, anorak, snow pants, ski pants, or snowmobile suits. Make sure to look at every label. Even a pair of snow pants that are from the same manufacturer as a jacket may have different instructions. Different recommendations may mean separate wash loads for these expensive items.
With all that wash to do, it may be a good idea to take the step of cleaning your washer. We recommend using our ecoegg Washing Machine Cleaner tablets every month to make sure the machine is clean of soap build-up from powder or liquid laundry detergent, while also ensuring the drainpipes are clear for better drainage. Starting with a clean machine results in cleaner laundry.
Be sure to read all the steps before you begin:
- Empty all the pockets on everything! Keep in mind your winter adventurers love the color of their jackets, but their favorite part is all the cool (secret) pockets. Be sure to find that half-eaten Snickers bar or tube of lip balm stashed where only James Bond would know where it is. And remove any old lift tickets or other extraneous attachments (make sure to follow lift-ticket issuer instructions if it’s a mutltiday ticket or season pass that will need to be reattached later!)
- Take off any fur-lined parts that zip or snap in place, such as hoods, cuffs, or zip-in liners. Wash them separately by hand or bring them to a professional cleaner. When in doubt, err on the side of caution, and check the clothing manufacturer’s website for best results.
- Zip up all the zippers, whether it’s the main closure or pockets. Also, very important, make sure to close any storm flaps or powder skirts or wrist tabs that use a hook-and-loop closure, such as VELCRO®. This is important as the “hook” tab can catch and pull on any loose threads in the wash load.
- Often outerwear will be washed in cold water, to help preserve the bright colors and finishes on the material, but definitely look to the label for full instructions. As a general rule, eliminate any bleach, liquid fabric softener, essential oils, vinegar, or other laundry additive from this load.
- We recommend using the ecoegg Laundry Egg and selecting the Fragrance Free pellets for this load. While many clothes benefit from the light scents we offer in Fresh Linen and Spring Blossom, outerwear is not in that category.
- It’s very important, particularly with down or other puffy-type insulated jacket, that you don’t overload the washing machine. The water and the washing process are going to compact the fill enough without cramming in a whole load of jeans and sweatshirts in there too.
- Any time you are washing outerwear, don’t let it sit wet in the washer, pull it out right when the wash cycle is complete.
- If you are going to dry the outdoor clothing in the tumble dryer (again, we advise you always check the fabric label for instructions on each individual piece of clothing), you’ll be glad you know about our ecoegg Dryer Eggs. Keep in mind that insulated jackets may take longer to dry than regular clothing, even in kids’ sizes. In fact, for down coats or other puffy insulated jackets, the ecoegg Dryer Egg may be the perfect solution. While it helps all clothes dry better and more quickly, the agitating action of the Dry Egg nodules in concert with the tumble of the dryer actually works to redistribute the down fill. Again, we suggest using the Fragrance Free ecoegg Dryer Eggs.
- Just like with the wash load, don’t let the load of outerwear sit in the machine after the dryer cycle is complete. It’s key to make sure everything is completely dry. One way to know, particularly with insulated coats, is to stick your nose into the interior of the coat and inhale. If you detect any moisture—and you’ll know it when you do—continue to dry the load.
It’s important to note: Some winter garments have a waterproof finish that will benefit from a hot dryer cycle to rejuvenate its effect, while other coats could be damaged. Follow the specific instructions for each jacket or garment shown on the label or check the manufacturer’s website.
To really do the job right, consider the ecoegg Holiday Bundle, which includes the ecoegg Laundry Egg, Dryer Eggs, and an ecoegg Washing Machine Cleaner tablet.