My daughter suffers from sensitive skin allergies, so I am always on the lookout for clothing and products that are organic with gentle, hypoallergenic qualities. I love to see that bamboo blends are growing in popularity in Australia, offering a wide range of benefits and organic solutions for clothing, linen and towels.
In addition to its strength and softness, bamboo is an eco-friendly fibre with natural anti-bacterial qualities and gentle for those with sensitive skin. Not only that, bamboo is supremely soft and silky to the touch, it is breathable and thermo-regulating, and very absorbent. Its natural qualities do not irritate the sensitive skin on my daughter.
Bamboo and the environment
As most of us are all trying to consider the impact we have on the environment, the ‘eco advantages’ and environmental sustainability of bamboo textiles are also key reasons why I love using bamboo blends –
- Sustainable. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Once harvested, bamboo can replenish itself within a year, and grows quickly. It is a naturally resilient plant, which does not need fertilisers to boost its growth, or pesticides since bamboo is naturally pest-resistant.
- Eco Friendly. Bamboo requires no chemicals and very little water to grow, and absorbs more carbon dioxide from the air than either cotton or timber. It also releases more oxygen into the environment which improves air quality.
- Biodegradable. Bamboo is 100% natural and biodegradable which gives conscientious consumers real peace of mind.
Bamboo at the laundry
So, how do you care for and launder clothing, linen and towels made from bamboo blends? I’ve found this to be really easy, especially at Snap Laundromat where our service provides the perfect wash for organic blends –
- Use Mild detergent. Remember that less detergent is actually more! Many Australians over-suds their washing, making clothes stiff, and cause a build up of mould and mildew. At Snap, we installed an automatic dosing system which automatically injects high quality detergent into the machines with every wash. You only need a small amount of good quality detergent to experience the perfect wash.
- Try Warm machine wash. Warm water helps break up any body oils absorbed during use, and also opens up the fibres so that they are absorbent during wear. Check the care instructions on your garments prior to washing, as some blends will prefer cold water wash. All our Dexter front loader washing machines at Snap allow you to select a cold or warm water wash, perfect for organic blends.
- Avoid fabric softeners and bleach. Due to my daughter’s skin sensitivities, I long ago tossed out the fabric softener and bleach. I believe that there is no reason to expose yourself (or your natural textiles) to the chemicals in softeners when natural alternatives exist. Not only are they safer for you, your family and the environment, but they’re much more economical too. At Snap, you can add natural alternatives to your washing in the front loaders through the funnel at the top of each machine. You can –
- Add a quarter cup of baking soda to wash cycle to soften fabric, or
- Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to rinse to soften fabric and eliminate cling, or
- Check out your local health food store for a natural fabric softener that uses a natural base like soy instead of chemicals.
- Tumble dry. You can tumble dry bamboo clothing, linen and towels on a low setting. Tumble drying generally improves the absorbency of bamboo based towels, but it is important to not over dry them as this will make them feel harsh and crunchy. Our dryers at Snap allow for drying on a low setting, and you can open the dryers at any time during their cycle to check your garments.
When cared for correctly, bamboo based textiles will last for years to come, providing an excellent organic and durable alternative for clothing, bedding and towels.
Michelle – Author, Mum & Owner Snap Laundromat