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Sustainability creator shares how to keep clothes from stiffening up after air-drying

Krystalynn Gier (@krystallynngier), a TikTok creator focused on sustainability, shared her tips for air-drying your clothes and keeping them from getting stiff in the process.

“Air-drying clothes has to be the best life hack I learned as an adult,” Gier said in her original TikTok post about air-drying from Aug. 25. “Air-drying has kept my clothes from accidentally shrinking, kept the colors brighter and makes me feel good since it’s an eco-friendly way to dry clothes.”

However, with air drying, some people have complained that their clothes are stiff afterwards. In response to a comment from her earlier post, Gier offered tips to help them out on their environmentally safe drying journey.

“If your clothes are always crunchy after air drying, I know your exact problem,” Gier said in her follow-up video on Sept. 7. “If you’re struggling with crunchy clothes after air-drying, try one of these three things and see if it works for you.”

The first thing Gier said to do is check the amount of laundry detergent or fabric softener you’re using when washing clothes.

“If you use too much, it leaves residue on your clothes, which will make them stiff,” she said. “Speaking from personal experience, you don’t even need fabric softener.”

According to Ryan Lupberger, CEO and co-founder of laundry detergent company Cleancult, people should use between 0.5 and 1 oz. of detergent per load depending on if their washing machine is high- or low-efficiency. Detergent pods can also be a way to regulate detergent use because it is a pre-measured amount.

Secondly, Gier recommended simply shaking out the clothes after taking them out of the washer.

In addition to preserving clothes, she said, air-drying garments can help reduce a person’s individual energy output.

“Air drying is a great way to protect your clothes and protect the planet,” she said.

According to Earth911.com, the carbon dioxide that comes from a load of laundry mainly stems from the dryer. A washing machine normally accounts for 1% of home energy use, while the dryer is responsible for almost 6% — the largest contributor.

Lastly, she said that if the clothes are still stiff with these tips, a steamer will help loosen any wrinkles.

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