Sunday, May 9, 2010

Reduce Energy and Water When Washing Clothes

Are you aware that energy used to heat water consists of about eighty to ninety percent of the energy used when washing clothes? And wasted energy contributes to greenhouse gas emission which causes global warming. In addition, about 14 percent of all household water use occurs when washing clothes.

There are some things that each of us can do in order to cut energy and water consumption when washing clothes. Try switching your water temperature to the “cold” setting on your washing machine. Setting it at this temperature will adequately clean white and colored clothes, unless the clothes have oil or grease stains. Cold water also retains color in the fabric longer. If your clothes are difficult to clean, presoaking the clothes or using a spot remover will loosen the stain, and using warm water instead of hot water will reduce energy use by half.

Many brands of laundry detergent are made for washing clothes in cold water. Using eco-friendly detergent not only works well in cold water, it also contains no harmful additives. Furthermore, wait until you have a full load of laundry, and if absolutely necessary, set the water level at the appropriate setting for smaller loads. If you are in the market for a new washing machine, look for one with the Energy Star label. These machines use less water and about 50 percent less energy than standard machines, and spin clothes more efficiently which saves on drying time.

By Victoria Walton

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