Want to reduce your household bills? Want to save energy? Care about the planet? All of the above? By just making a few simple changes to your laundry routine you could do all of that. Who knew?
Who Knew…? 1 Hot Wash = 10 Washes with Cold Water
The easiest way to save money when doing your laundry is to use less hot water. One hot wash in a washing machine can cost as much as 10 cold ones. And washing clothes at 30˚C also uses around 40% less electricity than washing at higher temperatures. For more information on washing at cooler temperatures check out our washing at 30˚C page.
Other than the money and energy saving benefits, washing with cold water can be better for delicate fabrics, there’s less likelihood of dark or bright colours running, and polyesters are less prone to deform. Cooler water also minimises shrinkage in woolens, and is even advised for some stains such as blood and glue. Without the heat, though, the detergent and the washing machine or hand washer have to work harder to remove dirt. However, the good news is that all our detergents are guaranteed to deliver brilliant cleaning at cool temperatures – helping you save energy and money without compromising on your laundry results.
There may still be times when cold or cool water just isn’t enough as germs and mites need temperatures of 60˚C to kill them, so items such as sheets, towels, facecloths and underwear may need a hotter wash. But you can still keep energy use to a minimum with a short cycle and full loads if you are using a washing machine, as well as sticking to a cold rinse.
Who Knew…? 1 Black Bucket = A Sustainable Laundry Tool
Amazingly, it’s possible to heat your hand washing water without any need for gas or electricity at all. If you take a black bucket, fill it with water and put it in sunlight, the temperature could reach 40⁰C. There are plenty of models on the market, but the basic principle really does just require a simple black container – saving energy couldn’t be easier. The dark colour soaks up the energy from the sun and passes it on to the water. By adding insulators to prevent the heat escaping, reflectors (such as tin foil) to focus more sun onto the bucket, and a clear plastic lid (or even cling film) to stop air movement cooling the surface, you can make the device even more efficient.
Who Knew…? Using Your Tumble Dryer is Like Boiling a Kettle the Whole Time You’re Drying
Your tumble dryer is a real energy guzzler. It’s like having your kettle switched on the whole time your laundry is drying. Of course, the ideal is to dry your washing outdoors, for free, but sometimes that just isn’t feasible. And drying indoors means lots of washing hanging around the house, which isn’t always practical either. But there are still a few things you can do to keep tumble-drying costs down and make sure you’re being energy efficient if you do need to use one.
- Start by making sure the machine is in a warm, well-ventilated location so that it can perform most efficiently.
- Remember to keep the lint screen clean as the dust can cause your tumble dryer to use 30% more energy.
- A high-speed spin in the washing machine first will give the tumble dryer less work to do.
- When you load the dryer, separate clothes out and put items of similar weight in the same load.
- And, whenever possible, dry several loads in succession (delicates first, heaviest last). That way you’ll be making the most of the heat from previous loads.
Even following just a few of these sustainable laundry guidelines could help reduce your bills and save energy. Do let us know your own energy efficient laundry tips in the comments below. We’d love to hear them.