Washing machines make life much easier, but they also use up a lot of water and electricity. You could make some simple tweaks to help with that. For instance, call in your plumber and have him connect your washing machine’s exit pipe to your toilet system. That way, you can use your laundry wastewater for flushing. You could also ask the plumber to connect the outlet to your lawn, where it can water your grass or link to the sprinkler system.
These two options are basic, but they only apply if you use detergent that is safe for plants. Still, you can work on the power-saving side of things, cutting down your electricity bills. If you’re in the market for a new washer or dryer, buy an energy-saving model. If not, tweak the one you have. Start by looking at the control panel on your washing machine. There’s an on/off switch and maybe a timer. There might also be settings for delicates, regular cycles, or intense wash cycles. Check if there are energy-saving modes and turn them on.
Go for the cold wash
We assume that washing clothes with hot water will make them cleaner. The heat will loosen the dirt and any grease or bodily oils will melt away. However, heating that water takes a lot of energy, whether it warms in the washing machine or is transferred from a heater. You can cut down expenses drastically just by washing with cold water. If you’re worried that the soap won’t dissolve as effectively, look for a brand of soap designed for low temperature washes.
Keep in mind that hot water can sometimes strengthen stains or shrink clothes. It can also cause clothes to shed colour which will then set into other clothes – because of the heat. Still, if you must use hot water, don’t use the default setting of 140 degrees. Dial it down to 120. Those twenty degrees can save you hundreds of dollars in power bills. Another common mistake is to run a smaller load, washing just the one blouse you intend to wear.
Load and spin
This might save you water, but your machine will use the same number of electrical units, whether its washing one shirt or one hundred socks. Of course, power savings aren’t restricted to the wash cycle. Your dryer can inadvertently use a lot of power as well. Spin your clothes before you dry them, so they spend a shorter time in the drying cycle. Always inspect the lint filter and empty it. If it’s full, it can soil your clothes, but it also restricts the movement of air, which slows the drying time.
If you’re dealing with delicates or if you have a good spinner, you could skip the dryer cycle altogether, allowing the damp clothes to dry in the open air. Use a good quality clothesline and smooth pegs or hangers, to avoid damaging your clothes or pulling any frayed string. Inside the dryer itself, there are some tricks you can use to speed up the process. Many people use tennis balls, dryer balls, or dry towels. Add these to your dryer – they soak up water making your clothes dry more quickly, and therefore cutting down power usage.
Calibrate your dryer
If your dryer has an inbuilt heater or blower to help with the drying, you could dial down its temperature levels. You may think this will dry your clothes more slowly, but it will use less power cumulatively. It will also lessen the chances of shrinkage and heat damage to your clothes. The most important step in machine laundry is one we almost always overlook. Yes, machines can get rid of dirt, but some stains are best removed by hand.
Think about it. If your garment got a wine, ink, or soup spill, putting it into the wash might merely disseminate the stain onto other clothes. You’ll then use more power, water, and soap re-doing the whole load. Also, many stains are resistant to the generalized agitation of a washing machine. While you’re sorting by colour and fabric, check each individual garment for stains. Spot-treat each stain by hand, then add the partially clean clothing to the wash.