How you can save the Earth and dollars from changing your laundry habits
Laundry is one that is done on a regular basis, so finding ways to do it in an eco-friendly and efficient way can save you cash in the long run too. We put together 10 key tips.
Using cold wash for your laundry loads is the easiest way to save energy and money. Note that not all washing machines come with the hot water option. If you have both options, turn on the hot water option for cleaning fabrics like beddings and your children’s soft toys, where hot water helps to kill bacteria and dust mites. However, cold wash is effective enough for keeping other types of laundry clean. Producing hot water takes a surge in energy use. So by switching to cold wash, you’ll find your energy usage shrinking and your clothes retaining the quality of the fabric better.
Opt for front-loading washing machines
Top-loading washing machines use significantly more water than front-loading washing machines. Of course, some would say that top loading washing machines are useful for soaking, which will help lift grime of the fabric fibres. So before you purchase your next washing machine, consider your habits. If it’s possible to adapt to a front-loading washing machine, then that would be your best bet at saving the Earth.
Look for energy efficiency
In addition to preferring front-loading washing machines, look for energy efficient ratings. There are Energy Star ratings, which originate from Europe, and Singapore’s Energy Labelling Scheme. If your budget allows, go for four ticks in the latter labelling scheme for a highly efficient washing machine.
Choose a washing machine that suits your load size
When it’s time for a new washing machine, consider the areas where your existing washing machine falls short of your usage patterns. Do you find yourself having to wash two separate loads: one full and the other half? If yes, you need a bigger washing machine to accommodate your household needs. For a small household of two persons, a smaller washing machine that can fit the week’s laundry in one load would be optimal. Which means you only have to spend one day in the week to take care of your laundry and free up the rest of your precious weekend for bonding.
Wash full loads
Try as much as possible to wash full loads of laundry. Though there are options for smaller loads, often more water than necessary is still being used in the wash cycle. Make use of laundry bags. That way, you can wash different types of fabrics in one load without worrying about lint from some fabrics sticking on others.
Get rid of the dryer if possible
So you may lament the hot and humid weather of our climate, but it presents one advantage ¬– in the laundry department, that is. In our climate, there’s really no need to use a dryer. Let your clothes dry in the sun. With the heat, even indoor drying works. It may take a little longer, but indoor drying is just as effective.
Use eco-friendly detergents
When buying detergents, look for those with eco-friendly labelling such as Singapore’s Green Label. Why is it important to choose eco-friendly detergents? Regular detergents may contain chemicals that are harmful when released in the water systems. Water is a precious resource in many countries especially in Singapore, where water is purchased from neighbouring water or reprocessed into Newater.
Wear clothing more than once
Clothes that are worn lightly can be worn more than once. Be sure to air your clothes out before they are worn again. You’ll find that your laundry loads will decrease significantly with this new habit.
Reduce the need for ironing
Ironing is another energy guzzler in the home. Opt for fabrics that do not show wrinkles easily. Right after your laundry is done, hang your clothes to dry and let gravity to its work. Likewise, you can also hang wrinkled fabrics in the bathroom while you shower. Steam will soften and smoothen out the wrinkles in the fabric.