Energy prices are high and resources are ever dwindling. Luckily, there are things you can easily do to help conserve energy!
A study by Cambridge University’s Institute of Manufacturing found that 60% of the energy associated with a piece of clothing is spent in washing and drying it. Over its lifetime, a t-shirt can send up to 9 lbs. of carbon dioxide into the air!
The following tips can save you over hundreds of dollars per year, preserve your clothing and the earth!
AVOID USING HOT WATER
Use warm or cold water for the wash cycle instead of hot (except for greasy stains) and only use cold for rinsing.
90% of the energy used in washing clothes is driven by the temperature of the water used. Reducing your hot water temperature setting from hot to warm could reduce a load’s energy in half.
Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. A setting of 120 F is adequate for most home needs. The temperature of the rinse water does not affect cleaning, so always set the washing machine on cold water rinse.
WASH ACCORDING TO THE FABRIC TYPE & HOW DIRTY YOUR CLOTHES ARE
Do not over-wash clothes. Delicate clothes do not need a long wash like dirty clothes do.
LOAD WASHER TO CAPACITY
Load the washing machine to capacity when possible. Washing one large load will take less energy than washing two loads on a low or medium setting.
USE THE LAUNDRESS SPECIALTY DETERGENTS
The Laundress Detergents are ultra concentrated, so you use less but get more.
Do not use too much detergent. In top-loading machines add 3 capfuls (1/4 cup, 2 oz, 60 ml)
In HE and front-loading machines use 1.5 capfuls (1/8 cup, 1 oz, 30 ml) or suggested dispenser amount. Over-sudsing makes your machine work harder and uses more energy.
MAINTAIN YOUR WASHER
Clean your washer monthly; machine build up, lime scale and rust in your washer can raise energy bills up to 25%. Add (1/2 cup, 4 oz, 120 ml) to your machine dispenser and run a long load with hot water.
MAINTAIN YOUR DRYER
Your dryer drum collects lint and can affect the efficiency of your dryer. Use a cloth or sponge and dip in cleaning solution (One capful of The Laundress Stain Solution and 1 liter of water). Wipe inside of dryer to remove lint.
Clean the dryer filter after each use. A clogged filter will restrict flow and reduce dryer performance.
Check the outside dryer exhaust vent. Make sure it is clean and that the flapper on the outside hood opens and closes freely.
Locate your dryer in a heated space. Putting it in a cold or damp basement or an unheated garage will make the dryer work harder and less efficiently.
DON’T OVERDRY CLOTHING
Take clothes out while they are slightly damp to reduce the need for ironing – another big energy user. If your dryer has a setting for auto-dry, be sure to use it instead of the timer to avoid wasting energy.
DRY SIMILAR FABRICS TOGETHER
Separate your clothes and dry similar types of clothes together. Lightweight synthetics dry much quicker than bath towels and natural fiber clothes. Dry full loads when possible, but be careful not to overfill the dryer. Drying small loads wastes energy – air should be able to circulate freely around the drying clothes.
Do not add wet items to a load that is already partially dried.
Try to dry two or more loads in a row – taking advantage of the heat still in the dryer from the first load.
LINE DRY OUTSIDE
6% – 10% of residential energy use goes towards the electric dryer. If Americans, or even just New Englanders, would use the clothesline or wooden drying racks, the savings would be enough to close several power plants!
Top 5 Reasons to Line Dry:
1. Save money (more than $100 a year off electric bill for most households).
2. Conserves energy and the environment.
3. Dryer fires account for about 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths and 400 injuries annually. The yearly national fire loss for dryer fires in structures is estimated at $99 million.
4. Clothes last longer. Where do you think lint comes from?
5. Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.
Indoor racks can humidify in dry winter weather.*
*In the Pacific Northwest and other locations prone to indoor mold, you should be careful before hang drying your clothing basement.
Cut your electricity bill and save time. Promptly take your clothes out of the dryer so they don’t wrinkle or even better, line dry your clothes. Use The Laundress Crease Release to soothe out wrinkles.
Elimination of tumble drying (which uses around 60% of the use phase energy) and ironing, along with a lower wash temperature, will lead to around 50% reduction in global climate change impact of the product.
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