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Washing clothes is perhaps one of the most dreaded chores in the home, but we all have to face it one way or another. Aside from making sure that our clothes come out fresh and clean, an increasing concern these days is how to do so while not using up too much water and energy. It’s always wise to find ways to conserve these resources because they are getting scarcer and scarcer in many places. Saving on water and electricity also leads to lower utility bills and some extra money in your pocket. But just how can you save water and energy when doing your laundry? Here are some ways to do so.
Go for Energy-Efficient Appliances
If you use a washing machine for your household laundry, it’s best to choose one that has an Energy Star label. This means that the machine has been designed and built to use the appropriate volume of water every time you use it. Moreover, it possesses features such as a pressure spray to help clean your clothes instead of allowing them to soak in a lot of water for a long time to get rid of the dirt in the fabric. This is an important consideration in looking for the best washing machine for your family’s needs.
Here in the Philippines, appliances for sale also typically have yellow Energy Guide labels that show consumers the products’ efficiency rating. The higher the rating, the lower the electricity an appliance consumes.
Go for a Full Load During Each Wash
Instead of throwing your clothes into the washing machine frequently, consolidate your laundry to fit a full load. Remember that you use water and electricity each time you operate your machine, so scheduling a regular full laundry session will allow you to save not only time but precious resources as well. Grab a calendar and jot down certain days of the week when you can do your laundry. Nevertheless, you have to make sure that you don’t overload your washer to avoid the risk of damaging your machine.
Use the Correct Washer Settings
Operate your washing machine properly by selecting the appropriate settings such as the load size whenever you use it. This will match the right amount of water for the clothes you are laundering. Additionally, avoid using hot water as much as possible because warming up the water uses a lot of electricity.
Address Stains Beforehand
Sometimes, extremely dirty clothes come out of the washing machine with stains that are still visible, prompting you to throw them back in to wash them again. To avoid this, inspect your clothes for stains and address them with some spot treatments such as rubbing or soaking the area with bleach or detergent as applicable.
Keep Your Washing Machine in Tiptop Shape
Just like with any other machine or appliance, you should have your washing machine regularly inspected and checked for any leaks or malfunctions, preferably by a maintenance professional. Operating a faulty washing machine will likely lead to the overconsumption of water and energy, more costly repairs, or even an early replacement in the future.
Do Some Handwashing
If you can help it, skip using the washing machine altogether. Using some elbow grease to handwash your clothes is a great form of exercise as well. You can resort to handwashing small items such as underwear or sleepwear as they are delicate to begin with. You can extend the life of these apparel by washing them by hand, which many homemakers already know is great for garments that need extra TLC.
As you hand wash, there are a lot of steps you can take to save water. Don’t allow the faucet to run continuously; instead, use a bucket or pail to use just the right amount of water you need. Additionally, take it easy with the detergent so you avoid using too much water in rinsing the clothes. You can even opt to collect and use rainwater for handwashing! The water you used to rinse your clothes can then be used further to flush your toilets. These may take a little bit of effort but Mother Nature will surely thank you for it.
Be Prudent in Wearing Clothes
Perhaps, the best measure to save water and energy in the household is to wash your clothes less often. This means wearing them more than once and resisting the temptation to throw everything into the laundry at the end of the day. Heavier items of clothing such as coats and jackets are worn less often anyway, so you also don’t need to wash them all the time. Simply dust them off after use, spray a bit of fabric freshener on them, and then hang them on the clothes rack.
Change Out Home Linens Less Often
It’s also a good idea to extend your use of home items like towels, bathrobes, and kitchen rags for a little bit longer than usual. You can also schedule the replacement of bed sheets, pillowcases, slipcovers, curtains, and other fabric-based home accessories on a less frequent basis. These will all help lessen your laundry load and lead to substantial water and energy savings.
With the global move toward environmental consciousness and sustainable living, washing your clothes while saving water and electricity will always be a good thing. You may not realize it, but you can help conserve natural resources in these small ways every time you do your laundry.
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