Could you use cold water for laundry?
For day 42 of our carbon fast we are looking at our laundry habits.
The suggestion reads “only use your washing machine when you have a full load, and run it on cold whenever possible. Run at maximum spin to reduce drying time and avoid using a tumble drier. A typical washing machine uses 90% of its energy to heat the water. Generally, cold water gets your clothes just as clean and saves about 2 pounds of CO2 per load. “
Well I think I’m just about ok with this one apart from the cold washing. I’ve washed clothes in cold water and it comes out filthy.
little Miss Green likes to get muddy and washing mud in cold water just means you get muddy streaks over everything – not good. In addition, it seems that eco powders and liquids are ineffective at these temperatures and to be honest I’d be better off washing by hand because I’ve actually wasted electricity and water and I STILL end up with dirty clothes.
So my feeling is that cold washing probably works if you wear your clothes once and like to freshen it up or if you’re just not as dirty as us! I also think it’s more likely to be effective in a soft water area (we have hard water).
One thing I would caution against from the suggestion given is fast spinning. I deliberately bought a machine with a fast spin because I too, thought it was better to get the clothes out of the machine semi dry.
The thing is, what you gain in drying time you lose in fabric care. We noticed after a few months our clothes were becoming threadbare and misshapen. The only changes we had made was a fast spin. So now we slow it down, but as you’ll see from a previous post, we still manage to live without a tumble dryer in order to reduce our carbon footprint and save money. We simply hang lines up in the dining room before we go to bed if it’s bad weather and in good weather, well it’s a no brainer – there’s nothing so great as a line full of sun-dried laundry.
Does cold washing work for you?
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