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How to use water efficiently in the laundry

Water is a precious natural resource that should not be wasted. According to research, a medium American family requires as much as 50 gallons of water per washing cycle, making laundry the largest water use in American Households. This can add a considerable cost to your water but beyond the expense, in an arid climate where water conservation is a concern, saving water is a necessity. Here are some simple tips and tricks you can adopt to minimize your water and energy use while still getting your clothes clean.


Use an efficient washing machine


An efficient washing machine can help you save as much as 260,000 litres per household per year. When choosing a suitable machine to use, consider purchasing an energy star labeled washing machine. An energy star label is a rating that indicates the amount of water used per cubic feet (load capacity) of the washer. Usually, the smaller the rating, the more water-efficient the washing machine. A water-efficient washing machine model should have at least four water efficiency stars and an adjustable water level. These machines use less water in general because; they rinse clothes with a high-pressure spray, Instead of soaking them. Thus, you can be sure your washing machine will use less water and energy to run compared to non –energy star labeled machines.


 In addition to that, look for the following water-saving features when purchasing a water-efficient washing machine:


  • Auto Sensing: This feature helps to automatically adjust the water level according to the load’s weight and level of soiling. For instance, if you have a small load, you can reduce the water level. Most modern washers come with this feature.
  • Fast wash: You can choose to have a fast wash when you have lightly soiled loads. Fast wash mode can clean your clothes in as little as 20 minutes.
  • Pre-wash: This feature allows the machine to fill with water and soak the laundry for a set period. After the set period expires, the regular wash cycle begins. The feature helps you save water by doing one–and–a–half washes instead of two full washes.
  • Eco-cycle: This mode uses lower wash and temperatures; thus, less energy is required for heating. Although you might not save a lot of water using this mode, you’ll save on your power consumption. The trade-off is that it takes longer than the regular programmes.


Wash full loads of laundry


Running a full load is the most efficient way to save water. Rather than running many small loads of laundry, keep them to run larger, fuller loads instead. It is important to remember that every time a machine is used, you’re consuming water. Thus consolidating washes is more efficient. 


Skip the extra rinse cycle


When running the laundry, skip the extra rinse cycle unless you have a specific problem. The extra rinse cycle is meant to remove detergent more thoroughly from your clothing. Thus, if you use the right amount of detergent, it is not necessary. However, if you have a sensitive skin, consider using it or purchasing a gentle, all-natural chemical-free detergent.


Use a front load machine


Front-loading machines use less water and electricity than the average top-loading washing machine. This also means less water to heat so that the saving will show up on both your water and energy utility bills. In addition to that, an efficient front loader helps to conserve the environment.


Avoid overloading the drum


If the washing machine is too full, it won’t be able to clean your clothes thoroughly, and you might need to do a rewash. To avoid this, ensure you load the correct amount of clothes. You can use your bathroom scales to measure how much a laundry basket weighs. Remember to always check the maximum amount of weight your machine can hold.


Pre-treat difficult stains before washing them


To avoid having to rewash clothing, pre-treat stains by saturating them with a stain remover. If the stain is very bad, consider rubbing it gently with a toothbrush. Pre-treating will ensure all the stain is removed during the first wash cycle, and this will save you from having to rewash clothes the second time hence saving water.


Carry out regular laundry room maintenance


Carry out regular laundry room maintenance by checking your washer for leaks and drips. Pay special attention to hose connections and similar vulnerable spots. For instance, if you locate any puddles around or underneath the appliances, then address them immediately. Check and re-fasten hoses connected to your washing machine. If there is any leaking, tighten the connection using a pipe wrench or ask help from a professional plumber.


Frequently asked questions about washing machines


  • What is the fastest way to get your laundry done, from start to finish?

For maximum efficiency, there are three steps to get your laundry done. Start by washing the laundry; next, use an extractor to squeeze as much moisture out of the wet laundry. Finally, finish by using a dryer to dry your cloth to completion. Using an extractor before the dyer significantly reduces the amount of drying time required.


  • Which is a more efficient, front-loading or top-loading washer?

Front-loaders have a larger holding capacity, more cycle options, are more energy-efficient, use less water and can clean a larger amount of clothes at a go. On the other hand, top loaders only work sufficiently for a minimal amount of laundry .Thus, front loaders are more efficient.


  • What should I look for when buying a washing machine?

A washing machine is a significant investment, and thus it is crucial to pick a suitable machine that can save you both time and money. Some of the essential factors to account for when choosing a washing machine include water and energy efficiency, type, spin, speed , capacity, size, and price.


  • How long should a washing machine last?

On average, a quality brand new washing machine should last around six years before it is replaced. However, you can increase the lifespan of your washing machine by simply taking good care of it.

  • What is an eco-friendly washing machine?

These washers have low energy and water consumption and also run more quietly. If you’re environmentally conscious, an eco-friendly machine is good for the environment and helps save money. They also last longer and have minimal carbon emissions.

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