May 9th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
If you live close to your mom, show gratitude for all she has done over the years by tackling her laundry today—and consider giving her an eco-friendly cleaning makeover.
When doing loads of laundry (or stacks of dishes), remember to use less detergent. Appliance experts say many of the repairs they make can be traced to detergent overuse. Today’s appliances have been created to use less water in their cleaning cycles, so less soap is generally required.
Far too often, people equate “clean” with tons of suds, but too much soap can make dishes filmy and streaky and leave clothing stiff. Many environmentally friendly detergents are concentrated, which means less is required for thorough cleaning.
New laundry technologies and ENERGY STAR ratings also cut energy and environmental costs.
“Today’s clothes washers are much more energy-efficient than older models, and manufacturers are introducing new features like LG’s 6Motion technology, which cleans clothes while using less water and energy,” says Betsy Poczkalski, a home economist for LG Electronics USA.
With this new technology, a cold-wash option penetrates deep into fabrics, while providing the same performance as warm-water washing and using up to 51% less energy.
For Your Organic Bookshelf: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning
Read More:Give Mom a Green Laundry Break
July 28th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
How much water does an ENERGY STAR-rated clothes washer save?
It can literally cut your water usage in half.
A standard washer uses 32.5 gallons of water per load, while an ENERGY STAR-rated machine uses only 15 gallons, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
ENERGY STAR-rated washers also allow you to adjust water levels for smaller loads, and they spin-dry your clothes more effectively, which reduces dryer time.
While the average clothes washer lasts about 11 years, those manufactured before 1999 use 400% more energy than ENERGY STAR-rated models.
As of July 1, ENERGY STAR machines were required to be at least 43% more energy-efficient than the minimum federal standard, and they must meet stringent water-efficiency criteria.
Check out the DOE’s Make a Clean Change—Recycle Your Old Washer program, which promotes rebates on energy-efficient models. Recycling also saves about $145 per year in utility bills.
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Photo courtesy of GE
Read More:Is Your Clothes Washer an ENERGY STAR?
July 27th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), heating the water in your clothes washer accounts for 90% of the energy used when doing laundry.
As the DOE explains:
There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes: Use less water and use cooler water. Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, the warm- or cold-water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half.
Here are some additional tips:
- Wait until you have a full load before doing laundry.
- Avoid the super-hot Sanitary Cycle, which significantly increases energy use.
- Activate the high-spin/extended-spin option to reduce any remaining water, which will decrease dryer time.
- Front-loading washers use airtight seals to prevent water from leaking while the machine is in use. When the machine is not in use, this seal can trap moisture in the machine and lead to mold formation. Leave the door ajar for an hour or two after use to allow moisture to evaporate. Safety alert: Make sure children do not climb into the machine while the door is open.
- Buy an ENERGY STAR-rated machine. (More on this tomorrow…)
For Your Organic Bookshelf: Laundry: The Home Comforts Book of Caring for Clothes and Linens
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