The washing machine is one of the five home appliances that consume the most energy and water. And, the inflation of prices of basic supplies such as electricity, gas, and water does nothing more than increase the average annual expenditure of a family in the payment of bills.
For this reason, today we review a series of recommendations to save water and energy in the use of the washing machine.
The fridge, the television, and the washing machine are the three appliances that consume the most energy in a home, so looking for savings in their consumption becomes a priority when the price of electricity and gas skyrockets.
The increase in the cost of basic supplies and consumption habits involves a large outlay of money in the family or personal economy.
How to save energy and water when putting the washing machine
According to data from the OCU (Organization of Consumers and Users) putting a washing machine with a capacity of 7 kilos per wash supposes a cost of 42 to 62 liters of water.
Regarding the energy consumed by the washing machine, the organization indicates that it represents 8% of the annual energy consumption of a family, a figure that rises to 11% if the dryer is used.
Both factors depend directly on the contracted electricity rate, the hours in which this appliance is used, and how the prices of these energies evolve in the markets, currently on the rise.
Next, we review everything you can do to save water and energy in the use of the washing machine.
1. Wash full loads
In an attempt to save, there are many mistakes that we make when using the washing machine. For example, it is common to overload it, add more doses of detergent thinking that the clothes will clean better, and it is even common to always wash clothes with the same washing program. Avoid these mistakes!
To be really efficient when using this appliance you must learn to organize your laundry and wash only full loads. This implies separating the clothes by colors, and categories and selecting the most suitable washing cycle for the degree of soiling of the clothes.
For example, heavily soiled clothes with greasy stains should be washed with a long wash cycle, at high temperatures, and with a powder (or liquid) detergent.
2. Do not overwash clothes
It is customary to wash clothes after a single use, even when no stains or odors are noticeable. With this, you not only spend more energy and money, but you also contribute to greater wear on clothes, especially jeans.
If your washing machine has eco programs or short programs, from 15 to 20 minutes, use them to clean clothes that are not very dirty. If you follow this advice, remember to fill the drum to the maximum of its capacity, but without subjecting it to excess.
3. Use a concentrated and biodegradable detergent
Detergent is the central element of all laundry. A good detergent will not only clean clothes well, it will also keep the colours, fibers and structure of the garment looking like the first day.
Therefore, to save more water and energy in the use of the washing machine, we recommend that you use a concentrated detergent that is respectful of the environment.
The capsules or pods are perfect for this task, as they are dosed, which avoids the waste of detergent and the generation of waste.
The capsule detergent is characterized by being more ecological and easy to use.
4. Wash delicate fabrics by hand
If you have two or three garments that are made of silk, cashmere, or lace, it is best to wash them by hand, with cold water and a special detergent that takes care of the fibers and seams of the garment. You can apply this tip to garments with delicate beads, tassels, and sequins.
In general, this type of garment requires special care that is specified on its washing label. In fact, some can only be hand washed or dry cleaned.
In addition, they are garments that do not abound in our wardrobe, so you can do without the washing machine to keep them in good condition and last longer.
5. Wash cold whenever possible
According to the Catalan Institute of Energy, 85% of the energy used by the washing machine is to heat the water. Yes, using wash cycles at 90ºC consumes four times more energy than a wash cycle at 40ºC.
For this reason and as a cost-saving measure, we recommend washing lightly soiled laundry at a low temperature and delicate fabrics such as organic cotton, wool, linen, and underwear.
According to various studies, 75% of citizens always use the same washing program. Trying the “eco” cycles saves energy while using this appliance.
6. Take advantage of the sun to dry your clothes
The dryer makes it much easier to quickly dry fabrics. However, it is also one of the most energy-consuming appliances. For this reason, and whenever the weather allows it, we recommend hanging your clothes outdoors.
If you do not have this option, it is advisable that you store your clothes indoors. But be careful, if you choose this option, always do it in a place with good ventilation. Ventilation will keep humidity levels from rising.
Also, try to hang the clothes as soon as the wash cycle is finished. Otherwise, garments can become damp and moldy, causing them to wrinkle more, smell bad, and become stiff.
To solve it, you will have to put the washing machine back on, which means more water and energy consumption.
7. Buy a more efficient washing machine
Did you know that the washing machine is one of the 5 appliances that consume the most energy? Therefore, if you have to buy a new washing machine, choose one that has an A or B energy efficiency label.
This labeling is important because it informs us about the water consumption, the noise, and the spin speed of a washing machine, in addition to the energy consumption per washing cycle.
Of course, buying a washing machine with an energy label is a long-term investment, as it helps us save money and be more efficient.
Each washing machine comes integrated with a series of specifications such as its load capacity, its consumption, and the number of programs it contains.
8. Clean your washing machine
A washing machine that is dirty inside will not do its job well and the clothes will come out dirty, with traces of detergent or a bad smell. This is due to the fact that, inside it, especially in its filter, limescale, mold and even small objects (which fall out of the pockets when we do not check them) accumulate.
The solution? Deep clean this appliance once every three to four months. Remember, limescale is a problem that can increase the consumption of the washing machine by up to 20%.
9. Choose the washing time
With the increase in the price of electricity and the new electricity bill, new time slots arrived: peak hours (the most expensive), flat hours (average price) and off-peak hours (the cheapest).
To save energy in the use of the washing machine and on your electricity bill, we recommend you use the washing machine when electricity is cheaper , that is, in the valley section (from 00:00 to 08:00 on weekdays and throughout the day). weekends and holidays).
For example, to avoid disturbing your neighbors, you can put the washing machine on in the morning or do the laundry on weekends. Keep in mind that all weekends and national holidays are considered off-peak hours.