Doing laundry while respecting the environment is possible. There are in fact many tricks to save energy, water, detergent and plastic when using the washing machine. Let’s discover them together.
Laundry Tips: Choose Your Detergent Wisely
To make an ecological washing machine, start by buying the right products.
In fact, washing machine detergents are not all the same. There are more environmentally friendly products in both composition and packaging. Opt for biodetergents that contain biodegradable and non-polluting substances, without phosphates, chlorine, dyes and formaldehyde. As for the packaging, choose detergents with recyclable plastic packaging or in practical refills.
Use the Recommended Amount of Detergent
One of the most polluting habits when doing laundry is to add detergent without measuring it. Or even worse, believing that the more detergent you put on the more clean your clothes will be. That’s not the case. In fact, detergent is very polluting. Too much detergent not only doesn’t wash “more” – it also makes the clothes dirty.
As a result, the washing machine won’t be able to rinse them with a normal program. For this reason, you will be forced to do an extra rinse, wasting more water and energy than necessary. Moreover, in the long run the detergent will ruin textile fibres, especially polo shirts, delicate shirts and mixed fabrics.
Give up Fabric Softener
For an ecological washing machine it is better to avoid fabric softener. However, you can replace it with natural and ecological products such as citric acid. Otherwise, if you want to obtain soft cloths without using fabric softener, iron them while they are still damp.
Avoid Half Loads when Doing the Laundry
When using the washing machine, it is also important to pay attention to how many clothes you wash. Only start the washing machine when you have a good amount of laundry to wash, so as not to waste water and energy on just a few clothes.
Furthermore, there is no need to meticulously divide the whites from the coloured and the dark ones. Not all garments release colour, especially if they are old and you wash them at low temperatures. This information is valuable because by combining different coloured cloths you will always be able to collect enough cloths to fill the whole washing machine.
Skip the Pre-Wash
Pre-washing is an option in all washing machines and consists of preventive soaking with extra soap. It is used when the cloths are particularly dirty or if there is some stubborn stain. However, you can avoid this step, as laundry is hardly ever so dirty to need it. You can do this eventually by hand, using only a little water and soap in a bowl.
As for stains, it is better to pre-treat them with a specific stain remover and then proceed with a simple wash, even at low temperatures.
Study the Best Time Slot for an Ecological Laundry
Check your bill to find out which time slot is the cheapest. In general, using the washing machine during daylight hours is more expensive because it is precisely during those hours that the maximum demand for energy is concentrated.
Lower the Temperature and the Centrifuge
Temperatures play also a very important role. You don’t always need to wash your laundry at 60 °C, on the contrary, the classic 30 °C is almost always enough. Use the high temperatures only for particularly dirty clothes, if you want to bleach light-coloured clothes and for underwear. By using a lower washing temperature, you can save up to 70% energy.
The same principle applies to centrifuges: set low rpm for all clothes (400 rpm is sufficient). This way, they will come out of the basket less crumpled and you will iron with less effort. Do not use the centrifuge for delicate garments or garments you do not want to iron at all.