Wash your way to sustainability

There are few of us who can honestly say we enjoy loading and unloading the washing machine several times a week, but it’s one of those tasks we can’t really escape unless we want to pay someone to do it for us. In these lean times, however, it’s likely most of us will be doing our own washing for a while to come.

Just imagine though, if you could make the whole laundry process that little bit more rewarding and even somewhat easier by following a more eco-friendly approach.

Wear your clothes for longer
Of course, we wouldn’t suggest that you wear underwear for more than a day, but things like trousers and shirts usually don’t need washed after just one wearing. By washing your clothes only when they’re noticeably dirty or smelly you can massively reduce your washing machine usage. Unless your job renders your clothes absolutely filthy by the end of the day, there’s no reason you can’t wear them two or three times.

Wash by hand
Seems quaint, but if you have a bit of time to spare and you want to reduce your energy bills, why not? We’re not talking about spending an entire day at the sink doing your whole family’s washing, but if you just have a few whites or delicates that can’t go in with the standard load, washing by hand will save you electricity and detergent.


Dry in the fresh air
Tumble drying is another big energy muncher and you’ll be doing your carbon footprint and your bank balance a big favour if you avoid using it if at all possible. You can dry clothes on the washing line through most of the year so long as it’s not raining. Otherwise, consider using a clothes rack inside. Their pretty cheap and can be folded away when not in use.

Only wash full loads
You’re wasting so much detergent and energy if you only throw a few items of clothing in at a time – and in an age when we’re all supremely conscious of being environmentally friendly and being more frugal with our expenditure, we shouldn’t even have to think about it. Putting a small load in a hot wash is indefensibly wasteful. And by accumulating a hefty pile of washing you’ll be able to optimise your laundry habits. If you’ve only got a few items to wash, doing it by hand is the most practical and sustainable way.

Get an efficient front-loading washing machine
One of the more essential, sustainable options is to upgrade with an efficient front-loading washing machine. These appliances get clothes just as clean but use a lot less water. The vast majority of front-loading models are also rated as being higher in energy-efficiency, meaning you can also minimise the amount of electricity you use to ensure you’ve got a pile of fresh shirts for the next working week.

Use biodegradable soap
There was a time, not so long ago, that biodegradable soaps and powders would have been viewed with a certain level of suspicion by consumers. Nowadays, however, it’s as common as doing the dishes, with many of the major labels proudly boasting on the labels about the product’s biodegradability with its gentle and non-toxic properties. Some of them even go above and beyond the required standards by not testing on animals and working in partnership with certain environmental agencies.

By using your washing machine in a more thoughtful way, you will help to extend its life. Nevertheless, your washing machine, like the rest of us, will age and wear out, and that’s why we’re here. As experts in washing machine repairs and other domestic appliance repairs, we regularly serve clients in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex at very short notice.

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T K Garnham
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