Keeping Clothes Clean With Green...Washers and Dryers Keeping Clothes Clean With Green...Washers and Dryers

Keeping Clothes Clean With Green...Washers and Dryers

For years commercials have touted the strength of washing machines and laundry detergents to powerfully destroy stains of all kinds, including tough green grass stains. But have you ever considered how a “green” washing machine can clean your clothes even better?

Now, when I say “green” washing machine, I’m not talking about one of the new color matching washers. I’m talking about washing machines that are more Earth-friendly.

How Appliances Affect the Planet

The appliances in your home need electricity to operate. Electricity is delivered by the electric company’s power plants. The power plants have to burn excessive amounts of fossil fuel in order to keep up with the heavy electricity load. Burning fossil fuel creates pollution which increases nasty trends such as acid rain and global warming.

Hence, the less electricity you use, the less fossil fuel will be burned and ultimately, less pollution. So you can see how making a simple adjustment can improve the odds of beating global warming, especially when more people contribute to the cause.

If your washer and/or dryer are older models, or if you notice it may be time to replace them, look for the Energy Star label on the new appliances at the store. The Energy Star label signifies that the appliance you’re looking at is rated at least 15% lower than the current federal standard for energy usage. The label will also provide you with plenty of other important information, like the approximate annual costs of operating the appliance. Get a complete explanation of the Energy Star label.

In addition to purchasing an Energy Star washer and dryer, there are some laundry tips which can help you conserve energy, save money and even end up with cleaner clothes:

  • Since nearly 90% of the energy your washer consumes is due to the heating of the water, it makes sense to keep the heat level of your washer set to “warm.” Washing clothes with a warm wash and a cold rinse is just as effective as washing in hot and rinsing in warm. Plus, your clothes won’t shrink as much!
  • If you’re only washing the outfit you wore last night, don’t use a full load setting. All you’re doing is wasting water, detergent and energy. Use the load setting for the size of the load.
  • If your home uses well water, make sure you have a water conditioner on your system. The conditioner softens the water, making it better for cleaning clothes. It’s also important to make sure the conditioner tank is filled with salt, which you can buy in large bags at the home improvement store.
  • The length of time for an average load of wet clothes to dry in the dryer is 40 minutes to an hour. If you notice your loads are still damp after that time, you’re probably over filling it. Learn more about purchasing a clothes dryer.
  • The dryer’s lint filter should be cleaned after each and every load. If left to clog, it could lead to carbon monoxide build-up.
  • Hang large items like comforters and blankets outside to dry when practical.
  • Routinely check the dryer vent on the exterior of your home. If it is clogged it will make your dryer work extra hard.

If you’re really interested in conserving energy and you have a few extra bucks to spend on a washer, choose a front-loading washer. Front loaders use significantly less water and require less energy to heat the water. They also handle larger loads than most top-loading models. And hey, if you really want a “green” washer, they come in a variety of colors to compliment any laundry room décor.
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Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, N.J. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.

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