When it comes to laundry I usually end up feeling a little bit guilty – especially at the end of an 8 load laundry day which seems to happen quite regularly around here with a family of 4 and two dirty little boys! The water consumption that Canadians and Americans use for laundry alone is staggering. ¹ One American family uses 16,000 gallons of water a year in their washer. With just over 80 million washers installed in the US alone, that is 1, 280, 000, 000, 000 gallons of water. And that’s not even including commercial washers.
² Traditional top-loading washing machines use about forty gallons of water per load, whereas Energy Star washers use only about twenty-five gallons per load. That’s a 40 percent savings in water, which translates into an energy cost savings of almost 50 percent. Did you know that a front-loading Energy Star washer will save enough energy annually to light your entire home for a month and a half, and it saves as much water in a year as the average person drinks in a lifetime???
We’ve been using energy efficient front loaders for a number of years already, but with our most recent washer and dryer purchase just a few months ago I really took notice of the difference a front loader makes. Maybe the technology has improved or it’s a better quality set, but my washing and drying efficiency is exceptional! Our new set has an extremely fast/high spin speed so my towels and clothes (even heavy blankets) come out feeling practically dry which cuts down on my drying time. Combine that with a warm or cold wash cycle, our eco-friendly tankless hot water heater, some (mostly) eco-friendly detergent and I’m green cleaning like it’s nobodies business.
I admit I still struggle with finding the perfect eco detergent even after all the brands I’ve tried (I definitely have my favorites for cloth diapers though) so if you an amazing recipe for DIY detergent that you enjoy please leave me a comment below! I’m determined to make my own!
Do you have other eco-friendly laundry tips? Do you hang dry (inside) in the wintertime? How many loads do you do a week? (Or a day?)