Posted on: 19 January 2016
When you don't have a washer or dryer at home, you have limited choices about how to do your laundry. Unless you want to hand wash everything, you're stuck with the machines at one of your local laundromats, which may or may not be as environmentally friendly as you would like. However, just because you don't have your own machines doesn't mean that you can't take steps to give your laundry routine an eco-friendly boost. Check out a few ways that you can make your trip to the laundromat a little more environmentally friendly.
Do Cold Water Washes
One of the biggest changes that you can make is washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot water. It turns out that around 75% of the energy that is needed to wash a load of laundry is used heating the water to wash the clothes in. That means that just by turning the dial to the cold wash setting you'll have cut down the amount of energy you're using by 75%.
Not only does washing your clothes in cold water use less energy, it costs less and may even be better for your clothes. Hot water is what causes your clothes to shrink in the wash, and it can also break down the dyes in the clothing, causing your favorite articles of clothing to fade more quickly. By washing your clothes in cold water, you'll preserve your wardrobe for longer. Just make sure that you choose a detergent that's formulated for cold water washes.
Snag a Warm Dryer
When it comes to drying your clothes, you'll save the most energy if you take them home and hang them on a clothesline outside to dry – however, that can be pretty difficult for people who have to use the laundromat. Your wet clothes will be heavy and unwieldy, and just getting them home to hang them up can be a struggle.
The next best way to save energy is to snag a dryer that's still warm, after someone else has taken their clothes out of it. That's because the machine hasn't had time to cool down, so it won't have to work so hard to get warm enough to dry your clothes. Not only will you save energy, you'll save yourself a quarter or two as well, because your drying time will be shorter. Be sure to clean out the lint trap before you put your clothes in – a dryer with a full lint trap will use up more energy and take longer to dry.
Use the Front Loaders
One good thing about the laundromat is that you usually have a choice of washers. If you can, try to choose a front-loading washer instead of a top-loading washer. These washers are designed to use less water and less detergent, so there's less waste coming from the machine. Make sure that you follow the directions on the machine that tell you how much detergent to use, because it's likely to be different than the top loader directions.
Additionally, front loaders often have greater capacity than top loaders. That means that if you have a load and a half of laundry, instead of using the water and energy to run two top-loading washers, you can put everything in one front-loading washer and run just the one machine.
You don't have to own a washer and dryer yourself to make doing the laundry an environmentally friendly chore. A few simple changes in your laundry habits at places like Indian Village Laundromat can make the whole chore much greener.Share