Even though we all have to do laundry, we usually don’t think about it in terms of sustainability. But how you do your laundry has a direct impact on the environment — not to mention your energy bills. For instance, doing large loads of laundry can reduce the number of loads and the amount of energy and water used to clean your clothes.
Sound too good to be true? Well, there’s one catch. The larger the laundry load, the more power you need to get those loads clean — and many people don’t use the right amount of detergent for their load size. By making a few small changes to your laundry routine, you can contribute to the goal of a more sustainable future while making sure your clothes still get clean!
Starting an Energy-saving Laundry Routine
Let’s start with your washing machine: Did you know it’s one of the most energy-consuming appliances in your home? In a typical four-person household, the washing machine accounts for 15 to 40% of the yearly water consumption. Using an old-school washer, a family of four will generate about 300 washes annually, which will consume 12,000 gallons of water. A high-efficiency washer, on the other hand, will save more than 6,000 gallons of water per year.
In addition to upgrading your washing machine to a high-efficiency model, you can conserve water and energy by taking these steps.
1. Turn Up the Cold
Wash cycles, the size of your load and which rinse setting you use all affect your machine’s energy consumption. In fact, when you wash on a hot setting, 90% of the energy used by your washing machine is spent on heating water, and only 10% is used to run the motor. Washing in cold water will not only reduce the amount of energy needed to clean your clothes; it can also help your clothes last longer by protecting dyes and preventing shrinkage.
2. Know Your Load Size
Many people are taking advantage of today’s large-capacity machines, stuffing them to the brim to do fewer, larger loads per week. It’s not always easy to tell how big a load is, so here’s how to gauge it:
- Medium load: half-full drum
- Large load: 3/4-full drum
- Extra-large load: full drum
More than half of loads are now large loads, whereas most loads were medium 10 to 15 years ago. As loads continue to get bigger, large-capacity washing machines offer several benefits over traditional top-loading washing machines:
- More customized settings offer a better wash cycle, like gentle spin cycles that put less wear and tear on your fabrics.
- Less water is used per cycle.
- Less energy is used with options for efficient cold-water washing.
3. Make Sure You Have Enough Cleaning Power
By now, large loads must sound amazing! Well, just remember that adding more clothes to each wash also adds more dirt, which requires more power to clean your clothes. In fact, 43% of large loads don’t get enough detergent because it’s not always clear how large they are — making it easier for stains to sneak through.
Designed to give you a powerful and efficient clean without any guesswork, Tide POWER PODS are the ultimate solution for people who want to wash more clothes. They are specially designed to remove the extra dirt from each wash and provide more freshness than two Tide PODS, providing the right power for large loads in just one laundry pac. They even work in cold water or in high-efficiency cycles that use less water, so you can lessen the impact on the planet while spending less time and energy doing laundry.