Doing laundry is a normal part of life, but wasting our precious natural resource doesn’t have to be! Small water saving changes can make a significant difference in overall consumption.
Take a look at these top tips to save water in your household laundry.
1. Water efficient washing machines
An efficient washing machine can save as much as 26000 litres per household per year! So make sure you have the right washer.
2. Run full loads
Washing a full load of laundry is the most water-efficient choice. Combine smaller wash loads into one and only wash when you have a full load. Every time the machine is used, you’re consuming water, so consolidating washes will be more efficient.
3. Choose the correct load size
Adjust the water level to suit the size of your load and use the economy cycle, if your machine has one. Should you need to run a small load, take advantage of the washer’s “small load” option/setting, which will use less water because it is washing fewer items. Some washers have an option for an extra rinse cycle, so skip this step to save water. Use the right amount of soap in the first place, and you won’t need it anyway.
4. Use less hot water
As an energy-saving tip… turning cold water to hot water is the most energy-intensive part of the laundry process. Use warm or cold water when possible, and you instantly save on water energy costs.
5. Pre-treat stains
Avoid having to rewash clothing.
6. Wear your clothes more than once
Of course, the best way to conserve water in the laundry room is to not do laundry! We are all guilty of tossing clothes that could be worn again into the basket. And everyone knows a teenager that tries something on and throws it on the floor. Then on laundry day, everything arrives to be washed.
7. Re-use towels
The towel you use to dry after a shower does not need to be laundered after each use, so hang it up and re-use it instead. Washing your household’s towels when they actually need to be washed is a much better use of water than daily loads.
8. Check for leaks
Even a small leak can cause water bills to steadily climb, even when you’re are making an effort to reduce water consumption. Washers and laundry sinks can be using (or rather, losing) water even when not in use through leaks and drips. Take a few minutes to do a bit of laundry room maintenance. Check your washer for leaks and drips, paying special attention to the hose connections and similar vulnerable spots. Be sure to check the floor around and underneath the appliances, too – if you find puddles, you’ve found problems.
9. Be sparing when hand-washing clothes
Some thoughts on water-saving when it comes to those delicate items and fabrics:
- Use less washing powder. A little goes a long way and fewer suds means less need for water for rinsing.
- Plug the sink for both washing and rinsing.
- Don’t let the faucet run continuously.
- Gather items that need hand washing and use the same detergent / water solution for several different garments. Save all rinsing for last.
10. Collect grey- and rain-water
Collecting grey water is a great way to save water. Grey water includes old bath and shower water, as well as washing machine water. While collecting grey water from your washing machine won’t directly affect the your laundry’s water efficiency, it can have a positive effect on your home’s overall water consumption.
The simplest way to collect grey water from your washing machine is to use a bucket at the machine’s drain. Alternatively, contact a plumber and ask about how to get a grey water treatment system installed in your home, to collect, clean and filter your recycled water so it can be safely used for gardening and more.
Chemicals and salts found in some detergents can be bad for plants and soil, so if you use grey water for gardening, you may wish to stick to all-natural detergents or collect only the machine’s rinse water.