HOUSEHOLDS are being encouraged to do their laundry at a lower temperature to benefit from better detergents, better washing machines and the chance to cut electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
A new Europe wide campaign says that an average 3C drop across laundry temperatures could reduce electricity consumption across the continent by the equivalent of a town of 300,000 inhabitants and cut greenhouse gas emissions equal to 23,000 cars.
At the moment much of the energy used by a washing machine is used to heat the water and there are nearly 98million washing loads done per day across Europe, with people using 30C, 40C and 60C washes.
With nearly 46% of all washes done at 40C the “iprefer30.eu” campaign says that if people did more 30C washes they could cut laundry electricity use by 11% for each 3C drop in temperature used.
Washing at 60C is still recommended for heavily soiled materials or for a sick person’s bedding – but a recent study by Which/ consumer magazine in the UK pointed out that of 12 machines tested eight did not reach 60C for their wash, with one reaching just 43C.
In France the campaign is being led by Afise, a grouping of washing machine and detergent manufacturers, who say that doing laundry at 30C will keep clothes fresher for longer, keep their colour – especially if the colours are sorted before washing – and save money.
They do say, however, to avoid overloading the machine and to consider increasing the dose of detergent if your water is very hard.