Are we washing our clothes too much

08 May 2013

Should we be washing our clothes less like in the olden days?

I recently bought a pair of Levi jeans and inside  I found a label saying something along the lines of wash me less - do you need to wash me?  Since then this has been in the back of my mind and I feel I  have  washed them less than I normally would have.

Washine line

Get some fresh air and save on energy bills by pegging!

They still look nice and clean and it's made me realise that generally I am probably doing too much washing, putting clothes through the wash unnecessarily when I could simply hang them up outside the wardrobe to air or simply run the iron over them to remove any  creases.

I remember a few years back  visiting my grandmother, she had been out for the afternoon with my grandfather  and as we chatted she took her clothes and hung them up to get rid of any smoke or food smells - where I would have put them through the wash my grandmother coming from a less wastefull time didn't engage in unnecessary housework.

This leads me to think that in todays world of wanting everything  pristine and to be "just so" as a nation  we must surely be doing an awful  lot  of  washing  that  in reality is quite clean and not yet ready for the wash.

I  recently read a report stating that the average household is doing 400 washes per annum which equates to 7.69 washes a week! That's a lot of washing even for a family with small children.  And you can only wonder about the impact this will be having on the environment with increased water and energy consumption.

So what can we do to cut down on our washing? Well we could start by asking ourselves if the garment in question really does  need to be washed - does that T.Shirt need washing because there are dirty marks on it and its smelly or does it need nothing more than a bit of de-wrinkling.

Try and avoid using a dryer to dry clothes and peg them out instead on the washing line - you will get some fresh air, it's free and your clothes will last longer and probably not need ironing.  Also you will probably think twice before you throw things into the wash now you are personally pegging each garment out to dry at the end of the process!

Try washing according to the weather, if its given a decent day for tomorrow load the washer up and set it to start in the morning so its finished and ready for pegging when you get up - it can be "eco drying" while your at work!

Try your best to avoid putting the washer on for only a few items and just do full load washes, this could dramatically reduce your annual wash tally and save you money.

You can also save money by turning the heat down on your washes to 30 degrees, heating water up to 40, 50 and 60 degrees contributes significantly to the energy used by your machine.  There are some excellent high efficiency washers on the market so when you next come to replace your washer investing in one of these could save you money on your energy bills.

Finally by pressing the eco button on your machine or simply opting for the quicker wash times you will be saving,  again, on water and electric bills

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