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Green Living Question

My washing machine has 2 short cycles at 40º C, one is 30 min long and one is 45min. The cold-water cycle takes over 90 min. Am I saving energy and water  by using a shorter cycle, or does heating the water cancel out the energy used by the longer cold cycle?

Why yes, I did ask this question on Yahoo! Answers. And got contradictory replies. So I came to peeps I trust more than most to know what they talkin' bout! :)

Based on the info I've learned over the years - heating the water takes more energy than using the cold cycles. If all else fails, use a washboard. :P

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While reading through the news, I came across this article and thought of you, Yabbitonics. :)

http://m.good.is/post/domestic-science-cold-water-washing-powered-by-enzymes/

It's a great insight into the science and green living viewpoints of washing with cold water.

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I threw this question out to my DD and DH to discuss.  We concluded it would depend on how efficient the hot water heater is and how efficient the electric motor for the agitator is.  The water usage should be the same.  Now, are your clothes getting as clean in cold water as hot or are you using more detergent to get them clean?

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I threw this question out to my DD and DH to discuss.  We concluded it would depend on how efficient the hot water heater is and how efficient the electric motor for the agitator is.  The water usage should be the same.  Now, are your clothes getting as clean in cold water as hot or are you using more detergent to get them clean?

A lot of biological detergents irritate my skin bigtime. So I use natural soap (here sold as "marseiilles" soap) and don't usually use as much as they manufacturer says because all we really have on our clothes is sweat and dust. When I have to wash greasy dishcloths etc I will put in a tiny bit of biological powder, straight into the drum. I don't use fabric softener; I find that by using less detergent I don't need it. And again, they can irritate my skin.
I don't really worry about "getting my whites whiter than white" so I guess they're just as clean. They don't smell, which is the main thing.
Basically I was using the short cycle at 30 or 40ºC because it's shorter and I would wash fewer clothes, stuff I really needed like today.
I don't really know if my electric bill was higher, because of the debacle with our electric company mentioned in the WRGMG thread.

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Imo, heating water consumes more fossil fuels/ partial nuclear.
Also hot water leeches more metal minerals traveling through a
hot water heater. You can add vinegar to reduce odors. They do
make a power meter, you plug it in like a power strip and it
measure the Kwh usage. On my bill before I invited a friend to
stay my Kwh usage was sub 4 Kwh, with my friend staying is more
like 11 Kwh. The killer is the drier! Michael Blue Jay offers the lowdown.

Laundry is one of the easiest areas to reduce energy costs in. Here's where the waste is:

    Water heating. A whopping 90% of the energy used by washing clothes often goes just to heat the water! So you can save a bundle just by changing the temperature setting. (~$150/year)  I wash in cold almost exclusively.
    Top-loading washers. Top-loading washers use ridiculous amounts of water and energy. That's why other countries use front-loading washers instead, and I recommend them enthusiastically. I cover front-loaders in more detail below.
    Drying water-laden clothes. Most washing machines leave far too much water in the clothes, making the dryer run much longer. Front-loaders get more of the water out of your clothes.  You can also use a Spin Dryer to extract water from your clothes before drying.
    Unnecessary drying. Dryers are unnecessary in the first place, since you can just hang your clothes up to dry. There's 100% energy savings to be realized here.  (See more on dryers & dryer costs.)

Of course you can always run around the house naked, too. Then you'll have less clothes to wash. Effing naked hippies :)

More charts, calculator and in depth details.
http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/laundry.html

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Of course you can always run around the house naked, too. Then you'll have less clothes to wash. Effing naked hippies :)

http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/laundry.html

In addition to scaring anyone who sees me to death, I am not sure the cost of heating the house would make up for the diff.  I woke up to 32 deg. F this morning.  :(  I tried using a washline to dry cloths a few yrs ago when my dryer died.  I had a visit from city code enforcement telling me I could not hang clothing outside.  It was in my back yard, granted it is against the athletic fields of a school so not exactly private.  My family portests clothing dried inside because it is too stiff.  Yes, we battle over some of these issues at times.  :(

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I line-dry most of my clothes unless it's actually raining. When it rains, there is truly nowhere to hang clothes up in this very tiny (63 square meters) apartment. In winter I sometimes cheat and machine-dry my towels because they are much softer that way. In summer, there's no point because a dripping-wet garment will dry in about 40 min flat in our heat. However, the sun also rots your clothes. Swings and roundabouts.

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Of course you can always run around the house naked, too. Then you'll have less clothes to wash. Effing naked hippies :)

http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/laundry.html

In addition to scaring anyone who sees me to death, I am not sure the cost of heating the house would make up for the diff.  I woke up to 32 deg. F this morning.  :(  I tried using a washline to dry cloths a few yrs ago when my dryer died.  I had a visit from city code enforcement telling me I could not hang clothing outside.  It was in my back yard, granted it is against the athletic fields of a school so not exactly private.  My family portests clothing dried inside because it is too stiff.  Yes, we battle over some of these issues at times.  :(

My condo asso also put the kibosh on my line drying.. it was fruitless to explain.
I also recently experienced local laws in river oaks tx where you need a permit to replace
a damaged mailbox and just about everything else..

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