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In American households, laundry is one of the largest uses of water, using up to 22% of water usage. There are many ways to reduce your usage of water in the laundry room, saving not only one of our most precious natural resources but also your money in the process.
If you’re interested in making a difference and conserving water in your laundry room, we’ve put together a list of 10 ways you can do this. Let’s go ahead and have a look!
Get Yourself a Water Efficient Washing Machine
Although this is the most expensive option on our list, it can actually save you a great deal of water in the long run as well as money. Older washing machine models can use up as many as 50 gallons of water for each washing cycle so if you have one of these, you may want to think about upgrading it. Newer models are usually designed to be more efficient in terms of water and energy consumption. Some also have special water saving modes that can be utilized to save even more water.
Also consider the type of washing machine you buy. Top-loaders generally use 2/3s more water than front-loaders do, so opting for a front-loader could be a much better option if you want to save water. A water efficient machine could save you up to 26,000 liters per year!
Check for Leaks Regularly
Over time, the connectors and fittings on your pipes can get loose, allowing water to leak, resulting in a lot of wastage. In most cases, using a wrench to tighten the connections will solve the problem but there are times when even this won’t help and you may need to change the fittings entirely.
Not only can plumbing leakages contribute to water waste, but they can also cause a significant amount of damage to the infrastructure of your household. Check the hoses that are connected to your washing machine regularly to make sure they’re not loose and if they are, refasten them.
Use Grey Water to Water Your Plants
Greywater refers to used water coming from your washing machine, tubs, showers and sinks. It should not be water that has come into contact with feces in any way and usually just contains traces of food, grease, hair, dirt and cleaning products used in the household.
This water can be used for irrigation purposes, helping you to cut down on sprinkler usage. Hire a plumber to redirect your greywater drain to your lawn or garden and get your garden watered every time you do your laundry.
Run Full Wash Loads
When doing the laundry, wash a full load at a time instead of doing smaller loads, since it’s more water efficient. Every time you use your washing machine, a lot of water is being consumed so running a full load means you’ll be maximizing the amount used in the process, using your machine much less than you used to and conserving water. Believe it or not, you can actually save as much as 10,534 gallons of water each year by washing full loads of laundry!
Select the Correct Water Level
Some people tend to use the wrong load size when doing their laundry, resulting in the usage of more water than is necessary. If your washing machine has an economy cycle, try using that. If not, adjust the water level according to the size of your load. By doing this faithfully, you’ll be saving water each time you run a load.
Pre-treat Stains on Your Clothes Before Washing
Some stains are difficult to remove and need special pre-treating methods. Most stains can be removed easily by using a stain remover to soak it and then rubbing the stain remover with your finger so that it goes well into the stain. Pre-treating tough stains on your clothes will make sure the stains come out in the first wash, saving you the trouble of rewashing while at the same time saving the water that is consumed by rewashing.
Save Water When Handwashing Your Clothes
Handwashing, which needs to be done for certain delicate fabrics and items, uses much less water than washing machines. However, you can save even more water by limiting the amount of detergent you use. The less detergent, the less suds you get which means the less water you need to rinse the suds out. Remember to turn off the faucet instead of letting it run continuously since this is another way you could prevent unnecessary wastage.
Re-use Your Towels
For those who are in the habit of washing their towels after each use, hang it up and re-use it instead to save gallons of water. Towels don’t actually need to be washed after each and every use. By doing so, not only are you spoiling your towels but you’re also consuming unnecessary amounts of water and energy each time you wash them. Washing your towels every 2-3 days is perfectly fine and won’t cause you any harm.
Skip Additional Rinse Cycles
Some washers come with an option for a second rinse cycle which isn’t necessary and can be skipped. You can save an entire load of water with each wash cycle by turning off this feature. However, the extra rinse feature helps remove detergent thoroughly from your clothes so those who have sensitive skin may suffer from skin irritation if this feature is turned off. If that’s you, you could always use a gentle and all-natural, chemical-free detergent that may not cause any irritation.
Wear Your Clothes More Than One Time
One of the best ways to conserve water when doing laundry is by actually not doing laundry! Time and again, every one of us has tossed clothes into the laundry basket after a single wear, causing a huge pile of clothes to be collected for laundry day. Instead of washing clothes that you’ve just tried on, wear them again at least once before you wash them. This will reduce the amount of laundry you have to do, which in turn will help you to save water. However, keep in mind that this is only to be done if you’re sure the clothes can be worn again. If they smell bad or are visibly soiled, it’s unhygienic in which case you need to have them washed.
The Bottom Line
These may be small steps when it comes to conservation of water and you may think that you’re hardly saving anything by practicing these steps but the truth is you’ll actually be making a huge difference to the amount of water that’s consumed by your household. The world is running short of water, so this is your chance to do your bit.
Some other ways to save water is using less water in the toilet and the kitchen. These are places where we use a lot of water, so even small steps can make a huge difference.