5 little known ways to green your washing machine

Ever wondered how to green your washing machine?

I think most of us have heard of the three eco-basics for laundry

  • Wash in cooler water – use 30°C for ordinary cleaning, 60°C for bedding, towels and whites. Simply switching from 40°C to 30°C uses 40% less electricity!
  • Wash full loads where possible, and pick the Half Load setting if not
  • Use the machine’s Eco setting (if your washer has one) to conserve water

… but what if you want to take your machine to the next level of green? Read on to find out!

Green your washing machine

No time to go green with DIY? Just look for the Eco-Label

The EU Eco-Label proves that a product has met demanding eco criteria and performs as well as non-environmentally friendly brands. One brand that’s up to scratch with the stringent tests for EU Eco-Label certification is Simply Washing, stocked by ASDA, Tesco and Sainsbury’s – it’s also cheaper than most leading brands!

Clean out filters and trays regularly

A clean machine runs more efficiently – just ask any garage mechanic!

Over time, dirt, lint and grease from our clothes can clog up an otherwise healthy washing machine. If your machine doesn’t seem to be cleaning so well anymore, dig out your owner manual and look up ‘filters’.

Check your machine's filter

Most machines have filters designed to be removed by hand, with no tools involved. Give them a scrub with an eco-friendly cleaner or a cup of vinegar mixed into a few litres of warm water (an old toothbrush is great for getting into nooks and crannies!) and carefully replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

You should also be able to remove and wash out the detergent tray. Whilst the tray is soaking, clean out the section of the machine that houses the tray too. Often these are pretty grubby – I’ve even found mould sprouting!

Make a date for a maintenance wash

To remove the build-up of grime in less accessible parts of your washing machine, manufacturers recommend a monthly ‘maintenance wash’ – no laundry, but using the hottest water temperature setting. They also recommend running a traditional detergent containing a bleaching agent through the machine at the same time, however, this can be replaced with a half-cup (about 60g) of bicarbonate of soda. Vinegar is also great and helps get rid of built-up limescale!

Switch off standby

Always switch your washer off standby, along with all the other electrical appliances in your home. Avoiding unnecessary standby can save the average household around £76 a year in potentially wasted energy costs.

Add these into your routine and you’ll be sure to green your washing machine in no time!

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