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Washing and drying clothes

75 bytes added, 18:44, 23 October 2008
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== Why does it matter? ==
=== Energy usage ===
We need to [[energy conservation|use less energy]] with efficient washersand cold water (unless there is abundant [[solar hot water]]), and use [[renewable energy]] where possible.
=== Water usage ===
The more [[water ]] we use, the harder it is to clean, and the more strain we place on the water supply.
We need to:
So, how do we have the best of both worlds? We need better designs, and better detergents.
==Reducing the need for washing==
[[Image:Shirts airing.JPG|right|thumb|After being hung up overnight in a breezy location, shirts worn once (even in the tropics!) smell quite fresh enough to wear again.]]
== Saving water ==
A method of saving water is to re-use water from the rinse cycle for the next wash. A place is needed to store the water. Great care should be taken if color has come out in the water, not to use that water for washing light-colored clothing. Thus the best design is likely to use a tub or tank which is white or light colored on the inside, and which can be looked into to check the water.{{sp}}
== Buying a Washing Machine? ==
{{PD source|source=[ Buying a Washing Machine? It's a Load-ed Question] - Consumer Alert, US Federal Trade Commission|statement=}}
== Reducing labor ==
Washing clothes for those who cannot afford a washing machine can be hard work which is particularly hard on the hands.
[[Solar hot water]] could make soaking and washing easier and more effective, as the additional cleaning effect from using warm or hot water could be an alternative to hard scrubbing work the hands. Of course, this is not suitable for all materials, especially colored clothing, or clothing which is liable to shrink. Care should be taken not to immerse the hands in very warm or hot water for long periods, as this will be even harder on the hands than usual. The clothes might be soaked for a time in just enough water to cover, with detergent, then cooler water added before scrubbing; or it may be left to soak for long enough (overnight or a couple of hours) that the water has cooled down significantly before scrubbing.
==Spin-drying or wringing==
In developing countries, after washing and before hanging up, clothes are generally wrung out by hand.<ref>This is common practice in Indonesia, and presumably also the case in other developing countries. --[[User:Chriswaterguy|Chriswaterguy]]</ref> This is less effective than the spin cycle of a washing machine, and the result is that the clothes dry less quickly, and have a less fresh smell.<ref>At least, I assume it's the less effective wringing that is the reason for the smell. Note that it's not a really bad smell, but clothes that have been through the washing machine and spun dry are definitely fresher smelling. --[[User:Chriswaterguy|Chriswaterguy]] </ref> Wringing is also hard work, and tough on the skin of the hands.
Examples of wringers can be seen at [ here at Survival Unlimited] - these start at around US$100, but it can be expected that they should be much cheaper in a developing country, especially if mass-produced. (Other pictures, including old-style wringers, can be seen at [ Google image search].)
==Drying clothes==
[[Image:Underware.jpg|thumb|right|Clothes hanging to dry in Parras, Mexico]]
Traditionally in most places, clothes are dried on a {{WP|clothesline}}. This practice uses readily free, [[renewable energy]] sources - wind and sunshine.
In some cases, such as hospitals or large hotels, clothes dryers may be considered necessary, either for regular use or (preferably) only as a backup. It is perhaps inevitable that laundromats will have dryers as well, if only for urgent situations where a customer needs or wants to dry clothes quickly. In this case, more efficient dryers such as {{WP p|Clothes dryer#Heat pump dryers|heat pump dryers}} and {{WP p|Clothes dryer#Mechanical steam compression dryers|mechanical steam compression dryers}} should be considered. Gas dryers may also be more efficient and have lower [[carbon emissions]].{{sp}} Where energy ratings are given, these should be considered. More efficient dryers are likely to be more expensive up front, but will have lower ongoing energy costs, which will be very significant in cases of frequent use.
==New technologies== 
===Ultrasonic cleaning===
Results have been encouraging enough that it is being developed further, but the effect on fabrics is not completely clear yet. <ref>[ Training Curriculum for Alternative Clothes Cleaning], the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute, University of Massachusetts. See also the answer and links at [;_ylt=Ajs8T71dR8bHe0QhrfzEV0IjzKIX;_ylv=3?qid=20060930200640AAPL9A5 Yahoo Answers].</ref>
==See also==
*[[HSU Bike powered washing machine]]
*[[Greywater]] - what to do with the dirty wash water.
* [ Bicilavadora: A Pedal-powered Washing Machine] - MIT in partnership with a [[Guatemala]]n community.
==References and footnotes==
[[Category:Green living]]
[[Category:Water conservation]]

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