Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.

Changes

Jump to: navigation, search

Washing and drying clothes

6,079 bytes added, 23:28, 15 May 2013
no edit summary
{{TOCright}}
Washing and drying [[clothing]] are common activities that can use a lot of [[energy ]] and [[water]] and produce large amounts of [[wastewater]] - if we aren't careful. But there are a lot of many things, most importantly washing in cold water and line drying, which are not only greener, but will make your [[clothing|clothes]] last longer (as long as you . Just don't leave them your clothes outside too long, to or they may fade).
== Why does it matter? ===== Energy usage ===Washing is also very laborious where there are no washing machines.
We need However there are ways to [[reduce energy conservation|use less energy]] with efficient washers , water consumption and cold water (unless there is abundant [[solar hot water]])pollution, and use [[renewable energy]] where possiblereduce effort.
=== Water Energy usage ===
We need to [[energy conservation|use less energy]] with efficient washers. Use 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 cleanprocess the [[waste water]], and the more strain we place on the water supply.
We need to:
* Use more [[water efficient ]] washers,
* Use water at least twice - e.g. use [[greywater irrigation]] of gardens (which requires [[greywater]] treatment and/or using suitable [[detergents]] to avoid poisoning the plants).
* irrigate gardens at night
 
== Water pollution ==
=== Water pollution === Minimize the use of detergent, by:* Remembering that water itself is a solvent - you probably don't need as much detergent as you're using now. Consider washing in water only, every second wash - this works surprisingly well esp if there are no stains, and especially if you have solar water.* Following other recommendations on this page to reduce the need for washing (air your clothes to keep clothes smelling fresher longer, and choice of clothing color).* Washing in warm or hot water, as appropriate to the clothes - only as long as you have solar hot water!
Consider these words about the chemicals you use:
:What do you do when you clean? You take dirt, you add more dirt in the form of chemical agents, and then you put all that dirt somewhere else - usually into the water supply. Once people appreciate that they make other things dirty when they make their clothes clean, they think differently about what they're doing...
:Do you want to take a chemical derived from benzene, put it on your white clothes, let it absorb ultraviolet rays, get energized, and then emit ultraviolet rays with a bluish hue - all to trick your brain into thinking a graying shirt is white? Is there a value to that, especially when it may create health risks? Is it worth the hazards to your kids? - Gunther Pauli, head of Ecover.[http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/00/pauli.html?page=0%2C2]
=== Labor ===
You have better things to do than wash clothes, and you'd rather your hands didn't become dry and crackedfrom hours of handwashing, so you would probably choose prefer a washing machine over rather than hand-washing your clothes. Those in [[poor ]] communities are the same as you, but 1) cannot yet afford a washing machine, and 2) when they can, they will have the same heavy impact on their environment as the richdo.
So, how do we have the best of both worlds? We need better designs, better practices and better detergents.
== Reducing the need for washing ==
Environmental impact and labor can both be saved by measures that reduce the need for washing: suitable choice of clothes (color and fabric) and habits such as hanging and airing clothes. See the [[Clothing]] page for more detailed suggestions.
 
Levi Strauss<ref>
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/02/science/earth/levi-strauss-tries-to-minimize-water-use.html?_r=0
</ref>recently claimed that putting their jeans in a freezer for a couple of days would kill most of the bacteria and smells. However an anarctic microbiologist has debunked this claim as a myth<ref>
http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2011/11/the-myth-of-the-frozen-jeans/
</ref>, saying that “one might think that if the temperature drops well below the human body temperature they will not survive, but actually many will. Many are preadapted to survive low temperatures. And it takes only one survivor to repopulate your jeans when they warm up."
 
It might be true that freezing clothing reduces the smell. But freezing clothing does not somehow make them clean, so at best it is a temporary solution in the situation where you have a freezer but no way to wash clothing.
== Saving energy ==
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 Machinewashing machine? ==
{{attrib pd |url =[http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/washmachalrt.shtm Buying a Washing Machine? It's a Load-ed Question] - Consumer Alert, US Federal Trade Commission|statement=http://www.appropedia.org/US_federal_government_websites_and_public_domain}}
===Buying a Washing Machinewashing machine? It's a Loadload-ed Questionquestion===
If you're in the market for a new washing machine, consider sinking your clothes into an energy-efficient one. It will not only conserve energy but, closer to home, can help lower your utility bills.
With front-loaders now more widely available for purchase in the U.S., the FTC has decided to require manufacturers to provide information that will compare all washing machines of a certain size (either "standard" or "compact") with others of the same size, regardless of whether they are loaded from the top or the front. The label change is expected to alert consumers to highly energy-efficient clothes washers and spur competition among U.S. manufacturers. Front-loaders, which have been popular for years in Europe, generally are considered more energy efficient than top-loaders, although they usually are more expensive, too.
=== Spinning to a Different Drum different drum ===
Most washing machines sold in the U.S. are top-loaders. They wash the clothes with an agitator that turns on a vertical axis. The tub also spins the clothes dry on a vertical axis. Front-loaders work by tumbling the clothes and then spin-drying them in a tub that rotates on a horizontal axis.
Horizontal-axis washers (front-loaders) have one major drawback: They can cost more than vertical-axis machines. Still, with the energy savings they provide, front-loaders may save you money in the long run. In some areas of the U.S., utility companies, environmental groups and government agencies help sweeten the deal by offering incentives to consumers who buy front-loaders. At the same time, there are many highly efficient top-loaders available, too. Use the EnergyGuide to find efficient products at the price that's right for you.
=== Reading the "EnergyGuide " ===
The bright yellow-and-black EnergyGuide label used in the [[USA]] (or similar labels in other countries) helps consumers factor an appliance's energy consumption or [[efficiency]] and its annual operating cost into their purchasing decision. The law requires manufacturers to place the label on most major appliances so that consumers will see it when they are considering various models.
The EnergyGuide for clothes washers uses [[kilowatt-hour]]s (a measure of [[electricity]] use) to tell how much energy each appliance uses in a year and compares the appliance with other appliances of the same or similar size. The range on the label — where the appliance's energy use is on a continuum — is of particular benefit to consumers: A marker shows where the particular model falls in the range and how it stacks up against the competition.
The EnergyGuide also gives the estimated cost per year to run the particular model when it is used with an electric water heater and with a [[natural gas]] water heater.
=== Saving Energy energy ===
Getting the best energy value from any washing machine depends on several energy-saving wash-day practices. For example:
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission, USA) works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a [https://rn.ftc.gov/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01 complaint] or to get [http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm free information on consumer issues], visit [http://www.ftc.gov/ ftc.gov] or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into [http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel Consumer Sentinel], a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
 
==Separation and washing options==
 
{{copyedit|This section needs to be simpler and clearer, with some of the prescriptions removed (e.g. commanding to use a specific temperature).}}
 
This section describes a procedure to ensure proper washing yet in a speedy and simple manner.
 
Some other methods describe more separation of laundry and several washing periods (for several types of fabrics), but that consumes more time, electricity, water and cleaning agent.
 
===Separation===
When clothing is dirty, it may be separated immediately into a correct bin, so that the sorting of the laundry does not need to be done twice - this method means that two bins are placed in the room where the clothes are discarded (e.g. bathroom). There are one for white & heavily polluted clothes and one for colored clothes. However it is also a matter of the colorfastness of the fabric.
 
====Separation method 1====
*White and heavily polluted clothes and fabrics are sorted together. These include white clothing and fabrics as towels (kitchen towels, bath towels, ...), linen, white socks, and heavily polluted clothing as underwear, handkerchiefs, pillow cases, ... Note that most of the heavily polluted clothes are generally white as well so that no color blending can occur. Where this is not the case, an alternative method should be used. Also note that heavily polluted clothing refers to the amount of bacteria/microorganisms the clothing generally carries after use, not only the degree of visible filth.
*Colored clothes. These include pants, shirts, colored socks, skirts, ...
 
===Washing procedure===
====Washing method 1 (requires additional ironing afterwards)====
The washing method for washing laundry with a washer machine after the separation method 1 has been followed is the following:
*The separated laundry piles (see laundry separation above) are inserted separately in the machine (thus in 2 runs). When the separation method 1 is used, the white and heavily polluted clothes/fabrics are washed at 60°Celsius and the colored clothes are washed at 40°Celsius.
 
===Ironing===
After drying, the clothes may be ironed,{{w|ironing}} which de-wrinkles the clothes and may help with disinfection (see [[#Disinfection]], below).
 
The de-wrinkling my be unnecessary, especially if the clothes are hung carefully and air flow is optimized when drying. Wrinkling may also be kept to a minimum by [http://www.ehow.com/how_2203616_clothes-wrinklefree-ironing.html tricks such as adding vinegar] to the washing machine.
 
== Disinfection ==
 
For people with compromised immune systems, or where clothes have been exposed to dangerous [[pathogens]], it is important to ensure that disinfection occurs. For people without significant health problems, regular washing should be sufficient.
 
One or more of the following steps may be important:
* Washing - thorough soaking and washing, cleaning the clothes thoroughly, will remove the vast majority of pathogens. Increase soak and wash times to improve cleanliness.
** Drying in sunshine - in sunny conditions, the [[ultraviolet]] light is very effective at disinfection. This is effective for the clothing of people golden staph{{w|Staphylococcus aureus}} infections.
** Be sure to use adequate detergent
** Additives in the wash cycle. Bleach? How much to be effective?{{sp}}
** Hot water (how hot to be effective against bacteria? This is time-dependent, e.g. 80°C will kill much more quickly and thoroughly than 60°C.
** Ironing{{fact}}
 
This discarding of the ironing however also has a antibacterial working, meaning that the laundry separation & washing method 1 can not be used if there are concerns about bacteria.{{clarify}}
 
===External links===
*[http://www.wikihow.com/Do-Laundry WikiHow's washing method with more separation of fabrics]
Note: this article section was based on onformatio from http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Laundry_separation_and_washing
== Human power ==
[[Pedal-powered washing machine]]s have been made at MIT in partnership with [[Maya Pedal]], a [[Guatemala]]n community NGO (see [http://web.mit.edu/teresab/www/Bicilavadora/index.html Bicilavadora: A Pedal-powered Washing Machine]) and at Humboldt's [[Campus Center for Appropriate Technology]] (see [[HSU Bike powered washing machine]]). These designs use direct power, rather than generating electricity to run the washer.<ref>[http://www.los-gatos.ca.us/davidbu/pedgen/washing_machine.html Pedal Powered Washing Machine Tests], David Butcher, a pedal-power enthusiast, calculates it would take 1 hr and 45 minutes of pedaling to generate electricity for one load of washing. Presumably it is significantly more efficient to use the mechanical power directly, rather than using a generator; also this may be cheaper in a developing country setting.</ref> There are also [[google:pedal-powered-washing-machine|many more hits on Google]].
The [[Wikipedia:Centre for Appropriate Technology (Australia)]]{{w|Centre for Appropriate Technology (Australia)]] }} has had some success in Australian indigenous communities with a hand-operated "washing machine" using a paddle to stir the water, which is popular for washing blankets. Attempts have been made by CAT (or people associated with CAT) to introduce it to Indonesia, but it was not popular, as they felt the clothes were not getting a proper wash.<ref>Based on personal conversation between [[User:Chriswaterguy|Chriswaterguy]] and (name?) from CAT, at the EWB Australia national conference, 2005.</ref>
A television show in Australia in the 1980s ("The Inventors"?) had a small hand-operated washing machine, suitable for nappies (USA "diapers"), for example, while camping.
*Depending on just what you have in mind, a simple [[centrifuge]] to extract "most" of the water from the clothes should be one of the simplest possible human-powered devices. One needs only a circular "cage" mounted on an axis (horizontally would probably be best), and a bicycle-chain, drive shaft, or even a rope "belt" around pulleys from the power source. [[Pedal power]] would be ideal, but even a handcrank should work with this. -- [[User:Writtenonsand|Writtenonsand]] 15:07, 5 March 2008 (PST)
However, the best solution may be the one which was popular in Western countries before washing machines became popular, i.e. the mangle or [[clothes wringer]]{{WPw|clothes wringer}}, in which clothes are passed between two rollers which squeeze them tightly.
Examples of wringers can be seen at [http://www.survivalunlimited.com/clothewringer.htm 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 [http://images.google.com.au/images?q=clothes-wringer&hl=en&btnG=Search+Images 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 [[clothesline]]{{WPw|clothesline}}. This practice uses readily free, [[renewable energy]] sources - wind and sunshine.
Care should be taken with colored clothes, as they may fade in the sun. They should either be left in the sun for a short time only, or dried in a shady position (or hung out overnight so that they are almost dry by sunrise - this may be less effective where there is heavy dew or fog).
Wealthier people (whether in developing or advanced countries) may choose to use [[clothes dryer|clothes dryers]]{{WPw|clothes dryer|clothes dryers}} - they are seen as convenient and reliable, not dependent on weather. However, they are very wasteful of energy.
Some council codes (e.g. in many parts of Sydney, Australia) actually require developers to install clothes dryers.<ref>This contributes to the unexpected result that new apartments in Sydney use as much as or more energy than stand-alone houses.</ref> This is very wasteful of energy, and so sustainable alternatives are desirable. Where drying clothes in public view is not allowed, in order to maintain a tidy appearance, there are designs which can satisfy both [[sustainability]] and aesthetics. One approach is to have drying rooms (perhaps a small section of a balcony) with louvers to allow airflow. Another is to have the balcony railing designed in such a way (e.g. with louvers) that drying racks below a certain height are not visible from outside the building. You could also have some ventian blinds pulled at different levels and stages of opening to create warm air flow and aesthetically pleasing.
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 heat pump dryers{{WP pw|Clothes dryer#Heat pump dryers|heat pump dryers}} and mechanical steam compression dryers{{WP pw|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 ==
== See also ==
* [[Green cleaning]]
* [[Clothes drying]]
* [[HSU Bike powered washing machine]]
* [[Greywater]] - what to do with the dirty wash water.
* [[Soap]]
 * [[Principles of clothes washing and washing machine design]]
== External links ==
* [http://web.mit.edu/teresab/www/Bicilavadora/index.html Bicilavadora: A Pedal-powered Washing Machine] - MIT in partnership with a [[GuatemalaMayaPedal]]n community.
== References and footnotes ==
Anonymous user

Navigation menu