Modern people wash too much
Advice: protect the environment and health at the same time when washing?
Most clothes that end up in the washing machine are only lightly soiled. As a rule, 30 - 40 ° C are therefore sufficient for the wash cycle. This saves up to 40% energy compared to a 60 ° C wash. Modern washing machines are also environmentally friendly: most of them belong to the energy class A +++. These require over a fifth less electricity than class A + devices.
New machines also use electronic sensors to detect the weight of the laundry and adjust the amount of water accordingly.
Eco programs in modern washing machines
Most washing machines that are new to the market offer special eco-wash cycles. This saves massive amounts of energy: An experiment by the technology company ENSO showed that a 60 ° C wash cycle with the additional "save energy" function required half as much energy as a normal wash cycle. This is achieved through a longer washing time and a lower temperature. This allows the detergents to take effect longer and have the same washing effect in the end. Washing at 40 ° C showed a smaller difference, although energy could be saved (0.411 instead of 0.452 kWh). So the eco program is paying off. This also removes small stains and sweat from the laundry.
When is it better to wash with hot water?
The situation is different with hand towels, tea towels, cleaning cloths and bed linen: there are many germs romping about there. Pathogens, for example noroviruses, which can cause diarrhea, as well as intestinal or vaginal fungus, get into the washing machine through underwear in particular. In addition, athlete's foot-causing fungus can spread through the socks in the laundry. In order to kill the germs, these laundry items should be washed at 60 ° C. Since the detergent solution is heated less in Eco programs, the laundry should be washed normally. Especially when a family member is sick, there is a risk that the pathogens will spread through the laundry.
Getting the best out of it
In order not to pollute the environment, it is worth sorting the laundry: For example, all towels and underwear are washed separately at 60 ° C, the clothes at 30-40 ° C and / or in the eco program. Another problem that is hazardous to health is that detergent residues are often left behind after washing at low temperatures. Over time, residual water will also collect in the washing machine. This is fertile soil for many germs. But this can be remedied if you prepare a hot wash at regular intervals. So you can wash both environmentally friendly and hygienic without a guilty conscience.
Sources and further information:
Energie.ch: facts about washing machines and their energy efficiency
ENSO blog: Energy saving tips put to the test: Eco programs in washing machines
Stern.de: Germs survive at low temperatures
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