Save money on your laundry

As the global household care industry meets in Copenhagen to discuss how to drive more sustainable consumer choices, a new study reveals significant regional differences in laundry habits.

You can save money on your day-to-day laundry by lowering the temperature and using the right amount of detergent.

Households across the world are cutting back on unnecessary expenses, but many people are not aware that they can save money by changing their laundry habits.

A new study carried out among 2,500 consumers in six countries finds that washing temperatures are higher than necessary, and that just 30% of consumers wash at 30 °C/86 °F or lower, despite the fact that most laundry can be done at low temperatures. The study also reveals great differences from country to country. In Brazil (64%), Japan (54%), and China (32%), the percentage of people using only low temperature washes is significantly higher than in the US (21%), Spain (19%), and Germany (10%).

“There's money to be saved by lowering the temperature, because a large part of total laundry costs is related to heating the water,” says Cynthia Bryant, Household Care Director at Novozymes, the world leader in bioinnovation. “By lowering the temperature from 60 °C/140 °F to 30 °C/86 °F, you save 60% of the energy cost.”

According to the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (A.I.S.E.), average washing temperature in Europe has dropped only 2 °C/3 °F over the past 3 years, from 43 °C/109 °F to 41 °C/106 °F.

Use the right amount of detergent
Another significant way to cut wasteful spending is to use less detergent. Many people do not read the label on their detergent and so do not pay attention to the recommended amount.

“Modern detergents are compact and highly efficient,” says Cynthia Bryant. “Estimates from the detergent industry indicate that more than half of us use more detergent than is necessary to get the clothes clean. Using the right amount of detergent is not only good for your wallet, but also for your washing machine and for the environment.”

United effort for sustainable laundry
These and other insights will be on the agenda on December 1‒2, when Novozymes hosts the second Copenhagen Household Care Sustainability Summit. More than 100 delegates from 50 different companies will participate in the summit to discuss how to encourage more sustainable consumer choices in laundry.

“The household care industry has been driving a move toward sustainability over the past 5‒10 years and has introduced excellent cold-water detergents and compacted products,” says Cynthia Bryant. “Getting more people to wash sustainably takes a united effort from the entire industry, including detergent manufacturers, producers of washing machines, and technology providers such as Novozymes. We believe everyone holds a piece of the puzzle, so we have invited all relevant companies, even those with competing technologies.”

Novozymes is the global market leader in enzymes for detergents. Enzymes enable detergents to remove difficult stains at low temperatures and also allow detergent manufacturers to concentrate the cleaning power in their products, so package sizes can be reduced.
Laundry tips​
 When you are doing a normal wash, where the aim is to freshen up and remove stains from your clothes, you can wash at low temperatures using a low-temperature detergent

 Always wash bedding, diapers, and cleaning rags at 60 °C/140 °F

 If you or someone in your household is sick with a contagious disease/infection, you should wash at higher temperatures

 Wash at 60 °C/140 °F once a month to keep your washing machine clean

 Keep the lid/door of your washing machine open between washes to avoid malodor in the machine

 Wash full loads but do not overload

 Follow the guidelines from the detergent manufacturer regarding proper use and dosing. Remember to dose according to the water hardness in your area

 Make sure your washing machine spins your clothes at the right speed during the spin cycle. Do not spin at a low speed just because you are using a low temperature

 Use short cycles for clothes that are not dirty but just need to be freshened up

 Line dry your clothes outside, if possible

 Remove the wet laundry from the washing machine when the wash is finished. Avoid leaving wet clothes in the machine for too long