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ENERGY MANAGEMENT IN HOME LAUNDERING
Thermal energy supplied by hot or warm water.
Mechanical energy supplied by the washer's washing action.
Chemical energy supplied by the detergent and other laundry additives.
As energy is reduced in any one of the three energy forms, another energy input must be increased. This is necessary to restore a balance to the total washing system in order to achieve the same level of laundering performance. Considering all the energy used for laundering, the amount to heat water is much higher than that used to operate either the washer or dryer. Therefore, it may be desirable, from a cost point of view, to reduce water temperature. If thermal energy (water temperature) is reduced, chemical energy (laundry product) should be increased by adding more detergent. It should be pointed out that the colder the water, the more difficult it is to accomplish cleaning. The effectiveness of laundry products is reduced as water temperature decreases. The performance of all laundry products is seriously diminished if they are used in the extremely low temperature range, below 60 degrees F (15.6 degrees C).
Hot water 130 degrees F (54.4 degrees C) or above should be used for heavily soiled loads, diapers, or if there is illness in the family. Other loads normally washed in hot water may be washed in warm, or those washed in warm may be washed in cold. Some consumers may be satisfied with results at lower temperatures, others will not. Each person is the final judge.
When using lower temperatures for washing, follow the instructions provided on the detergent package. Soap products and powder laundry detergents should always be added to the washer before the clothes and especially when using cooler water. Alternatively, these products may be predissolved in warm or hot water before adding to the washer.
Washing at lower temperatures in
hard water with
powder detergents may increase
problems of residue on fabrics and
washers. A liquid laundry detergent
or a nonprecipitating water softener
used with a
powder detergent may help to overcome
these problems. In addition, other
variables besides water temperature
and water hardness must also be
considered. They include the amount
and kind of soil, type of fabric and
the amount and kind of detergent.