If you are using an energy efficient A/B rated washing machine, you should be using an energy efficient washing detergent like soapnuts too!
Most washing machine manufacturers have come inline with this EU directive and are maufacturing more eco-friendly models. An A rated machine currently indicates that the model offers 0.17 kWh per kilo energy performance on a 60ºC cotton cycle. But the type of laundry detergent used in these machines make a big difference to the overall wash and the energy efficiency of the machine.
In the US, energy efficient (EE) models are labelled HE or High Efficiency and detergent manufacturers have created special HE laundry detergents for these machines. In the UK, with the increase of energy efficient machines that can wash at 30 degrees, detergent manufacturers have created products to suit.
All good you say? But what are the ingredients of these specialist products? They still contain ingredients like phenols, phosphates, optical brighteners, bleach, and lots of other harmful synthetic chemicals that have been linked to allergic reactions and destruction of water/eco systems. Using a normal washing detergents in an EE model, you will find that the rinse cycle does not rinse out all the powder/liquid residue. This can cause problems if you have sensitive skin, ezcema, psoriasis or other allergies, or if you are trying to wash real cloth nappies (absorbency is greatly reduced).
Also, a typical feature of these newer machines is that they use much less water through the entire wash cycle. Using standard chemical detergents will affect the energy efficiency of the machine because they are not low-sudsing. In fact the washing machine manuals will all say something like…’Using regular detergent will likely result in washer errors, longer cycle times, reduced rinsing performance, and may result in component failures and noticeable mold or mildew’.
Using a low-sudsing alternative like soapnut shells or soapnut powder will not only keep your EE machine running more efficently, but because they are also free of Sulphates, Phosphates, Phenols, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Petro-chemicals, Perfume and Bleach they are great for anyone with sensitivites as they are hypoallergenic. You can use soapnuts at any temperature from 30 – 90 degrees and they are 100% biodegradable!
If you are using an EE washing machine that uses between 30 – 40 litres of water, and you prefer to use the lower temperature settings then we would suggest using soapnut powder. The powder form releases the natural surfactants quicker at lower temperatures ensuring you get a clean green wash!