Friday, April 20, 2007

My Latest Energy Saving Experiment


The wife has been staying at her parents house lately. This house is too cold, dark, damp and dirty to be conducive to good health. That finally gave me the chance to try something I've been wanting to check out.

Some time ago I got a sample package of Tide Coldwater laundry detergent in the mail. The wife usually does the laundry so I suggested she try the cold water stuff. She was skeptical, didn't really want to try it and never did.

So, since I had to do a load of my own laundry yesterday, this was my chance. Looks good so far. Of course, I'm probably the worst one to judge how clean clothes are so I should probably have the wifey give the clothes a sight and smell test.

Still, they seem clean enough to me and I washed the load in cold water only. Probably could have saved even more money by drying them on the clothesline rather than the gas dryer. Pending rain was a convenient excuse to use the dryer.

I'll have to admit to still being a bit skeptical about using this stuff, myself.

First, we generally don't buy name brands of anything. We get whatever seems like the best deal at Grocery Outlet or Winco. If I had to buy Tide Coldwater at the regular price at a normal store, I don't know I'd go for that.

Second, I'm naturally skeptical of their claims and really wonder if this is much better than using any other detergent with cold water. I know the wife has washed some things in cold water but those were sensitive materials and such. Maybe I should try some el cheapo detergent with cold water and the end result would be the same?

I don't know, but this is one area of saving energy (thus money) I haven't tried yet. I'll be looking into this further. Now, if I can only figure some way to take the hassle out of hanging clothes on the clothesline to dry, I'll really be in business.

38 Comments:

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should use cold water anyways. It saves the color in your clothing over time, doesn't shrink stuff as bad, and unless you're really greasy it does just as good a job.

 
At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How odd. I use cold water on everything except bed sheets (and hot then only to kill bed bug-type critters). Spray stains first if needed. Cold rocks.

 
At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you one of those weird guys people try not to get caught looking at Fred?

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't say I'm surprised you wife would leave you.

 
At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me neither. You make yourself like some kooky old hermit. Are you?

 
At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buhne? Where are you when we need you?

BREAKING NEWS!

Fred discovers washing in cold water.

Developing....

Come on Fred, this has been around for decades.

 
At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Fred this is not quite the step I was expecting, but it is indeed a step in the right direction. A direction towards a more independent, thoughtful, curious and clean Frederick Mangels. This growing up project is coming along nicely. Everybody is proud of you! Maybe when your wife sees this blog, she will decide to come back to you!

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger Rose said...

Forgive them, Fred. they know not what they say.

 
At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, you can also save hot water by taking GI showers. Get a shower head with cutoff valve. Wet down, turn off water, soap up and scrub, turn water back on to rinse. Saves soap too.

I also assume that with your marital situation, you've been taking cold showers for quite awhile, which saves more money. It would explain your general grumpy attitude toward anyone having a good time.

 
At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe an on-demand hot water heater is in Fred's future. Cut my gas bill by almost a 3rd.

 
At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would he need hot water when he obviously lives under a bridge?

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"Maybe an on-demand hot water heater is in Fred's future.".

I wouldn't mind having one of those. Problem is, other than buying the heater, I'd have to get a new fuse box and probably rewire the entire house- impossible to do for me now.

We have one of those old style fuse boxes where when you turn the microwave on and the drier's running, a fuse blows and we lose power on the whole north side of the house.

I would think one of those on demand heaters would blow fuses like crazy.

It would be nice, though. This is also one of those houses where you have to run some faucets like five minutes just to get hot water. Not only wastes energy, but water as well.

 
At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The on-demand heaters use natural gas not electricity to heat the water. They have an electrical igniter, but I don't think it uses very much electricity.

Have you tried putting a penny behind the fuses? You need an old penny, made from copper. That will eliminate blown fuses and ensure a large home insurance claim after the fire.

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Hank Sims said...

On-demand water heaters are awesome! We had one in a rental once -- space-saving, energy-saving, and the hot never runs low. It really is superior in every single way.

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Fred do you have a wood stove? I have some good tan oak you could have, free. It sure changes the ambience of a cold damp house. It makes blogging more fun too.

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Pamela Reece said...

Since I have 4 children, saving not only the cost for heating the water but just the water bill itself is a great. I've been using this product and it works great. Only problem I have with it is when one of my 3 sons decide to write on their jeans with markers, nothing is gonna save 'em!! Of course, I suspect that's their point! :-)

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Nope. I don't have a wood stove. Thanks, though.

 
At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Fred, since you're like all anti-government and stuff, are you going to collect Social Security? I mean, as a supposed Libertarian you believe in self sufficiency right? So it would be an insult to you to take Social Security, or any kind of government or social safety net. Right? I mean, you're getting close to that age. I guess I'm just wondering if you're a big fucking phony.

 
At 6:57 AM, Blogger Pogo said...

We have a wood stove. Do you ship to Happy Camp?

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger Greg said...

We could use a good laundry blog.

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger Greg said...

No time available here for one, though. It took me an hour to find the cheese.

 
At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang Pogo, all the way to Happy Camp?! Is firewood even worth anything out there? Considering I cut the wood in Willow Creek ,drive it to Eureka, then add the trip to Happy Camp...Now that's some serious carbon emissions, even before any wood gets burned!

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Cold water for colors-

Hot water for whites and bedsheets-

Woolite for gentle fabrics with cold H2O-

I like the bio-safe laundry detergents best.

I found that the Oxyclean works well for stain removal as well as the use of Shout on stains.

It does take time for hanging up laundry to dry, but it does make the laundry smell nice, however, allergens can be picked-up by hanging the clothes outside.

I just love using Swiffers for cleaning the floors and for dusting.

Keeping up the house is constant work. One can easily get behind if one is not feeling well. We have had help in the past when we have been ill, but I prefer to do the work myself.

I feel better after we get rid of the clutter and give un-used items a 'heave-ho'.

Of course, I would prefer to spend most all of my time in the garden and forget the housework. I just doesn't work out that way.

I wish you and your wife all the best, Fred!

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Oh, yes, Greg is a big help, too!

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger Greg said...

No bull!

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Greg said...

bull?

 
At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Mous Anony said...

Cold water for the past 20 years for me. It's a matter of dollars and sense. My lady friend on the other hand, disagrees. She says "Cold water is great but it doesn't sanitize. That's something you have to think about when you have kids".

And what did the aboriginals do before they had Kenmores?

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger Heraldo Riviera said...

Does warm water in a washing machine really sanitize? Seems doubtful since the water isn't boiling.

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No warm water doesn't sanitize just removes some stains better but then cold water is also what is necessary on some stains and anything else just sets the stain and it may stay forever. I use All that is something like stainmaster makes everything smell good and doesn't seem to change any of the clothing colors. Can be used in hot, warm or cold water. I also use Soil Love on stains. Removes almost everything that can get on clothes. Can't use it on silk (I wash silk in the washing machine). Any time a new stain product comes out I try it. I have found that the reason the TV mom says "never mind" when learning of child spilling on carpet is that Renew does not remove anything so you are in for new carpet anyway.

Have an on demand hot water "heater" but mine does not have electronic igniter and is only about two years old as the first one developed a leak in the area that looks like a car radiator and that required replacement. I don't know what my gas bill would be if I didn't have it but probably save a lot with it.

 
At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep this in mind: Water that does not reach 140 degrees does not kill dust mites. Eliminating dust mites reduces your suffering from allergies.

 
At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hank says on-demand water heaters are superior in every way.

I think they have one disadvantage.

If the hot water never runs out, how would I ever get out of the shower?

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"Water that does not reach 140 degrees does not kill dust mites.".

Isn't that a bit hotter than most hot waters heat water to anyway? If so, it wouldn't matter if you used cold water.

I wonder if using a dryer would kill dust mites? I've been told that lice are killed by running clothes through a hot dryer. It supposedly dehydrates them.

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger samoasoftball said...

My wife has been washing our clothes in cold water for 20 years. Before it was trendy. Just because of the electrical cost to heat the water. Never had anyone come up and comment about my clothes being dirty. And she had used all sorts of soaps.

Leaves more money for buffets you know.

 
At 2:25 PM, Blogger Fred said...

We've actually compromised on it for years. We wash on warm (not hot) and rinse on cold.

I have no idea what the temperature difference or money savings is between using warm rather than hot, though.

 
At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're all washed up.

 
At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if dust mites would be killed using cold or warm water. Probably something a Google site would answer or maybe not. I know if any child gets lice in school from using another's brush or comb that it won't kill the lice. Must be very hot water and the hottest dryer setting available, Been there with lice going through a private school. Hubby and I never got lice but everything in the children's room was sprayed, disinfected and washed in very hot water. I actually boiled water and added it to a small amount of hot water in the washer. No more lice.

For some things I guess hot is the only answer.

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, check out Ecos from Costco if you're a member.It's all natural, works well with cold water, has added natural softener, and smells good. It takes very little and is effective.

 
At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for electrical igniter for on-demand water heaters... you can get them now without the need for electricity at all. They have a little turbine in the water line that creates the electricity for the ignitor. Mine's a Bosch.

 

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