The Cost-Effective Way to Disinfect Your Laundry
June 12, 2018
Through this article we want to discuss the expenses of laundry and if laundry detergents really do the job. Washing laundry is a significant use of water in the average home; accounting for 15% to 40% of the overall water consumption inside the typical household. Ozone in laundry use is a path breaking detergent-less, non-chemical product that makes laundry much less time consuming, way more affordable and eco-friendly than regular detergents. But Why is it so much better?
There are a lot of factors that play into how much money can be saved, the following are just a few key factors: how many loads of laundry you do per week, how many pounds of laundry per wash, how many cycles your machine runs, what temperature the water is, etc. It is important to examine each of these to understand how ozone in laundry use can help a family.
The Environmental Protection Agency says the average family of 4 washes nearly 480 loads of laundry a year which is more than a load a day.
Two different sources state the average gallon usage of water per load. According to Minol Water Services, washing a load of clothes uses about 30 gallons of water. The USGS states however that a washing machine that is newer (typically front loaders) may use 25 gallons but an older model of washing machine may use up to 40 gallons per load. So that equals over 12,000 gallons of water a year we use on average just to wash our clothes.
The amount of water per wash is calculated by how many pounds per cubic foot your clothing load is, which displaces the water. Most washing machines will note in their owner’s manual a water factor. As shown in example 1, a chart from the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, the water factor for washing machines is claimed to be the number of gallons needed for each cubic foot of laundry where they calculate a lower water consumption as being more efficient in water consumption. The other factor to take into consideration is the modified energy factor (MEF) that washing machine manufacturers give you. This is what is known as Energy Star or Federal Standard being the two most common. The MEF indicates how many cubic feet of laundry can be washed and dried with only one kWh of electricity. Typically, on MEF the higher the number the more efficient the machine. So, what is your washing machine really capable of?
After all this is considered, we worry about the actual heating cost per gallon of water that goes into doing our laundry as this is one of heaviest impacts as savings goes.
One thing to understand is that hot water is not actually getting hot enough in a washing machine to kill germs, bacteria, or viruses. The other question is, are your clothes disinfected after a wash cycle? Dr. Chuck Gerba at the University of Arizona presented research showing that after swabbing 100 washing machines, there were more than 60 percent of the machines testing positive for coliform bacteria, an indicator of fecal contamination. Another 20 percent of the machines contained staph. Dr. Gerba also confirmed the laundry bacteria is primarily from underwear, but also included bacteria often found in dishcloths and sponges. Dr. Gerba looked also at what happens to bacteria during washing and drying. He used three different illness-causing bacteria for his tests: E. coli, Salmonella, and another common bacterium that causes skin infections (Mycobacterium fortuitium).
Simulating typical home-laundry practices using warm water washes, the researchers observed that after washing, bacterial contamination was found throughout the clothing and on the machine, itself. The bacteria left behind even showed up in subsequent wash loads.
Even more surprising, the heat from the dryer did not kill all the bacteria. The E. coli was eliminated, but the other two bacteria, although reduced, were still present.
Equally concerning, your hands and the top of the washer and dryer meet those germs as wet clothes are transferred from washer to dryer.
The other common question that is asked is your laundry detergent really working? A report by CBS news actually found the “dirty secret” of the laundry business, “We’re all guilty of over-dosing. If you’ve ever filled a washing machine with clothes you felt could use an extra boost of cleaning power, you may have added more than the recommended amount of detergent.” Because washing machines are becoming more energy- and water-efficient, too much laundry detergent will leave a film on your clothes.
The definition of a “detergent” is a chemical substance you use to break up and remove grease and grime. Water alone can’t clean clothes because it won’t attach to molecules of grease and dirt. Detergent is different. The surfactants it contains are made of molecules that have two different ends. One end is strongly attracted to water; the other is attracted to oily substances like grease. Since detergent is designed to attract dirt, wearing overdosed clothing can make them dirtier, faster, when you wear them, causing you to wash your clothes more often and ultimately costing you more money.
There is a mathematical equation to figure out what your washing machine is costing you on average. This is how you can calculate how much your laundry really costs you. Now this equation varies per washing machine and area you live in for cost but this gives a good average.
We found on average a washing machine uses 18 gallons of water per wash cycle and that on average there are only 2 cycles per load equaling out to 36 gallons of water per load of laundry that are done.
We know that an average your water inlet temperature is 77®F. The hottest water aloud in most homes is typically 120®F to prevent scalding accidents. So, if we did a rise between the two different temperatures it would be approximately 43® F (120®F-77®F=43®F) That we are increasing per load.
We also know that it takes approximately 8.34 BTU’s to heat 1®F per Gallon of water.
The Formula is as Follows: (1®F x 8.34 BTU’s x (120®F-77®F) = Amount of BTU’s per gallon of laundry.
This equates to 358.62 BTU’s per gallon to simply heat the water going into an average washing machine. We are attempting to heat 36 gallons of water per load of laundry. Multiply the two and you get a total of 12,910.32 BTU’s used per average load of laundry. The conversion back to Kilowatt Hours equates to 3.784 KWH per load of laundry. This varies of course with the type of washing machine you have as stated earlier.
An average KWH cost, which varies by location, we used the state of Maryland, is 13.7 cents.
(13.7ȼ x 3.784 KWH per load) = .51 cents per load of laundry just in heating cost
We also averaged a family of 4 completing 480 loads per year. (.51 cents per load x 480 loads) =
A total annual Savings in energy cost alone, an average of $244.80.
Also add in the cost of Laundry detergent. Tide Total Care Laundry Detergent – 50 oz. bottle says it does 32 loads per container: 480 Loads per year ÷ 32 loads per container = 15 containers of tide total care laundry detergent. Each 50 oz. bottle costs $19.99. Totaling $299.85 (not including tax) spent in laundry detergent alone per year. Then add in the cost of bleach and fabric softeners along with stain treatment sprays. The total for detergents, bleach and softener bought by an average family of 4 in a one-year period is approximately $440.00. That is a lot of money!
So, your laundry over a 1-year period for a family of 4 will cost you approximately $700.00 per year!
Alternatively, it is the benefits of ozone use in your laundry routine that will save you money. A California hotel conducted a study over a 2-month period in a facility with 104 rooms to compare traditional an EcoTex ozone laundering system. They found the annual costs of ozone vs. traditional laundry was less in the categories of electrical (30% savings), natural gas (81% savings), chemical (21% savings), water (26% savings), and labor (39% savings). A 2012 hotel study entitled ‘Ozone Laundry – 95 Room Hotel Payback Study” showed similar results and a savings of almost $780 per month. They found that the ozone laundry system saved over 47% of fuel costs for boiler and dryer operation, with a 74% savings for the boilers (hot water) alone. In addition, the system eliminated softener costs, reduced electrical costs for the washers and dryers by about 13%, and reduced linen replacement costs by 10%.
Furthermore, Ozone has been shown to effectively control, disinfect, and/or totally eradicate microorganisms normally found in soiled laundry in many studies. For example, one study found that several microorganisms such as E. coli and many types of viruses were eradicated within minutes by ozone cold water laundering. Even more impressive, the same was found for two superbugs (MRSA and C. difficile). These superbugs are often resistant to traditional hot water laundry processes. However, the disinfection is a time-dependent process. Ozone is effective in killing bacteria in 3 minutes and viruses in 6 minutes. So, in this aspect ozone laundry system out perform traditional systems. It is recommended that laundry wash cycles be 10-12 minutes to determine a concentration over time value that is the recommended method to report compliance with U.S. EPA disinfection requirements of drinking water.
Detergent less laundry system can save money and valuable time. A detergent less laundry system consumes around 25 watts of electricity – which is even less than the average light bulb consumes when running. For these systems, you do not need hot water, so you don’t need to pay to heat water in the first place, saving energy and money. You don’t need to sort clothes by darks and lights, whites and colors, any longer (due to the elimination of hot water). Clothes will feel softer and fluffier, since you won’t be leaving any soap behind in the fabric. The life of the fabric itself is extended, because detergents cause fiber shredding. The rinse cycle will work as a second wash cycle. Detergent-Less Laundry Systems ultimately, will improve the performance of your washing machine, and ends the need to purchase cleaners.
There are a lot of untold sides to this story. The question to ask yourself is how much is your laundry really costing you?
Oxidizer Pro INC.
If you are interested in hearing more about how our American Made Detergent-less laundry system works, we will be happy to answer all your questions. Our revolutionizing detergent-less laundry product is not only ecofriendly but also very safe and healthy. We look forward to speaking with you soon.
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