Have You Been Sold A Lie
Are the ratings and claims you see the truth or not?
You would be forgiven for thinking that the wash program that you select on your washing machine did what it said that it does but is that really true?
There have been several long running debates on the subject and scorn poured on that seemingly many wash programs do not reach the temperature stated.
The two most common washes used (at least here in the UK) the cotton 40 and cotton 60 wash have come under particular fire as, whilst the dial and manual tells you that’s what they do, that’s not really what they do.
In short, this would on the face of it at least, be the appliance industry’s equivalent to the Volkswagen emissions scandal where what you are told and what you actually get, aren’t the same.
Keep in mind, manufacturers like VW et all self test and self certify. Nobody monitors or checks it. Cheating is easy.
What has happened is that in a bid to reduce energy consumption some manufacturers appear to have lowered the wash temperature in these programs to achieve a better energy use rating but, lengthening the program to get the same wash result.
Now to us this is a bit naughty and, we’re not the only ones that think this is just out and out blatant cheating the system. We also do not think that the results are the same, not at all and that is not out only concerns in this.
For a start the amount of energy that is being saved is minuscule in general terms. Most people would never even notice the difference in electricity costs as a wash cycle will roughly be about 10-17p per wash in electricity depending on the machine and the energy supplier.
So on average it’ll cost you about £40 to £50 a year in electricity to run a washing machine.
A claimed 10% reduction in energy isn’t exactly a money spinner!
But these claims, large pinch of salt is required on most of them. In all likelihood you’ll probably save nothing or next to it. Think VW emissions scandal, what you are told is not necessarily the reality.
However they are like bright, shiny lights that attract buyers.
People get duped (in our opinion) into thinking they’re going to save a small fortune on electricity use by choosing the “most efficient” washing machine or polar bears when the truth is, they won’t.
So what happens is the likes of a washing machine set on a 60 Cotton program (note we didn’t say, 60˚C but what’s on the control panel and manual) as people quite reasonably assume that’s a 60˚C wash and, that’s what they want. Kills bugs, cleans stuff better etc.
But it isn’t that at all.
It’s a lower temperature program intended to mimic the effect of a proper and true 60˚C program but this one might only get into the mid 40˚C’s at best.
Who’s going to know?
Who would even notice?
Who will bother to check it?
What will they do even if the game gets rumbled?
What agency, government or whatever will care even if it is?
And, even if someone does care, what are they going to do about it?
The only thing that customers see, the people using the machines, is poor wash results but that often takes many washes to come to light just as the old detergent adverts used to try to explain.
Meanwhile people are basking in the false delusion that they are saving the planet or a fortune on electricity.
Impact: Wash Performance
Obviously the first thing that sees a downturn as we just mentioned is the wash performance.
The reality of it is that, if you wash at lower temperatures then you impact on how clean things get but also on the sanitation as well and this could well be just feeding into and making the problems with smelly washing machines yet worse still.
But more than that, detergents are designed to work on temperature curves with elements coming into play and doing the whole cleaning thing as the temperature rises. If you upset that and do not get to the temperatures you need for the cleaning program you need or want then, it won’t do it’s job properly either.
You won’t damage clothes by washing them in a wash that’s too cold of course but, they will never get as clean as they should.
Impact: The Environment
Okay so everyone thinks that using less energy is a good thing for your wallet and the environment so it’s a win-win and, in many circumstances that will hold true.
It really doesn’t here.
The trouble is that if items of laundry degrade faster and look tired or worn out people just toss them out and buy more. Please explain to us how that is good for people’s bank balance or the environment or even the sweatshops pumping out cheap garments etc?
That’s part of the problem, clothing and so on are so cheap in relative terms, people often just don’t care.
Even when or if people do notice that their stuff isn’t as clean as it ought to be what do they do?
That’s right, they wash it again. More electricity, more detergent, more cash burnt up, more environmental damage.
In other words, there is no win-win here, it’s all just an illusion perpetrated on the unsuspecting buyers. Probably by marketers trying to flog stuff as being something it really isn’t.
But people believe the hype.
The thing about 60˚C washes and above, as we have repeatedly stated on this website, is that they are required for sanitation.
Even you towelling and bedding much less anything else needs to be washed at these higher temperatures to get them clean yes but, also to kill mites and other nasty stuff lurking in your laundry. You know, like bugs that give you diseases and stuff like that.
In order to do that you must get the temperature up.
Where this is utterly crucial is for the like of health workers, nurses, doctors and more as they will have stuff on their clothes that, you really do not want to survive and reinfect people with.
Or indeed, carry something into a hospital or environments like that where any lingering bugs may cause a problem or even harm.
We can understand that some people may not see the importance of this but, if you get some disease after being in hospital, at the doctor or whatever, you may just come to care about it.
What Is Being Done
Nobody cares. Or more accurately, not enough people care.
The people that buy washing machines seem to be far too distracted with false promises of massive energy savings, huge loads that are often lies as well or flashing pretty lights and an attractive price to care if the thing they’re buying actually does what it says.
If you buy a new washing machine and it doesn’t have temperatures on the front you know will probably know the reason why.
Some will even have 30˚, 40˚ and so on shown but, that's not what the temperature is, just what clothing the wash cycle is supposed to be suitable for.
You will also probably know why the performance is rubbish. It’s a compromise and in our opinion, a very poor one at that.