Washing clothes at 20 degrees saves a lot of energy. But what about cleanliness in an apartment building?
“Washing at only 20 degrees is fine, but what about hygiene?” Asks an “espresso” listener in an email to the SRF Consumer Editorial Team. She lives in an apartment building and shares a washing machine with other tenants.
The washing machine runs in an apartment building almost every day, removing all germs.
That’s not a problem, says energy consultant Giusepina Togni of the Energy Efficiency Agency: “A washing machine runs in an apartment building almost every day, all germs are eliminated, and today’s detergents kill bacteria and viruses.”
Togni can understand the annoying feeling of washing your clothes in the communal laundry room at low temperatures without knowing if the neighbor finally washed the blanket of the hairy dog. “Then start the laundry day with a 60-degree wash and then continue with a 20-degree wash,” she says.
Washing 60 degrees once a month
It also makes sense to do a 60-degree wash once a month. This also applies to people who have their own washing machine. Because at low temperatures, a biological layer of detergent residues and bacteria can form in the washing machine. After a 60 degree wash, this is gone.
Despite good arguments, the conviction that only warm water can properly remove stains is deeply rooted in many people. The energy expert advises: “Just try it. My grandmother still boils laundry at 90 degrees, and my mother washes at 60 degrees. Thanks to technical advances in both detergents and machines, I can wash my clothes at 20 degrees and thus save a lot of energy.”
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