Room by Room Tip

Making changes in the laundry can be as simple as hanging out clothes rather than putting them in the dryer or as complex as researching energy and water efficient appliances. Includes How-To video.

Tips for the Laundry

Centre for Liveability Real Estate

Wash in cold waterlaundry

While some clothes need to be washed in hot water (e.g. nappies or clothes with oily stains), most clothes can effectively be washed in cold. Washing clothes in cold water saves energy.

Hang it up

Avoid using electric clothes dryers. Use the natural power of the sun to dry your washing by placing your clothes outside on a clothes line. During wet weather use a clothes rack inside your house.

Some strata buildings have restrictions on using outdoor areas and balconies to dry clothes; the most common being that laundry shouldn’t be visible from outside the building. Check your building’s by-laws to see if there are any restrictions in place.

If you need to use the dryer, and it’s not vented to the outside, always have a window open to the outside to allow moist air to escape. Use on the warm setting and clean the filter after each use.

A condenser dryer will extract water from your clothes into a container and this can be emptied onto your pot plants. These dryers don’t vent hot steam through the laundry and therefore avoid damage to the paintwork and potentially reduce mould. As most rental properties include a dryer any installation would be at the discretion of the owner.

A note for renters: you may need the approval of the owners corporation for this change. See our Rent Smart Guide for information.

Wash a full load

Always make sure you wash a full load of clothes. Not only will you save water but the less you use the washing machine the more energy you save. Change the water level to suit your load and use short cycles when possible.

Use the recommend amount of laundry powder

Some washing machines can detect how much laundry powder you use. If you use to much, the machine will run an additional rinse. Extra laundry detergent that is not washed out can make clothing stiff , reduce the life of the fabric and irritate those with sensitive skin.

Buy detergents made from biodegradable substances

Biodegradable detergents are a safer option for the environment.

Use your washing water on the garden

Providing you use biodegradable detergents, you can run a diverter hose, available from hardware stores, straight from your washing machine onto the garden.

Buy energy and water efficient appliances

If you need a new washing machine or dryer check the energy and water star ratings. Look for the highest star rating and buy the right size for your needs. For information on the Energy Rating Label, see our Tips for the Living Room.

Make sure the washer can do a true cold cycle because some machines heat the water even during cold washes.

Fix leaking taps

A dripping tap can waste a lot of water, so install new washers to fix leaks.

A note for renters: you will need to contact your landlords as regulations differ in each state regarding this change. See our Rent Smart Guide for information

Install aerators on taps

Aerators can be fitted to taps to reduce water flow and can be fitted inside or on the tap. Once again check with your landlord before installing.

A note for renters: you will need to contact your landlords as regulations differ in each state regarding this change. See our Rent Smart Guide for information



Reach for the stars

When buying new appliances, whether for the kitchen, the laundry or the living room, look for the Energy Rating Label. The label gives the appliances a star rating between 1 and 10 stars. The greater the number of stars the higher the efficiency.

The Energy Rating Label scheme compares the energy consumption of electrical products and appliances to help you with your purchasing choices. The star ratings of all labelled products and appliances are also available on the Energy Rating website.

When comparing different appliances or equipment it’s important to look at comparative energy consumption, which is shown in kilowatt hours, rather than just the number of stars.

The Energy Rating App

Download the Energy Rating App to find the running costs of your household appliances anytime or anywhere, on an iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, Android™ and Windows Phone.

Centre for Liveability Real Estate

Centre for Liveability Real Estate

In addition to their expertise in residential real estate, The Centre for Liveability Real Estate also works collaboratively with the sustainable design, construction, manufacturing and assessment and industries in the development of information on this site.

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