Most of us are accustomed to using hot water to really get our clothes clean, but the hotter the wash, the higher your energy bill. In fact, 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes comes from heating the water, and switching over to cold (or even warm) water when washing everyday loads can slash your energy usage in half! Old habits die hard, as do nasty stains, so try to use the hot setting on your machine only when your threads are really in need of a deep clean. When using the cold cycle, skip the powder detergent, as it won't dissolve as quickly — opt for a liquid version or one that is made specifically for chilly washes. Still worried the low temps won't freshen up your washables? Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant and is great for cleaning without heat or chemicals — try adding about half a teaspoon to loads filled with towels and other fabric prone to getting musty.
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