Laundry debate: Can you give up warm-water washing?

Tide aims to make laundry more environmentally friendly

One of the most popular detergent brands has a new mission to make laundry more environmentally friendly.
One of the most popular detergent brands has a new mission to make laundry more environmentally friendly.

DETROIT – According to Tide’s “Ambition” project, doing your laundry with cold water can help save the planet and maybe save you some money along the way. The company said 90% of the energy used in laundry comes from heating the water and is pushing consumers in North America to do three out of every four loads of laundry with cold water by 2030.

The claim being made by the CEO of Proctor and Gamble’s Fabric and Home care division is the temperature of water has little to do with the ability to get clothing clean and that households could save up to $150 a year in energy costs and clothing would last longer.

The win for the planet claim is that enough if the continent adopts a mostly cold water laundry practice, it would have the same impact on greenhouse gas emissions as removing about a million cars from the road a year.

POLL: Tide aims to make laundry more environmentally friendly: Cold washing?

We took the clean clothes question to laundry experts. Metropolitan Detroit Area Hospital Services is the laundry contractor for numerous hospital groups in the region. For them, it’s not just about laundry looking good when it’s dry, they have to get it right because to them, laundry is a matter of health and safety.

Nate Adams, Plant Manager for MDAHS said that there’s a difference between getting items sterile for hospital use and getting them clean for home use.

You can watch Paula Tutman’s full story in the video above.


About the Author:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.