Many of us switch to auto-pilot when popping on the washing machine or dishwasher. We’ve all got our favourite programmes and settings and more often than not, we press those buttons time and time again instead of considering whether the cycle is actually the best one for our dirty laundry or dishes.
Making little and large lifestyle changes where and when we can, will help to protect the environment as well as helping to reduce household costs. So, take a look now at your appliances and find that Eco button. It’s a standard feature on Miele washing machines Miele Washing Machines and dishwashersbut surprisingly, very few of us are actually using it.
The benefit of using the Eco setting is that it uses less water and less energy to do a wash, which conserves resources while cutting back on the bills. The reason we don’t use it may be that you think you’re getting an inferior wash with not-so-great results when that’s simply not the case. Miele’s appliances consistently deliver exceptional performance on all settings, even when used every day and over 20 years. The trade-off is that these cycles will take longer, as the water doesn’t get so hot as on a standard setting so it takes more time to achieve the same exceptional level of cleaning. So yes, if you’re in a hurry then the Eco Mode is not the one but next time, when it’s less of an issue how long it takes, hit the Eco button instead.
There are other myths that put many of us off using hose eco settings, so we asked Miele GB’s Product Training Manager Sophie Lane to help clear things up:
“It always pays to go for a new appliance known for its quality, durability and top energy-efficiency ratings,” she explains. “Consumers who then use the Eco Mode on a washing machine or dishwasher reduce electricity and water consumption even further. Even if the Eco programme were to be used every third time on a washing machine and every second time on a dishwasher, this would result in massive electricity savings.”
Many users think that laundry and dirty dishes won’t come out properly clean if they use the Eco Mode. However, this is simply not true. Eco programmes must meet strict legislative requirements as part of the energy label system and these are monitored in laboratories so you can rest assured that the finished laundry or dishwashing load will be perfectly clean.
Miele’s dishwashers for instance, combine smart water intake with optimised spray arms to make sure cleaning is spotless while using less energy, even for baked-on food. The PowerWash function on washing machines meanwhile ensures that water consumption and the energy needed to heat that water is further reduced while still producing outstanding results. If you are doing a wash with stubborn stains however then an intensive or special programme at 60˚C or 90˚C will be better. The same goes for gentle or handwash-only garments. Instead, use Miele’s Delicates or Woollens/Hand-Care cycles to take extra special care of the fabrics.
Some worry that eco programmes use more energy as they take longer. Again, this is untrue. Yes, the cycles are longer but they operate at a reduced temperature, which uses less energy. The reduction in energy needed to heat the water offsets the energy required to power the drum over the extended cycle time or to circulate water through the system. You can also connect Miele dishwashers to a hot water supply and in this instance, using the Eco Mode saves up to 46% in energy.
Another common misconception is that using Eco programmes regularly will shorten the lifespan of the appliance. Miele’s washing machines and dishwashers are tested to last 20 years and this endurance trial takes Eco cycles into account.
One thing to keep in mind is to make sure you run an intensive hot programme regularly on both your washing machine and dishwasher to remove bacteria and any residues, keeping the appliance smelling fresh. And don’t forget to clean the filters.