How Much Water Does Your Business Use On Laundry?
Many businesses in the UK regularly have to put wash loads on, whether that’s chef whites and tea towels in a commercial kitchen, bed linen in a hotel or even towels at a gym or health club. If your business is one of those that washes on site, do you ever consider how much water you use on this activity each year?
Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Oxwash, and shared by the Daily Mail, has revealed that Britain’s domestic properties alone use enough water doing laundry to completely drain Lake Windermere.
According to the sustainable laundry company’s calculations, domestic customers use an average of 50 litres of water per wash load. When scaled up to allow for the number of households in the UK and the average number of loads per house, it’s estimated that 360 billion litres of water is used each year on domestic washing.
This is more than enough to drain Lake Windermere, and more than 100 billion litres more water than is held in Ullswater, the second largest of the Lake District’s iconic bodies of water.
As a business, it’s important to consider your water usage for tasks like laundry, as this could be adding up considerably on your water bills, especially if you are washing more loads than you need to.
For example, the Oxwash research found that if every household was charged on a water meter for its washing machine cycles, that would amount to a cost of £0.5 billion per year, based on a charge of 138.18p per cubic metre of water used.
Dr Kyle Grant, CEO at the company, commented: “If we are going to be more water aware and use it more wisely, it’s important to bring the hidden impact of daily water usage to the fore.”
One of the top tips from the organisation for anyone, whether a business or domestic water user, who wants to reduce their water usage on laundry is to check the water efficiency of your washing machine.
The newspaper explained that the water consumption information on a washing machine is at the bottom of the energy efficiency label and that this isn’t covered in its rating letter, which refers to its electricity usage.
It’s also important to carefully choose the wash cycle you’re using to make sure you’re not wasting water or energy. A blog for Oxwash recently offered advice for the temperature that you should wash different items at.
In a business setting, you’re predominantly likely to be using hot washes, as heavily soiled items (like chef whites) or anything that will be reused like towels or sheets, will need to be washed at 60 degrees C for maximum bacteria eradication.
It may also be worth talking to your staff to find out how often they’re putting items on to wash and whether they could be using an eco setting on your washing machine to save on water and energy if they aren’t putting full loads on each time.