No one wants to do it. It’s the household chore that never ends. You think you’re done but, alas, there’s always more hiding in plain sight.
Whether it’s dishes or laundry, it’s the bane of adult domestic existence.
Because they exist to make our lives easier, consumer advocacy group CHOICE has delved deep into the science of all things washing to find the hacks that make these chores just a little less painful – and a little less wasteful.
We’re dutifully bringing you a round-up below, but you can read the full article here.
Get those dishes done
The number one debate when it comes to washing dishes is man versus machine: is a dishwasher or a deft hand more eco-friendly and effective?
According to the CHOICE gang, a modern dishwasher on a full load uses less water and energy than a sink and a scrubber.
Up to six times less water and half the energy to get a sink full of hot water, white goods expert Ashley Iredale said.
Another myth busted: you don’t need to rinse your dishes before loading them on it. But yeah, you do need to scrape huge chunks of food off them.
If your washer is being sub-par, CHOICE says you can give it a zhuzh by chucking a cup of white vinegar into a bowl in the unit, and hitting ‘go’ on a full cycle run. (Don’t have anything else in there, and double check your manual: there are some vinegar-hating models out there.)
If you’re violently against dishwashers, or just don’t own one, Ms Iredale says the best detergent you can use is from old faithful Aldi.
Tandil Ultra Power Soak N’ Clean dishwashing liquid clocks in at 0.35c/100ml – the combined cheapest and most effective in CHOICE’s recent best detergent test.
Love thy laundry and thy lawn
There’s a lot of perfectly good second-hand water that goes to waste from a load of washing. We shouldn’t need water restrictions to kick us into action.
CHOICE reckons all you need is a hose to become a greywater using champion: just connect it to your washing machine, and feed it outside into a tank, or even a wheelie bin.
Then the water is yours to do re-use as you please.
“We wanted to put a small water tank outside to capture and store greywater from the washing machine, but our local hardware store had sold out of all the water-saving products,” CHOICE staff member Alice said.
“Instead, we settled on a 100L wheelie bin – it holds the same amount of water but it’s about half the price.
“We rigged it up with an inlet for the grey water extension hose near the top and a tap kit at the bottom by drilling two 28mm holes. Our backyard is on a slope, so we can hook a regular garden hose up to the tap at the bottom of the bin and gravity takes care of distributing the water onto the lawn.
“All up we spent about $100 and a couple of hours to set it up. Now our lawn is lush and green again – it’s actually being watered more often than before the water restrictions.”