Until 1906 for machine wash the strength of the arms was used. There were in fact washing machines, the oldest comparable to modern machines is that of Thomas Bradford in 1860, but without an electric drive.
And for those years perhaps it was better this way because, when the first prototype of electric washing machine made by Alva Fisher arrived in 1906, the safety problems were not few. The electricity was still a bit complex to 'manage' and the motor was too close to the basket: short circuits and electrical discharges caused deaths.
Today it is quite another thing of course, and machine wash it has become normal. What we expect from this operation is not safety, now guaranteed by all the official machines on the market, but a balanced mix of at least three things: cleaning the clothes without damaging them, consuming little energy, not polluting.
But we know machine wash? Recent research conducted by Kantar Media on behalf of Samsung reveals that in one in three Italian households, those who deal with washing machines are afraid of ruining their favorite clothes and therefore neglect them, or take them to the dry cleaners. The cost of not using the washing machine is estimated at 120 euros a year and affects one in ten Italians.
A curious aspect that emerges from the research concerns the washing cycles. Italian families select on average four different ones in a week, preferring in order: whites, quick wash, 40 degrees and delicate items. In all four of the other countries where the research was carried out, the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands, 40 degrees and quick wash are mainly used. The latter are also the cycles with the lowest energy consumption and lowest environmental impact.
For machine wash reaching the three objectives indicated - clean, consume little, do not pollute - enough 'simple' machines would be needed from the point of view of operation (useless to have ten washing modes if only two are used) but also sophisticated enough to wash well without waste , i.e. optimizing energy, water and the amount of detergent.
A help is given by the sensors fitted to some of the latest generation washing machines, thanks to which the machine is able to automatically dose the necessary detergent, softener and water based not only on the amount of laundry, but also on the level of dirt. By optimizing the 'ingredients' of the wash, even the most difficult fabrics can be washed at a low temperature.
'Technological' washing machines cost more, it is true, but if the technology does not consist of simple gadgets put there to make a show, hi-tech usually turns out to be a good investment. When buying a new washing machine, it is better to prefer recently built models. Not in a poke though.
Since 'rain washing' was introduced, perhaps there are no more 'soaking' washing machines on the market. But check it out, you never know. Also keep in mind that machine gaps today provide for the reuse of washing water, which is fed back through a tube, increasing the cleaning action.
The 'optimizing' sensors raise the purchase price of the washing machine, but save on its use. A perfect example is that of detergent, a fundamental component of machine wash, together with water and electricity. In a 60 ° C laundry, between 1.2 and 1.5 kWh of electricity are used to heat the water and 120-150 grams of washing powder. Translated into currency this means: 0.26 euros for electricity and 0.31 euros for detergent.
The impact on the environment of machine wash however, it does not depend only on the consumption of energy, water and the amount of detergent. The composition of the detergent is also important. Hyper-concentrated and hyper-aggressive products usually contain substances that are more difficult to dispose of than ecological detergents with surfactants of animal or vegetable origin. There is an infinite possibility to prepare your own laundry detergent.
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