A lot of people want to buy a washing machine with a 30 degree wash cycle. Unfortunately, many end up disappointed to find that the advertised 30 degrees programme is totally inappropriate for what they had in mind. Anyone wanting to wash cottons at 30 degrees to reduce energy usage needs a proper, dedicated 30 degree cottons cycle.
Many 30 degree wash programmes are designed for either delicate items, or for laundry that is very lightly soiled. Therefore they don’t wash for long enough, agitate enough, or spin fast enough to properly wash any normal washing. They commonly only last about 30 minutes or even as low as 15 minutes. Clearly you can’t expect to wash the majority of laundry properly in such short times, which includes rinses and spins, and at only 30 degrees? This type of programme is just not good enough for if you want to wash much of your laundry at lower temperatures for environmental reasons.
If you want to use 30 degree washes to save energy then you need to drop the temperature from a normal 40 degree wash (like cottons) to 30 degrees which is only possible using a washing machine with a manual temperature control dial or temperature control option buttons. This should allow you to set your own temperature meaning you can select a cottons wash and turn down the temperature to 30. This should do a proper normal wash with all the rinses and a full final fast spin but at 30 degrees instead of 40.
However, before getting too carried away with the idea of saving lots of energy by dropping down from 40 to 30 you should be aware that the savings are not as great as you might assume. This is because doing a 40° wash with a modern washing machine does not cost that much at all. In fact on average the energy usage is (currently) only about 5p for an A rated washing machine on a 40 degree wash. So saving 40% on 5p by dropping to 30 degrees is not going to save a fortune. I don’t dismiss 30 degree washes altogether and please bear in mind that as energy prices increase this saving becomes higher, but being informed helps you make good decisions. Have a look at my article on 30° washes for more information.