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Category: Green Technology Trends

How to De-Gunk Your Washing Machine

How to De-Gunk Your Washing Machine

In order to keep your washer running at peak performance, you’ve got to make sure the washer stays clean — and traditional laundry methods mean your washer might be prone to gunk, residue build-up, bacteria and odors. We depend on our washing machine to clean our laundry, but it can’t do an efficient job if it’s not kept clean. In fact, one of the first signs of a dirty washing machine might be the telltale indicators you see on your clothes: strange oily deposits, musty smells, lingering stains, dull colors, waxy residue and towels that just won’t fluff. The good news is, as long as you keep up with regular maintenance and routine cleaning, your washing machine should continue to perform well and be a steadfast appliance for many years!  A good rule of thumb is to clean your washer, inside and out, once a month.how to clean a washing machine

  • Wipe down the exterior. For this, you can use an all-purpose cleaner, or just some vinegar. Avoid abrasive cleaners, as they can scratch the surface.
  • Clean out the tub. To remove odors, stains, and build up of detergents and fabric softener, pour two cups of white vinegar or lemon juice into the tub and run it through a complete cycle on the hottest setting.
  • Scrub the lid or door. White vinegar is also good for removing mildew and detergent buildup around edge of the door and around the window on front load machines.
  • Don’t forget the bleach and fabric softener dispensers! Remove these if possible and scrub them in the sink, drying them thoroughly before returning them to the machine.

One more place that you might not think of cleaning but should: the inlet hose filters. These are found inside the water inlet connections, and they keep minerals and debris in the water from getting inside the washer. If they’re clogged, they’ll impede the flow of water into the machine for the wash cycle or cause the washer to not operate at all. While you’re cleaning the washer, inspect the hoses to make sure they are firmly connected and if signs of cracking are found, the hoses should be replaced.

When everything’s said and done, the entire cleaning process should take less than thirty minutes!

A few other tips to remember:

  • Remove laundry promptly after the cycle completes, and leave the lid open afterwards, to prevent mildewing.
  • Consider switching from commercial fabric softeners to white vinegar, since adding too much fabric softener may cause spotting on clothes.
  • On the other hand, for even less buildup, consider using no detergent at all! Try investing in a detergent-free laundry system, which uses oxygen, peroxide, and other oxidizers to lift dirt and odors from clothing without leaving residue in your washer or allergens in your clothes. Hospitals and hotels have used similar technology for years.

 

What is a Power Surge?

What is a Power Surge?

What is a power surge? Perhaps you’ve heard this term and wondered exactly what it is and why it’s so important to prepare for them.  A power surge occurs when something boosts the electrical charge in the power lines. When this happens, there’s an increase in the electrical potential energy, which can increase the current flowing to your wall outlet.

Power surges can be caused by any number of things including lightning, though lightning is not a very common cause.  High-powered electrical devices like elevators, air conditioners, and refrigerators are a common cause of power surges.  Turning these devices on and off creates sudden, brief demands for power.  This can upset the steady voltage flow in the electrical system, causing a power surge.  Faulty wiring, downed power lines, or other problems with the utility company’s equipment can also cause surges.

How can power surges be harmful?  Many modern electronic devices like DVD players, computers, and microwaves contain components that are sensitive to current increases.  Computers and any other home appliances that contain microprocessors are particularly sensitive to power surges.  These devices depend on a steady flow of power at the correct voltage.  Power surges can shorten the life of computers, and potentially wipe out saved data or destroy the whole system.

In order to protect your appliances from these unavoidable power surges, it is a good idea to use surge protectors.  Surge protectors help maintain the constant flow of power that appliances like computers and entertainment systems rely on.  Surge protectors can help minimize or eliminate the damage from small fluctuations in voltage flow, which can extend the life of your appliances.  It can be a hassle to use small surge protector power strips for all of your appliances, especially if you own many electronics.  To be sure that your whole home is protected from power surges, whole home surge protection should be used.

 

What is Water Conservation and Can I Make a Difference?

What is Water Conservation and Can I Make a Difference?

When it comes to taking care of the environment, the term “water conservation” is often used, but what is it, exactly? The term water conservation can be used to describe efforts made to reduce the amount of water used in homes, businesses (and anywhere else), as well as efforts to recycle waste water for other purposes such as manufacturing, irrigation, or cleaning.

Earth globe in last drop of environment resources - 3d render

Water conservation can be beneficial in a variety of ways.  For example, water management – water purification, water diversion, etc. – uses a significant amount of energy.  This energy usage could be decreased by efforts to conserve water rather than using water in a wasteful manner.  Ideally, water should only be used at a rate that does not take more water out of the natural ecosystem than can be naturally replaced.  By doing so, natural habitats are preserved, which benefits the environment overall.

Conserving water is something everyone can take part in.  There are opportunities in every household to cut down on the amount of water used and the pollutants that enter the water system.  For example, using energy efficient washing machines and dishwashers helps reduce the amount of water used, and often cuts down on the amount of soap needed to get things clean.  Take a step further and invest in detergent-free laundry systems that help clean your laundry without the use of soaps and chemicals that can end up in the water supply and harm the environment.  Taking steps like this in your home helps you and helps the environment.

Not only is it important to reduce the amount of water used, but to protect the fresh water supply by keeping it clean and healthy.  Everyone can make sure that they are using environmentally friendly products to help avoid putting harmful chemicals and other waste products into the water supply.

Vollara cares about creating products that make environmental sense.  Our products are designed to make the lives of humans easier while still being responsible stewards of our beautiful environment.

 

What Space Certification Means For You

What Space Certification Means For You

Since its inception in March 1983, The Space Foundation has been doing exactly what it set out to do: “foster, develop and promote a greater understanding and awareness of the practical and theoretical utilization of space for the benefit of civilization and the fostering of a peaceful and prosperous world.”¹ It is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs, major industry events, and research.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 4.51.58 PMThe Space Certification program is one major way The Space Foundation, in collaboration with NASA, helps improve public awareness and appreciation for the many practical benefits of space, space technologies, and how they improve life on Earth, ultimately making space more interesting and accessible to everyone. Products and services licensed to display the Space Certification seal are guaranteed to have stemmed from or been dramatically improved by technologies originally developed for space exploration or to have a significant impact on teaching people about the value of space utilization.²

 

Space technology touches and enhances practically every aspect of life on Earth. The fundamental research and development that makes it possible for us to explore the universe also makes our lives safer, more eco-friendly, more comfortable, and more productive. Over the last fifty years, much of what improves our lives, like healthcare, communications, travel, recreation, and entertainment, came to be what they are today thanks to technology originally developed for space exploration. Often referred to as “spinoffs”, there are literally thousands of products and services that incorporate space technology.

 

The list of technologies originally developed for space that affect our everyday lives is overwhelming: GPS, satellite TV and radio, cellular communications, advanced industrial lubricants, robotics, plastics, cordless tools, medical and chiropractic diagnostic equipment, ceramic hair straighteners, oil spill clean-up materials, radiant barrier insulation, temperature-regulating clothing, comfortable mattresses, nutrition supplements, water and air purification systems, and hundreds of other inventions including a long list of life-saving medical technologies.

 

Vollara’s ActivePure Technology is based on a variation of the technology originally developed for use on board the International Space Station. Recognized as exclusive Certified Space Technology by the Space Foundation in their category, Vollara’s ActivePure Technology can be found in

 

  • FreshAir
  • FreshAir Cube
  • FreshAir Mobile
  • LaundryPure
  • SafeHearth

 

These products combine the science of space with the power of nature to provide you with effective and proven environmental products.

 

 

Sources:

¹ http://www.spacefoundation.org/about/history

² http://www.spacefoundation.org/programs/space-certification

Why is Going Green Expensive? It Doesn’t Have to Be!

Why is Going Green Expensive? It Doesn’t Have to Be!

Why is going green expensive?  It might seem like going green always involves making sacrifices and spending more money on expensive products because they are better for the environment.  Well, the good news is that going green doesn’t have to be expensive and can, in fact, save you some green in the long run. why is going green expensive

When you are looking for ways to save energy and make your home and lifestyle more environmentally friendly, there are two things to consider.  First, look for products and appliances that are energy efficient.  At first glance, some of these things appear to be more expensive than their less energy efficient counterparts, and the truth is that the upfront costs might be higher.  That’s where the second thing to consider comes in.  Consider the savings that come along with the energy efficient appliance over time.

One example is washing machines.  You can buy an attachment for your standard washing machine that allows you to wash your clothes without the use of harsh detergents using cold water.  This keeps the pollutants from chemical laundry detergents out of the water and protects the environment from the damage that laundry detergent can cause.  It saves you money by eliminating the cost of laundry detergent and by using cold water so that no energy is used to heat the water.

The same goes for heating your home.  It is not energy efficient to heat every room of your home to the same temperature if you rarely go into some of those rooms.  Turn down your thermostat and invest in some energy efficient space heaters.  Electric space heaters can efficiently heat the rooms that you spend the most time in and decrease your heating costs overall.

Going green doesn’t have to be expensive, and can even be a sound, smart investment. Being a thoughtful steward of the environment can also be great for your wallet.

 

What is the Best Detergent? None!

What is the Best Detergent? None!

For years, people have used washing machines to do their laundry, and their biggest questions have been “what is the best detergent,” and “which machine is best.” Detergent companies advertise heavily, and continually strive for higher efficiency products, with broader appeal. However, the surprising truth is that the best detergent may be no detergent at all. 

  • Detergent can cause allergies because of the chemicals used. A test called “Human Repeat Insult Patch Test” is used to evaluate a person’s sensitivity to detergents because of the wide variety of chemicals used in detergents, brighteners, bleaches, softeners, and fragrances. Reactions can be reduced by using hypoallergenic detergents, and by keeping the washing machine in good repair, to reduce leftover residue.
  • Detergents are wearing on clothes. The chemicals in detergents can cause fading, and even pilling, because they are abrasive in nature.
  • Detergents cause pollution. According to the EPA, chemicals used in detergent could enter the water supply through runoff. These toxins may have a harmful effect on wildlife, as well as affecting the public water supply.
  • Detergents are expensive. According to EnergyStar.gov, the average American household spends as much as thirty dollars each month on detergent, and even more on fabric softeners, bleaches, and other cleaning agents.

Fortunately, detergents can be avoided altogether. Having been used for several years in hospitals,  energy efficient washing machine models that eliminate detergents are now available for household use. By using these, customers do not just save water but also keep irritating soaps and bleach out of their washing water. The two-pronged approach of water and energy efficiency is a great way to be kind to the environment and save on your water and energy bills.

It is an exciting time for green technology, and Vollara offers innovative products to help you live a cleaner, healthier life. With a commitment to promoting good health through eco-friendly technologies, Vollara lives up to a philosophy of Uncompromising Health. Visit our website to learn more about our eco-friendly products, or join our online community on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

How to Prevent Clothes from Fading in the Wash

How to Prevent Clothes from Fading in the Wash

Laundry is something everyone has to do, but few people know how to prevent clothes from fading in the wash. This is an issue, because replacing clothing is expensive. Fortunately, there are solutions to this common problem.How to Prevent Clothes from Fading

There are several tricks to help minimize the fading that occurs when clothes are washed;  from washing clothes with like colors, to washing with cold water whenever possible. Reducing your load size can also help, because an overcrowded washer is harder on fabric. Turning clothes inside out is a good practice, and adding vinegar to the wash water may help soften clothing, prevent static cling, and reduce fading. However, none of these practices address the underlying cause of what makes clothing fade.

What is the primary cause? Detergent! Detergents contain abrasives, and leave behind residues that weigh down and wear out clothing. Gentle detergents are easier on clothing than their harsher counterparts are, but they can still cause fading, over time. This may seem to be an insurmountable problem, but in reality, it is not. Fortunately, there are non-detergent solutions that can help.

Detergent-free laundry systems use cold water infused with oxygen, peroxide, and other gases to lift dirt and odor from cloth fibers. This is beneficial, not only because it minimizes the fading of clothes, but also because it saves money on expensive detergents. They keep buildup out of your washer and allow you to wash more loads in cold water, saving money on utility bills. They also help remove allergens from clothes and help reduce skin irritations caused by chemical sensitivities.   In addition, using non-detergent laundry solutions will help reduce the amount of chemicals that pollute groundwater through runoff.

What could be better than learning how to prevent clothes from fading, while benefiting your wallet and the environment?  Vollara has many eco-friendly solutions for your household needs. Visit our website for more information. Or, to join our online community, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Green Technology Trends: Water

Green Technology Trends: Water

“Going green” has become more than just a catch phrase, and is becoming a way of life for many people and businesses.  As energy and water costs rise, people are looking for ways to cut back on the use of these things, and water conservation is rising to the forefront in green technology trends.  These trends are aimed at helping individuals and corporations alike.

Technology designed to promote water conservation is aimed at all types of consumers.  Some of the hottest trends right now involve finding ways to reduce the amount of water used in the average household.  Some methods are very basic, like replacing toilets with low-flush models that use significantly less water, or replacing old faucets with new ones that use aeration technology that breaks water into smaller droplets allowing less water to be used overall.

High Efficiency washing machines are also highly desirable items right now because their advanced technology saves consumers money by reducing water costs and energy costs, while still providing consumers with clean clothing. New appliances are also available to help you to do laundry without detergents or hot water, increasing savings with each wash while keeping the water used to wash clothes chemical free and potentially suitable for other uses like watering the lawn. This approach is similar to the popular practice of harvesting rainwater on rooftops and using that water for flushing a toilet, cutting down overall water usage.

There are many other trends aimed at businesses as well such as installing automatic faucets in all public restrooms to help cut down on wasted water. Steam technology for cleaning and sanitation purposes has found practical application in settings such as hospitals, and helps facilities use much less water than they would traditionally use.

Conserving and protecting water resources are just one way you can join in to create a healthier, sustainable future for generations to come. Take time to look around your home to see what you can do to further reduce water and energy use. You may find you can help save a lot more than money.