Ways to Save Money While Doing Laundry

Laundry is not only a chore for most of us, but it also can be a huge waste of energy if you aren’t careful. Old appliances take longer and are more wasteful with their energy usage. However, outside of replacing your old washing machine or dryer, there are other ways to save money too. Read on to find out some ways to save money while doing laundry.

Energy Saving: Washing Machines

Washing machines use a lot of water, and if not properly cared for can run for extended periods of time, also wasting electricity in the process. Most high-efficiency washers use only 15-30 gallons (57 to 113 L) of water to wash the same amount of clothes as older washers, which can use up to 50% more water.

The most efficient washers on the market today use less than 5 gallons per cubic foot of capacity.

Replacing your washing machine can do more than save on water usage. Many washing machines wash similar load sizes, but in half the time. In fact, on average, washing machines are the third most energy-hungry home appliance right behind the refrigerator and clothes dryer.

However, if replacing your washing machine is not an option now, here are some other ways to save:

  • Use Cold Water. Using warm water can actually cut a load of laundry’s energy use in half, and using cold water will save even more. If you decide to primarily use cold water for washing, make sure you use cold water detergents.
  • Only Wash Full Loads. Washing machines do not adjust their energy usage based on load size. You will end up using the same amount of energy for full or half loads.
  • Choose an ENERGY STAR-certified Washer. New ENERGY STAR washers use about 25% less energy than conventional models without the certification.

Energy Saving: Dryers

Dryers are commonly the household appliance that uses the most energy. In fact, it beats its next highest competitor, the refrigerator by over 200 kwh.

Clothes dryers are either all electric models, or electric and gas. While many homes are only setup for one or the other fuel type, you may be able to change if gas is cheaper than electric, or vice versa.

Some ways to save energy when drying your clothes include:

  • Air Dry When Possible. By hanging your clothes outside or on a drying rack to dry will save 100% of the energy your dryer uses.
  • Use Correct Load Sizes. If the dryer is too full, it will take longer for the clothes to dry. If the loads are too small, then you aren’t maximizing the heat generated by the dryer to dry as many clothes as it could have.
  • Take Advantage of a Warm Dryer. If you are drying consecutive loads, try to swap out loads immediately, thus taking advantage that the dryer is already warmed up.
  • Keep the Lint Trap Cleaned. Your dryer will run more efficiently (sand safer!) if it has access to a fully empty dryer lint trap. We suggest making a habit of cleaning the trap after every load.
  • Use Lower Heat Settings. While it may take a bit longer to dry your clothes, less energy will be consumed by not heating your dryer up to its maximum temperature.
  • Use the Cool Down Feature. If you are one of the lucky homeowners that have a dryer with a cool down feature, use it. It takes advantage of the dryer’s remaining heat at the end of the cycle.
  • Moisture Sensors. Get into the habit of using the moisture sensor feature on your dryer if it has one. It will run only as long as it needs to, without any extra energy consumption by continually drying already-dry clothes.
  • Choose an ENERGY STAR-certified Dryer. New ENERGY STAR clothes dryers use about 20% less energy than conventional models without the certification.

Leave a Reply