Some UK consumers spend as much as £130 each year to keep their clothing clean and this does not include the cost of detergent.
In the average household, more than five washes are done each week.
Reducing energy waste while cleaning clothes lowers household energy expenses.
Follow these tips for keeping washing machine, tumble dryer, and washer-dryer energy consumption in check to keep energy costs reasonable.
Reducing Washing Machine Energy Costs
To eliminate unnecessary washing, air clothes out after wearing them to get multiple uses from each item before washing is necessary. Do not do a wash unless there is a full load of laundry.
Two half-loads of wash consume more energy than one full load. Wash clothing at 30 degrees to reduce energy consumption by up to 40 percent from higher temperature washing.
Modern washing detergents and powders are effective at low temperatures. When the washing machine is not in use, turn it off at the socket. Illuminated machine lights indicate that the machine is consuming electricity.
Keeping Energy Costs Low For Tumble Dryers
Whenever possible, dry the clean clothing on a clothesline. This reduces energy consumption, saves money, and makes clothing feel fresher. When there is no alternative to tumble drying, do not dry clothing for longer than necessary. Using the highest spin cycle when washing clothes will remove the maximum amount of water so clothes will dry quickly. If the appliance is a washer-dryer, avoid using the tumble dryer accidentally. Sort washed clothing to ensure only clothes that require tumble drying are included in this cycle. Remove the fluff from the dryer filters to improve drying efficiency and switch off the dryer at the socket when it is not in use.
Regular Maintenance Reduces Energy Costs
Washing and drying quality improve when regular maintenance is performed on the washer and dryer. Refer to the maintenance recommendations in the manual provided by the appliance manufacturer. These typically include cleaning out the lint filter and the dispenser drawer after each use. If the appliance does not seem to wash or dry clothing effectively, follow the self-troubleshooting guidelines in the manual before having a professional inspection. Sometimes, a simple adjustment will correct the issue and doing this yourself saves time and money.
In addition to contributing to peak performance that reduces energy use, regular maintenance extends the lifetime of the appliance. However, if the washer or dryer breaks down, repair may not be possible. When shopping for a new appliance, look for one with the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo. This guarantees that the item is one of the most energy-efficient models available.
Here are some links to major manufacturer manuals:
This link is particularly useful as it covers many of the main manufacturers:
Saving Money On Laundry Detergent
Coupons and online discount codes help shoppers save money on laundry detergent. However, they can save even more money by making their own laundry detergent. An easy recipe includes one box of washing soda, one bar or soap, one box of borax, three gallons of tap water, a knife, large spoon, measuring cup, and a lidded bucket that holds more than 15 litres.
Heat approximately four cups of water in a pan on the stove until it is near boiling. Use the knife to shave strips from the bar of soap into the water. Stir the water until the soap dissolves. Add 11 litres of hot water to the bucket, mix in the soapy water, stir, and add one cup of washing soda. Continue stirring for one or two minutes and add a half-cup of borax. Stir for a few more minutes and allow the substance to cool overnight. To get clothes their cleanest, use one cup of the resulting slimy substance for each wash load.