Energy-saving Laundry Hack That Cuts Costs
Worried about your bills this winter?
At the risk of stating the obvious, you really aren't alone... The vast majority of British households are holding their collective breath in anticipation of the dreaded energy bills.
This is why we’ve put together this list of laundry hacks that could help slash your costs.
From using a drying rack to air-drying your clothes, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you save money on your energy bills – without having to give up on doing laundry altogether! (Yeah, yeah - we know... Had to try)!
One Warwickshire mum, Liffie Fowler, took to TikTok to share her genius drying hack that sent the internet into a spin by using hangers on her indoor airer that then allowed her to dry more clothes in a short space of time and it also saved her time on ironing because once the clothes had been hung up, most of the wrinkles would disappear on their own.
So, this got us thinking - what can you do to save money on your laundry?
- Use the correct amounts of detergent and softener to save money in the long run.
- Use a lower heat setting on your tumble dryer to save energy.
- Clean your lint trap regularly to avoid a fire hazard and increase efficiency.
- Hang clothes on an airer or in the bathroom to save energy.
Run Your Machine(s) When The Rates Are Low
Once upon a time, Economy-7 was a thing; now, there are different energy tariffs at different times of the day.
Check with your provider to see if there’s a cheaper time to do your laundry, and try to run your washing machine and tumble dryer then.
Increased demand in supply would normally see rates go high between 16.00 and 19.00 (just after school pick-up until around the end of the work day, ie. when we get home). So, if you can, do your laundry outside of these hours.
There are not many of us who would be able to forego the use of a washing machine: It just makes life so much easier and, thankfully, there are ways to use it more efficiently:
Wash on a cold setting
This is a huge saving on your energy bill, as most of the energy that washing machines use goes into heating the water. Washing powder/liquid/pods, etc. these days are designed to work just as well in cold water, so there’s no need to worry about your clothes not coming out clean.
Only wash when you have a full load
To some, this one will be a no-brainer - only put a full load in, as washing partial loads wastes water and energy. You're welcome!
Upgrade to an A+++ model
OK, this may seem a little counter-productive, however, hear us out: If your washing machine is over 10 years old, it’s definitely time for an upgrade.
If you are able to, the new, energy-efficient models on the market could save you a fortune in the long run - both in terms of your energy bills and water usage. What is it they say; 'You gotta spend money to make money'?!
Keep it clean
Whether you're in a position to splurge on a new machine or you're hanging onto your old one, please be sure to maintain it - yes, it is a 'cleaning' machine but that does NOT mean that it will stay like that!
Washing machines, like all appliances, need a bit of help to stay in tip-top condition and one of the best ways to keep it clean is by using an empty washing machine cycle with vinegar once a month.
This will help to get rid of any mold or mildew and will also give your machine a nice clean smell.
Use the correct amounts of detergent and softener
Lost of people 'eyeball' just how much product to put into their machines before using them and so that seems like a pretty obvious place to start bringing it back to basics.
No one gets the amount right every time and being human means that we tend to add a little extra in to be right, when in reality, we are literally flushing money down the drain... Next time you put a load on, stick to the recommended amounts because it'll save you money in the long run.
In days gone by, having access to a tumble dryer was a real luxury, especially for those living in cold/damp environments - over time, they have become somewhat of a household staple, meaning we have forgotten what life was like without them.
As with the washing machine, there are ways to use your tumble dryer more efficiently:
Tumble dryer balls
If you have to use the dryer, these are a fantastic way to reduce drying time and save money.
By separating the clothes as they dry, the hot air can circulate more efficiently, thus reducing drying time. They also help to soften fabrics and reduce static.
Top tip: Don't forget to shake out your clothes when transferring them from the washing machine to the dryer - it makes a huge difference when your dryer doesn't have to work with balled-up items of clothing, sheets etc. Doing that alone, should reduce drying time.
Use a lower heat setting
Again, to some, this seems like an obvious one but you'd be surprised at how many people just put their tumble dryer on and leave it to do its thing.
By using a lower heat setting, you will not only save energy but your clothes will also last longer.
Check your lint trap
This is something that a lot of people forget to do and it really does make a difference - a clogged lint trap means the dryer has to work harder and use more energy to dry your clothes.
Not only that, it's also a fire hazard, so it really is worth taking the time to check and clean regularly...
Dry your clothes on an airer
This is an old-fashioned way of doing things but it really does work - if you have the time and the space, hang your clothes on an airer or clothes horse and let them air dry naturally.
This is great for delicate items that can't go in the tumble dryer, as well as saving you money.
If you're not quite ready to let go of your clothes being dried in the tumble dryer, another investment idea are heated airers; yes - they still use electricity but nowhere near on the scale that the tumble dryer does!
Another top tip: Try hanging your clothes in the bathroom when you have a shower running - the steam will help the fabric let any wrinkles out which means: NO ironing... win-win!
Making small changes to the way you do your laundry can have a big impact on both your wallet and the environment.
Be sure to use the correct amount of detergent and softener, as using too much is a waste of money and resources.
Use a lower heat setting on your tumble dryer whenever possible, and clean your lint trap regularly to keep things running smoothly.
And if you're feeling really ambitious, try hanging clothes on an airer or in the bathroom to save even more energy. Every little bit counts!
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!