The best way to save on your laundry costs is to avoid doing it completely, right?
Many a busy parent has had this thought when considering how to tackle that big mound of dirty clothes. But as much fun as this idea is to think about, it's not realistic–family members will need clean clothes eventually, and re-wearing the same outfit for weeks will start to smell real funky.
However, there are some other ways to seek energy efficiencies in your laundry process which will work out to less money out of your pocket. Both are good things.
Try these strategies:
- Consider an upgrade. If your washer and dryer are more than a decade old, it might be time to invest in new ones. You'll likely be impressed with all the new options and features, with the added bonus of using less electricity, water or gas. The Energy Star certification speculates that the average U.S. homeowner can save $45 per year and 23 gallons of water by switching to a newer machine.
- Use a clothesline. Yes, this is old school, but past generations knew that hanging the wash out to dry is easy and clean. You can skip the hot dryer cycle altogether. However, it isn't for everyone: some neighborhood covenants may prohibit it, and some people may live in particularly rainy or dusty climates.
- Pick the right size for your family – and schedule. If you're doing laundry throughout the week and only have a few people, then a smaller machine that uses less electricity and water will be fine. But if you do a lot of laundry at once and have a huge family, a higher-capacity washer might be the way to go.
- Vary the temperature. It's easy to plug your clothes in, turn the washer on and walk away. But not everyone knows that it's OK to change the water temperature depending on the items being washed. Warm or cold water combined with soap can do basic cleaning just fine, and you can save hot water for loads that may need extra attention.