Dirty laundry is inevitable – it’s part of the human condition. But getting it clean doesn’t have to be a budget buster. There are lots of ways to reduce energy costs in the laundry. Here are eight of them, that take just about zero effort.
- Wash in cold water. Heating the water is by far the biggest energy expenditure related to washing machines – in fact it’s about 95% of the energy cost! So setting your washer to cool for both wash and rinse cycles can make a big difference.
- Be sure to use a spin cycle to get most of the moisture out of the clothes before they go into the dryer.
- Don’t do laundry until you have a full load. You will run fewer cycles and the machine will operate more efficiently.
- Set your washing machine to a shorter cycle (skip the pre-rinse, etc.)
- Cut back on the amount of detergent. This is a place where less is more in many ways. Not only will your machine work more efficiently without an overload of suds, your clothes will actually get cleaner.
- Do your laundry during off-peak hours, when electric rates are lower
- Keep the dryer’s lint trap and external vent cleaned out. The dryer will work more efficiently.
- Try dryer balls – strange but true – these special balls reduce drying time and make clothes soft and fluffy.