Yes, you read that right – your washing machine and dryer can actually save you money. The trick is knowing what to do with it.
Washing clothes is something everyone does, and (depending on the number of people in a home) it needs to be done pretty frequently. But using that much water and electricity can wreak havoc on your bills at the end of the month. So, here are some tips to cutting down on utilities when you do your laundry, and putting money back in your pocket:
• Wash in cold water
While it's important to use hot water when you need to disinfect as well as clear (such as for towels, or the clothes of someone who has been sick), but the remainder of the time cold water will get the job done. According to the Department of Energy, 90% of the cost of doing laundry comes from running the water heater during the process.
• Avoid the dryer
If the weather permits it, consider line-drying your clothes. This brings benefits twofold: first, you'll be saving approximately $85 per year by not running your dryer. Second, line-drying is better for the fabric of most clothes, and preserves them for much longer than if they were being tumble-dried.
• Only run full loads
It's too tempting to run a half- or quarter-load when you have that one favorite shirt you want to wear, but don't want to wait a week for laundry day. Doing this just costs you money – just be patient, and you'll save energy and money.
• Clean your dryer
Specifically, make sure there isn't any lint in the catcher when you start a new dryer load. This will save you money by keeping the dryer from unnecessarily and excessively heating your home, and it also makes you safer – lint fires are a dangerous problem you don't want to face.
• Prep your next load
Before tossing your clothes into the washing machine, use a stain remover on them – this will get the process started in getting your clothes clean. Use lemon juice or white vinegar if you don't want to use store-bought brand stain remover.