When you go to wash your pants, make sure to empty out your pockets! The average household does almost 400 loads of laundry each year according to Energy Star, which can add up to an average of $523 annually. With laundry, small changes can make a big difference, so try one of these simple tricks to save loads of money on your laundry.
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Use Cold Water. The Department of Energy estimates that up to 90% of the cost of doing laundry comes from the fuel used to run your water heater. So, consider using cold for your next load. No need to worry about whether that will get the clothes clean - advances in technology and detergents have made cold-water washing just as effective as hot water.
Run Full Loads. If you only run your washing machine and clothes dryer when they’re full, you’ll save money because you’re running the machine less often. The eco-friendly upside is that you'll also use less water and conserve energy.
Remove Lint. Make sure to empty the filter in-between every load to ensure your machine can run efficiently. Removing lint prevents the dryer from excessively heating your home and greatly reduces your risk of fire. Read Inspect Your Dryer And Dryer Ducts to learn more.
Maintain your Washer. Every load you run adds wear and tear to your washing machine. To keep your tighty-whiteys at their brightest and your machine at its best, maintain it regularly. For step-by-step instructions, read: Inspect and Maintain Your Front-Loading Washing Machine. If you have a top-loading washing machine, read: Inspect and Maintain Your Top-Loading Washing Machine.
Switch to Front-Loading. If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, consider buying a front-loading washer. They use 40-75% less water and 30-85% less energy than a top-loading machine! Yes, they cost about $100 more, but you’ll end up saving at least $100 a year.
Dry Clothes Outside. If it’s convenient for your home and your life, line-dry your clothes. You’ll save yourself $85 dollars per year, which is the average cost of running a clothes dryer, according to the California Energy Commission. Plus, line drying also preserves your clothing!
TIP: If you’ve found that your line-dried clothes are stiff, add a half-cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle. The vinegar removes residue from the clothes, keeping them soft. And don’t worry about the vinegar smell – it disappears as the clothes dry!
Clothespins don’t have to be boring. Add pizzazz to your line-drying laundry with colorful and stylish clothespins:
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