Want to spend $0 and save money?
Do it in the laundry room! And you do not have to run out an buy a high-efficiency washer and dryer. You can keep a jar for loose change on the shelf, but you can be saving money in a flash by doing the laundry differently.
By washing most of your clothes in cold water (instead of warm or hot), you can save $63 more than the average American on your electric bill.
The Alliance to Save Energy calculated the savings using a washer just like John Q. Public: A top-loading, eight-year-old, three-speed, $399 machine…not the $1,200 energy efficient kind.
Be lint free.
Clean the lint filter after every single load. This keeps your dryer drying at peak efficiency. Once per month, take the lint filter and wash it. Popping it in the dishwasher will get it clean! This will remove any fabric softener which holds lint in place and clogs the filter.
Heavyweights vs. Featherweights (?!)
You wouldn’t put a bruiser in the ring with a geek (I hope!). Separate the clothes you put in the dryer. Dry similar weight fabrics together. Silky undies and boxers with blouses and synthetics. Towels. T-shirts, briefs and socks.
If you put a towel in with your silk blouses, the dryer will keep heating to dry the towel long after the blouses are dry. So, you are wasting energy by having that one towel in with items which dry in half the time.
The crotch and waist bands of jeans take forever to dry. T-shirt and golf shirt collars take longer to dry than the rest of the shirt. When the buzzer goes off they are not quite done.
Rather than starting the dryer again, hang these items until they are dry. Your dryer automatically turns off the heating element for the last ten minutes of your drying time. If you turn the clothes on to heat, unless you stand right there, you are running them for ten minutes longer than you need.
Skip the extra heat in the house (for the air conditioner to cool off) and the further delay in drying your next load by hanging those partially damp clothes until your next load finishes.
Air it out!
You can save up to $10 per month by air-drying one load of clothes per week. Now, don’t turn the electric wonder to “air dry”. Hang those towels on the handy-dandy towel racks in your bathroom. Or drape your comforter over the shower rod.
Bonus: Air-dried towels are crispier than dryer-dried towels. They absorb more water (which dries your hide faster) and will gently exfoliate your skin (even that hard to reach spot on your back).
Good for you! Good for your wallet! Good for the environment! Win, win, win!
Cooler Water + Air Drying = Saving Money
Cooler water saves $63, and air-drying saves $10. Let’s add it up.
1 month = $73
1 year = $876
5 years = $4,380
In no time, you can save enough money to buy the high-efficiency washer and dryer!
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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