Saving Money in the Laundry Room

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.

cold wash

Cooler water saves money.

Chill out!

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 $1,800 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.

Almost Dry

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!


© Red Dwyer 2011
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  1. awarewriter

     /  November 6, 2011

    Great advice Ann Marie. If you have natural gas in your home, ditch the electric dryer and buy a much more efficient gas dryer. If we had more room in our yard (and fewer birds) I’d hang the wash out. Yep, John does the wash during the week. Amazingly enough, men can learn how to operate complicated machinery like washers and dryers.

    I still remember my mom hanging a yard full of wash every day. Watch out for those wooden close props — they come with nasty splinters. LOL

    • I hear that about clothes pins, John! And they pinch, to boot. Seems like my little brothers all knew how to hang clothes on the line…

      Great point about gas dryers. They are truly the lesser of two evils when it comes to dryers. You can save at least 30% by making the switch to gas over electric.

      Good to see you! Stop by anytime, and leave a link to your latest post!

  2. You won’t know this but I am rather domesticated around the home and for a man that is something worthwhile these days, I mean some men cannot even wash a cup or a plate can they, I mean is this due to being a tad lazy, or are they just too old fashioned?

    I know what you mean about the washer settings and nowadays all washers are just as good on the colder washes as they are on the hotter settings, and due to so much excellent research into washing powders and liquids they too are designed for this purpose, giving everyone the option of cold, warm or the hotter settings in which to do their washing.

    Now I like to peg out the washing too as this saves a lot of energy on those money guzzling dryers, of course if something needs to be done in a hurry then those appliances are truly great, but mother nature offers the verysame results and at no cost either so how wicked is that?

    Okay I won’t go into my ironing skills as that would be far too boring to mention but some guys are just bone lazy no matter what job needs doing and leave everything to their woman, wife, girlfriend, mother…

    Well anybody but them 🙁 lol

    A great posting Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • That makes you a rare find, indeed, especially if you were on my side of the pond. I have been considered the meanest momma on the planet because my sons had to learn such mundane chores as laundry. Honestly, I do not understand how any self-respecting adult could be befuddled by such a simplistic pair of devices, especially in the age of advanced micro-electronics.

      Now, if we could perhaps invent a Zombie laundress, we may well be onto something literally enriching!

      Have a wickedly wonderful evening,

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