Washing Clothes and Cutting Costs

Here’s a chore we all have to do: clothes cleaning. Because appliances, water and products are used to accomplish this task, let’s talk about how to save money and still get your clothes clean. First, I’m not going to tell you to wash by hand or dry your clothes on a line outside. If that’s your choice, have at it.

Learn how to use your washer and dryer. On my washer, there are lots of settings for the type of wash and the length of time for the wash. For nearly every load, I use gentle settings and for the least amount of time. If you have kids in baseball, this may not work. But think about it: how dirty are these clothes? Do you sit in an office all day or work on a road crew?

My dryer also has several different settings along with a sensor. I use the sensor setting so that I can stop the dryer right when the clothes are dry enough (not burning!) to hang up or fold. The key is to use the appliances efficiently, don’t just run these energy guzzlers for more than necessary.

Next, look at your laundry soap. I use a liquid. It comes with a cap that has measuring lines for differently sized loads. The line for the largest load is not at the top of the lid/cap, but around the middle. I’ll bet lots of people fill it up to the top and waste half of the bottle.

Now for the water. I rarely use anything but cold water for all my wash. If I have white towels or the shower liner to bleach, I’ll used hot for the wash and soak, then cold for the rinse. Everything else gets cold. You also need to set the load size correctly so you don’t waste water and energy. I buy a good pretreat liquid so that I can attack stains easily and a dryer sheet to keep static down.

Lastly, when the dryer sensor buzzes, get the clothes out and immediately fold or hang up everything. If you leave them too long and they cool down, you’ll be running the dryer again for another 30 minutes to get the wrinkles out.

Laundry can be a big sink hole for money that you don’t notice, but if you put these hints into action, you can lower your utility bills, soap cost, wear-and-tear on your clothing, and your machines might last longer.



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