You can save the planet, reduce your electricity bills AND do less laundry! says KATHLEEN BELL | Express a comment | Comment
But if every UK household did just one less load a month, we would together save the same amount of energy as heating 43,000 homes for a year.
With the average family doing an average of nine loads of laundry a week, even without taking into account the cost of water and detergent, most families will spend £90 a year on their laundry like what? suggests that the average washing machine will use around 18 pence of energy per wash.
However, there are simple ways to save money and maintain cleanliness (and you’ll be doing your part for the planet, too!).
The first tip is simply to wash your clothes less. Aside from items like underwear or very damp sportswear, most of your clothes don’t need to be washed after one or even two uses.
Shaking out your clothes when you take them off and leaving them hanging out overnight is a great way to get another wear of an outfit.
Hanging your clothes near an open window or even in a bathroom after a shower will freshen clothes and ease light odors.
For slightly stronger scents, a mist of essential oils or fabric softener diluted in water is a treat, but keep it away from materials like silk.
Saving money often means going back to basics, like air-drying your clothes.
At nearly £1 per load and possibly the biggest energy user in the house, avoiding the use of your tumble dryer is a surefire way to save.
However, if you need to use it, try putting clothes out to dry when prices tend to be lowest – usually between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. – using the timer setting. If you’re not sure about that, dig up the manual or you can look it up online.
It’s also a good idea to find your washing machine’s manual to make sure you’re using the most efficient cycle; the “eco” setting is not always the shortest, coldest, lowest water option.
As you get to know your washing machine, get to know how much you can put in the drum as loads that don’t waste energy, water, and detergent.
A quick way to check capacity is to see if you can fit a palm’s width between the top of your laundry and the inside of the drum.
- Kathleen Bell is an expert in sustainable cleaning at smol.