Let's face it, laundry isn't always high on the to-do list and most of us don't spend too much time thinking about cycles, detergent and temperature. But what if your laundry routine is driving up your monthly energy costs? Read on to see if you're guilty of any of these energy-wasting habits and how to fix them.
Using hot water for every wash
Did you know that 90% of the energy used when washing your clothes goes towards heating the water? It's true! By switching to cold water, you'll save energy and your clothes will come out just as clean.
Choosing the wrong detergent
Ever wonder why your clothes are still soapy after a wash? You might be using the wrong detergent. Adding regular detergent to a high-efficiency washing machine can create an overload of bubbles and cause the washer to waste water and time by repeatedly rinsing the load.
To find out if you have a high-efficiency machine, look for the HE symbol or check your owner's manual. When shopping for detergent, the bottle should have the HE symbol too. Your clothes will be washed more thoroughly and use at least 50% less water according to Arm & Hammer.
Washing small loads…
Washing machines will always use the same amount of energy, regardless of how full it is. Make sure to run full loads when you can instead of a few items here and there.
…or oversized loads
A full load is always best, but make sure that you aren't overstuffing your washing machine with laundry. If your washing machine is too full, it can damage the drum and make your machine work harder to get your clothes clean. The same goes for your clothes dryer! Oversized loads will take longer to dry.
Drying different types of fabrics together
Try and keep similar fabric types together and don't mix lightweight fabrics with heavy cottons. Different fabrics dry at different rates, meaning a lengthier wait time for part of the load and not enough time for the rest.
Relying on your dryer every time
While it might take a little longer, hanging your clothes to air dry should always be your go-to method for saving energy and keeping your clothes looking fresher for longer!
Neglecting the lint trap
It can be easy to forget to check or clean up the built-up lint in your dryer, but doing so keeps your machine running properly and safely. Cleaning out the lint trap will help improve the air circulation in the machine and allow it to dry your clothes faster. Not only is it energy efficient, but it also reduces the risk of fire.
Choosing timed cycles over automatic
Let your dryer do the thinking for you! Using timed cycles means your clothes dryer may run much longer than it actually needs to. With automatic cycles, your dryer can shut off as soon as your clothes are dry and no moisture remains.
Taking too much time between loads
When you finish drying one load of laundry, try to get another into your dryer as quickly as possible. Waiting too long lets your dryer cool down and it'll use more energy to get back to the right temperature.
Give these tips a try to clean up your laundry routine and keep your machines from washing energy savings down the drain. If you are looking for more helpful hacks to save energy in your home, visit our blog.