This is a continuation of a series on how to save/find money to alleviate the pressures that Christmastime spending usually brings to the average household in America. Find the first installment, Ways to Save: Part I, here.
Part II: In the Laundry Room
1.) Combine loads of laundry in the dryer. You may have to wash darks and lights separately, but if the loads are small enough to fit in the dryer together, dry them at the same time. 1 dryer cycle vs. 2 = 40 mins of electricity pull vs. 80 mins. = SAVINGS!
2.) If you use dryer sheets, cut them in half or reuse them 2 or 3 times before throwing them out. Don’t use them on towels, btw – they coat the towels with stuff that prevents them from absorbing as much water as possible.
3.) Stop buying dryer sheets and commercial detergent. We have started making our own detergent – recipe here: http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-soap/ – and will make the fabric softener recipe as soon as we run out of the dryer sheets we have – recipe here: http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-fabric-softener-dryer-sheets/.
4.) Use the clothesline (or drying rack) whenever possible. The point is to keep the dryer from running as often.
5.) Do only full loads of laundry. Be smart about your clothes – wear pants a couple of times before throwing them in the hamper.
6.) Wash in cold water more frequently. There are some items which MUST be washed in warm or hot water, I understand – baby clothes with food stains, for one! But I saw this advertised recently: Tide Coldwater Liquid Laundry Detergent. Here’s the description: “Tide Coldwater is specially formulated for cold water conditions so you can save energy and money when you switch loads to cold.” Brilliant!
7.) Don’t have multiple appliances running at the same time as your washer/dryer.
8.) Also, consider the time of day you run your major appliances. Don’t run the dryer between 2-7 pm in the summertime, when your A/C unit is struggling to keep up, anyway. Your dryer pulls lots of electricity that your A/C unit needs, cranking that meter up into high gear.
9.) Use Borax. I add a few shakes into loads that have been sitting for a few days or that contain clothes with stains. You use less detergent and don’t have to buy special stain-fighting sticks and gels.