Tips for saving money running washing machines and dryers

The news that our energy bills are about to rise has got us all wondering where we can save money.

And washing machines and dryers are hungry beasts when it comes to consuming energy. But you can save some money if you’re crafty and run them as efficiently as possible.

Squeezing the cost of living will force families to find up to £693 on average when energy bills rise.

And millions of us will still see our bills rise by hundreds of pounds this year even though Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a funding plan to mitigate the worst effects of the 54% rise, reports the Daily Record.

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Today the boss of on-demand laundry company Laundryheap, Managing Director Deyan Dimitrov, offered ways to save money by reducing energy consumption, including the cheapest time to use your washing machine during the day.

1. Run your machines later – but not while you sleep

At certain times of the day, running your washer or dryer can increase your energy bill, as increased demand can make electricity more expensive, depending on your tariff.

The most expensive time to wash or dry your clothes is between 4pm and 7pm, so try to avoid using your machines between these times.

Energy prices are at their lowest between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., perfect for night owls and early risers. But be sure to follow fire safety guidelines and never put on a load and lay down for the night

It is best to dry several loads of laundry consecutively so that the dryer stays warm between cycles.

2. The cooler the cycle, the better

Washing your clothes at cooler temperatures for less time can significantly increase your machine’s energy efficiency.

A 30°C cycle can cut your washing machine’s energy consumption in half compared to a 40-60°C cycle.

It pays to save your hot washes for bedding, towels, and sportswear, as these items are most likely to harbor a host of bacteria. For even more savings, use the eco setting on your washing machine, if it has one.

When it comes to drying your laundry, it’s also more efficient to use a colder cycle, even if that means it will take longer to dry.

3. Fill them with the right fillers

It is much more efficient to do one large load of laundry rather than many smaller ones, so be sure to fill your machines with appropriate loads.

An overfilled washing machine may not wash your laundry well enough, and an overfilled dryer may take too long to dry your clothes.

A good way to make sure your machine will run as efficiently as possible is to check if you can still touch the top of the basin after filling either machine with your laundry. If you can’t get your hand in and between your clothes, the machine is overpacked.

4. Maintain your machines

To keep your washing machine in top condition, it’s best to clean it every three months.

Pour two cups of white vinegar into your machine’s detergent drawer and run the hottest cycle. After the first cycle, add half a cup of baking soda directly to the basin and run a hot cycle again.

Alternatively, running a hot cycle with a descaling product is just as effective.

For your dryer, remember to clean its lint filter regularly for maximum efficiency – ideally after each cycle.

Where to find help as the cost of living soars

The soaring cost of living is putting household budgets under pressure, with some having to choose between heating and food.

5. Use organic capsules for more effective stain removal

If you wash your clothes in cooler temperatures, it is better to buy organic capsules or organic laundry detergent because they contain enzymes that can be activated at lower temperatures than non-organic products.

These detergents will break down dirt and stains better in a cold wash.

Note that non-organic detergents are better for sensitive skin because they contain fewer harsh enzymes.

6. Invest in dryer balls

Adding wool or rubber balls to your dryer during a cycle will help separate your clothes and increase their exposure to airflow.

This can overall reduce the drying time and run time of your dryer, saving you energy.

Balls of yarn can absorb some of the moisture from your machine and further reduce drying time.

7. Air dry if possible

Clothes dryers consume the most energy of all standard household cleaning appliances.

But we’re still struggling with winter, so drying clothes outside isn’t really an option either, even though it’s by far the best for cost efficiency and giving clothes that unique smell of ” line drying”.

If the heating is on and you have clothes to dry, place them in front of a free radiator, preferably with the doors closed to create a small thermal depression.

If you have any great money saving tips, let us know here.

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