Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: How to Save the Planet and your Wallet on Laundry Day

It's summer and the heat is on.  Or should I say the air conditioner is on?  While the air is on full blast, everyone could use a few tips and tricks to keep their energy bills down. Here are a few hopefully new ideas from me to you that will save energy, money, and wear and tear on your washer and dryer.

1)  This is probably a no brainer.  Use the coolest temperature setting possible on both the washer and dryer.  This will decrease the work done by the water heater and the dryer heating element.  Less heat in your appliances also means less radiant heat in your home which translates into less work for the air conditioner.  It's a moneysaving snowball effect!

2)  Wait until you have enough for a full load before doing laundry.  No matter what size load you wash, your washer and dryer use the same amount of time and energy to operate.  You'll save electricity, water, and time in the long term.

3) Use a residue free soap or try reducing the amount of regular detergent you use in the wash.  In many cases, you can decrease the amount of detergent by 25-50% without compromising cleaning power because of the caustic surfactants used in most detergents.  If you are washing an extra dirty load, agitate then let it soak overnight to loosen the grime before running a full wash cycle.  This will reduce or eliminate the need for an extra rinses when you do laundry.

4) Harness the energy of the sun to double task drying and disinfecting.  If you use high heat settings in the washer or dryer for disinfecting purposes, try an old fashioned clothes line.  The UV light emitted by the sun which causes sunburns is also a powerful antimicrobial death ray.  You'll decrease the amount of heat needed on laundry day, which will keep your home cooler and your wallet fatter.

5) Make your dryer faster by putting a dry towel or two in the dryer.  This is especially good for thick clothing and cloth diapers that dry more slowly than regular laundry.  The towel will wick water out of the wet clothes, allowing them to dry more quickly.  Since the towel is dry to begin with, the heat of the dryer will evaporate moisture almost immediately so that the towel can draw out wetness continuously.  A word of caution:  don't get too excited about this idea and overfill your dryer.  The wet clothing needs to be able to tumble freely in order for this to work.  Also make sure you don't use this method on clothes you want to keep lint free.

Photo by mattox courtesy of stock.xchng

1 comment:

  1. Cleaning the air conditioning ducts so that there is no bad air running into the environment is also a simple way to save the earth.As we say charity starts at home ...we have to start the acts from our itself.The car fumes also have to be checked regularly.