10 Tips to Save Money and Energy When You Do Laundry

Most families do more than 400 loads of laundry a year, costing upwards of $600. Trim those costs with these energy-saving tricks.

Laundry nook with colorful red wallpaper and bifold door
Image: Anna Rodé Designs

Here’s a fun laundry room fact: The average American family washes 300 loads of laundry a year, spending as much as $1.08 per load, for a yearly total of $324.

Most laundry room expenses come from heating water for washing and heating air for drying. But these costs aren’t set in stone, and you can save money by following these energy-reducing tips.

Get the Most from Your Washer

Ninety-percent of the cost of running a washer goes to heating water. Here’s how to save money while getting your clothes clean.

Get the Most from Your Dryer

5. Spin faster. The faster you spin clothes in the washer, the less time they’ll need in the dryer. If you have the option, chose a faster spin cycle.

6. Clean lint filters. Remove lint after every load, and clean ducts annually. Your clothes will dry faster, using less energy.

7. Warm it up. If possible, locate your dryer in a warm laundry room rather than in a cold basement. The warmer the air coming into the dryer, the less energy your machine will use to heat it up.

8. Go gas. Drying a load of laundry in a gas dryer generally costs less per load than an electric dryer. 

9. Keep it full. Dry only full loads and try not to mix fast- and slow-drying clothes — a practice that wastes energy by continuing to dry clothes that are no longer wet.

10. Let nature help out. When the weather is warm, cut your energy costs by drying clothes outside on a clothesline. If homeowners association regulations don’t allow you to set up a clothesline outside, use a standalone drying rack inside.

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