As we are entering the winter season, electricity and gas bills are certain to rise, and with the cost of living crisis, most of us have the same question in mind: how can I save energy throughout this winter? One way to do so is through energy-efficient laundry tactics. Here at Clothes Doctor, we have gathered our top 7 laundry energy saving tips to help reduce energy consumption while doing your laundry this winter.
Tip 1: Wash when the machine is almost full (but don't overfill)
It can be tempting to run the washing machine when half-full, especially if you are yearning to get your hands on your favourite piece of clothing. However, we would advise you to wait just a little longer until the machine is almost at its full capacity as this will help you save energy, detergent, and time. It is, however, important not to overload the washing machine as this can prevent your clothes from being washed properly. You ideally want to have some room for your clothes to move as the clothes rubbing against each other during the wash is part of the cleaning process. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit your hand in the drum and turn it upside down.
Should you really need to wash a piece of garment urgently, we recommend hand-washing it as it would be more energy efficient. Our line of eco wash products can help you have the most effective clean while also maximising the lifespan of your clothes.
Tip 2: Wash on 30 degrees, using a low temperature detergent
Some stains can be hard to wash off and may require you to run the washing machine at high temperatures. But in most cases, you might find it more beneficial to wash your clothes at a low temperature combined with an effective low temperature detergent. Washing your clothes at 30°C rather than at higher temperatures can help you save around 40% of the energy used each year, and most detergent nowadays are just as effective at low temperatures.
Tip 3: Don't use the tumble dryer
Tumble drying can be expensive, especially during the winter season. In fact, tumble dryers, washing machines, and dishwashers can account for 14% of your household's total energy usage. We advise avoiding the use of the tumble dryer as much as possible and instead use more energy-efficient alternatives. We have listed some of those in the coming tips.
Tip 4: Do not dry on a radiator (use heated towel rail instead)
Some people can have the misconception that using the radiator as an alternative to the tumble dryer can help save them money. Depending on how deep into winter it is, some people may already have their radiator on and think they can hit two birds with one stone …or one radiator more precisely. Well, it actually turns out that drying clothes on the radiator is super expensive! Covering the radiator with your clothes actually prevents heat from escaping the radiator and heating the room, making the radiator completely ineffective. Because of this, your boiler has to do more work to heat the room instead and this makes it more expensive.
Another concern is that drying clothes on the radiator causes condensation and mould, which can cause damage to your walls. In the worse cases, it can lead to health problems (think pneumonia) for vulnerable people like children and the elderly. So, it is best to avoid this option really if you don’t want a ruined house and lung problems, which will cost you more in the long run.
So instead, we advise you to dry your clothes on a heated towel rail. It is one of the fastest ways to dry your clothes, is easy to install, plus is cheaper than running a tumble dryer! It may cost you a few hundred pounds to install but will be well worth the investment.
Tip 5: Try a ceiling airer
Another alternative to the tumble dryer would be to use a ceiling airer. Those can come heated as well and are less expensive than running the tumble dryer. The non-heated ceiling airers only use the warmth of your room and the air that flows in between your clothes to dry them, making them super energy efficient as you won’t be using any energy at all!
Tip 6: Wash less often and spray or spot clean between washes
In the case where you would prefer to avoid using any energy at all for drying your clothes and you don’t fancy seeing clothes hanging all around your rooms, consider washing your clothes less often altogether. Rather, use a clothing spray to remove odours from lightly soiled clothes and spot clean the more heavily soiled ones. Our clothing sprays help remove odours and impurities and also leave your clothes smelling wonderful, with fragrances of lavender, cedarwood and more!
Tip 7: Do your laundry during off-peak time
As a last tip, consider doing your laundry during off-peak time. Peak time is usually considered between 4 pm and 8 pm, when people return from work. You could potentially save on energy depending on your electricity tariff and whether off-peak pricing applies at night. If you do have a two-rate meter, doing your laundry in the early morning, during daytime if you work from home, or after 7 pm could help in the long run. Many people however won’t be able to benefit from this as most energy suppliers currently charge a flat rate, so it is advisable to ask for more information from your supplier.
Now you are all equipped with our laundry energy saving tips to fight off soaring energy bills and make winter a more pleasant time! Whilst you are here, why not also save on clothing? Clothes Doctor brings you products that help you keep your clothes for longer while looking and smelling brand new. On top of saving on energy bills, you can save hundreds of pounds by not having to shop for new clothes every 3 quarters.