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how-to-optimise-your-washing-costs-during-the-cost-of-living-crisis-here-are-some-simple-steps-to-save-on-bills

How to optimise your washing costs during the cost of living crisis - here are some simple steps to save on bills

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Cathy Sayers

Content Editor

3rd October 2022

4 min Read

Clothes washing is a household task which includes of course any personalised garments you may own, but how to make it as price efficient as possible given the cost of living crisis? We have some top tips but first of all what difference could this make to our bills ?

Electricity charges are soaring and so is inflation, increasing the price of detergent, repairs and new machines. A portion of the electricity and gas we pay for is the standing charge which Is not something anyone can economise on as it's static. So it's a daily rate to pay for the costs of providing power - think of it like a line rental, but for your energy, and applies regardless of how much we use. But most of the bill Is taken up by the amount of actual power we consume and this is where we can make a difference, and save by using less.

Wet appliances like washing machines, dryers and dishwashers are responsible for a fifth of the electricity used in our home, more than any other group of appliances. And according to a report from Proctor and Gamble who make Aerial, more than 70 percent of the energy costs of our laundry comes from heating the water, with 30 percent being down to the working of the machine, and 60 percent of its carbon footprint.

So the top tip when it comes to washing is lower the temperature as washing clothes at a lower temperature such as 30 degrees celsius, can reduce your energy costs by 38 per cent. The EU have gone a step further and now require new washing machines to have a 20 celsius wash option, which climate change activists are in favour of and it's gentler to your clothes. But how to get rid of those stains? Probably by running the machine longer and using the right detergent is the advice. Miele's Sophie Lane says 20 degrees is all very well but your machine could get a build up of grease deposits so every now and then, she recommends running the machine with a 60 degree wash to get rid of an increase of grease deposits.

What about the price of water though? The good news is that according to Which Magazine, washing machines use less water than washing by hand and new machines are rated for water efficiency. That's because unless you use cold water, the energy required to heat the water in your home probably outweighs the electricity usage by your appliance.

So how to care best for your coveted personalised tee or carefully decorated hoodie? The answer is not to use a tumble dryer for any of your garments if at all possible as this will really bump up the bills. Alternatives are outside drying but come the winter this can be difficult especially if outside space is limited - so you could either risk drying on radiators which may mean the walls get stained, or pay out for an overnight dryer. Lakeland do one Dry:Soon Heated Airer (from £149) which may use power but not so much at 6p an hour (this cost may vary) to run whilst taking the chill off a room to boot.

Other top tips are to wait until you've a proper load before starting the machine without overfilling, and to do less laundry altogether ie not to wash unless really necessary. It's better for the environment to hold off for a few uses if clothes aren't dirty. Measure the right amount of detergent rather than overuse as it'll only leave a residue on your clothes. And whether to use powder or liquid? Well Aerial's survey says powder's best for whites whereas to use liquid and gel for rubbing on stains to pre-treat aswell as for washing colours or dark loads. And if you're using low temperatures as advised, then liquid dissolves more readily than powder.

So much to take in and one other point, with that apron given by hubby or the Toddler's first birthday baby grow - any special garment, why not create beautiful surroundings for the domestic chores when they need to be attended to? Here Sophie Lane also has some advice which includes some handy hints on keeping your appliances clean.

author thumbnail

Cathy Sayers

Content Editor

As a former ITV Features Editor Cathy is used to coming up with ideas on all manner of subjects and making them viewer friendly! She divides her time between all things TShirt Studio and making films for production company visiononcomms.com

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