To save money in the laundry room, use cold water and less water overall.
Unless the stains on your clothes are oil-based, warm or cool water in your washing machine will do just as good a job of removing them as hot water, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Here are some ways to clean your clothes without cleaning out your bank account:
- Wash clothes in cold water and use cold-water detergents.
- Wash and dry full loads only. If you must run the washer before it’s full, adjust the water level so the whole machine doesn’t fill up unnecessarily.
- Towels and heavy cotton items like jeans tend to take longer to dry than lightweight clothing. Don’t dry the two types together.
- Let the dryer decide how long your clothes need to tumble. Newer models have moisture sensors and automatically stop the cycle when clothes are dry.
- Clean the dryer’s lint screen after each load. Letting the lint build up creates a fire hazard.
- If you have a high-efficiency washer, use detergents labeled “HE.” The American Cleaning Institute says these low-sudsing detergents clean clothes well in machines that use less water.