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Minimize costs when doing laundry

Here are some tips for saving money in the laundry room.

Do less laundry: Consider wearing things more than just once; only clean if soiled.

When pouring liquid detergent, look at the measuring cup: It's likely you are using too much soap. A full cap is only needed for heavily soiled clothes.

Reduce water temperature: About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. For heavily soiled or greasy clothing, try warm — rather than hot — water first.

Choose the right size load to avoid wasting water, energy and detergent. Try to have a full load every time.

Hang clothes outside to dry, then finish up in the dryer so clothes aren't stiff. Outdoor drying is also less stress on your clothes. Fabric, buttons and seams can be damaged from tossing and tumbling in a dryer.

Maintain your dryer, for safety and efficiency purposes. Check the lint trap after every load. Avoid using dryer sheets because they build up on the mesh and air won't circulate properly. Rinse the filter with dish detergent and water every few weeks to make sure the filter is working effectively. Let it dry completely before returning to dryer.

Clean the dryer: Unplug your dryer and use your vacuum attachments to clean under and inside every few weeks. Be sure the exhaust hood on the outside of the home is clear of debris.

Buy Energy Star: If shopping for a new washer and dryer, buy Energy Star appliances. Energy Star washers use at least 40 percent less energy and up to 65 percent less water than a standard washer. Energy Star dryers spin the water from the clothes better, resulting in less drying time.

When selecting a dryer, try to find one with a moisture sensor so you will not waste money over-drying clothes.

Minimize costs when doing laundry 07/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 4:30am]
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