Tips to help cut costs, energy usage when doing laundry

Doing the laundry is something that is on most people’s to-do lists.

With inflation rising and concerns about climate change, there are things you can do to save money and help the environment when you wash your clothes.

Tanya Christian, of Consumer Reports, says one of the first things to consider is the water temperature you choose.

“A lot of people have a tendency to use the hot water when they wash clothes,” Christian says. “But really what we found is you can use the colder cycle for practically everything.”

Using cold water can save you money because your washing machine does not have to use energy to heat the water. But Christian says there are times when washing in hot water is best.

“And the times that you want to use hot water is when maybe somebody is sick at home. So you want to launder sheets and use hot water to kind of kill that bacteria.”

Consumer Reports says it is also important to make sure to use the right amount of detergent. Christian says experts found you can use one and a half ounces of laundry detergent, and that really does the job on a regular load.

“Sometimes you use too much and that is when you get buildup on your clothes. So it’s less expensive because you’re not using as much and it’s just better for your clothing to use the appropriate amount of laundry detergent,” Christian said.

And when it comes to using fabric softeners or dryer sheets, think again.

“Most of the time, if you use just a regular cycle, it’s going to get your clothes soft. You know, you don’t need the extra additives. So stay away from those things and save money in the long run.”

And here is one last tip: Consumer Reports says over-drying your clothes can increase your electric bill and shorten the life of fabrics. They recommend using the automatic drying cycle on your dryer to save energy and extend the life of your clothes.

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