Five ways to save some money on laundry you might not have considered

I’m pretty sure if the Energy Department knew I was using my clothes dryer to warm Annie’s footsie pajamas before bed, I’d make some sort of watch list.

Key Points

  • The Department of Energy has some new ideas for saving money on each load of laundry.
  • A couple options to save include using dryer balls and switching loads while the dryer is still warm.
  • It’s also a good idea to separate clothes by how heavy they are instead of just by color. Heavier clothes take longer to dry, so you might be using more energy than needed on the light stuff if they’re mixed together. 

I don’t know how it happened, but at some point my daughters started to expect their towels and pajamas to be pre-warmed for them in the dryer every night. So I take their Peppa Pig or Frozen themed flannels out of the drawers each evening, throw them into the dryer, and then present them for use at bedtime. This is then followed by back massages while I sing them personalized original songs highlighting the events of the day. #roughingit.

I know that this miiiiiight be a little extreme. But a recent article at energy.gov got me to thinking about just how much energy I’m wasting every night.

The article highlighted ways to save money on laundry. Some were expected, like wash with cold water, wash full loads, air dry, etc. But there were a few I hadn’t considered before, like these:

  • Use dryer balls. Wool or rubber dryer balls will help separate your clothes and get more air to them, cutting drying time. They can also reduce static so you don’t need dryer sheets. The wool balls are said to absorb some moisture, further cutting drying time.
  • Use the high-speed or extended spin cycle in the washer. This will remove as much moisture as possible before drying, reducing your drying time and the wear on your clothes from the high heat of the dryer.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons separately from lighter-weight clothes. You’ll spend less time drying the lighter-weight clothes.
  • Switch loads while the dryer is warm. This will allow you to use the remaining heat inside the dryer for the next cycle.
  • Consider a natural gas dryer. Depending on gas and electric rates in your area, a gas dryer could cost less to operate, though it may cost a little more to purchase. Keep in mind a gas dryer does need a dedicated gas line.

I’m pretty sure if the Energy Department knew I was using my clothes dryer to warm Annie’s footsie pajamas before bed, I’d make some sort of watch list. These tips are a good reminder that I need to re-up my energy savings game.

First step: Start to throw the pajamas in at the end of a load of laundry that actually needs some drying.

Second step: Tell the girls that they might have to rough it with room-temperature pajamas from time to time. But don’t worry about them too much – we’ll keep the back massages and serenades in the routine.


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the entire world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned an M.A. in Political Science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the Governor’s Office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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Showing 2 Comments (oldest to newest)

norm
LIke your Ideas a bunch . I'm 75 and I have always had a gas dyer. they may cost more at the start BUT the parts that need replacing ( few and far between) are reasonable and easy to do it yourself. One other tip I learned from my late wife , always , ALWAYS clean out the lint filter after every use . Saves energy and reduces any threat of fire.
2 months 2 weeks ago
Sarah@KEA
Hi Norm! Thanks for sharing. The lint tip is great for energy efficiency, but also for safety! Have a great day.
2 months 2 weeks ago