Money-saving laundry tips

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This is among posts I pre-wrote to be published in my absence while I’m on vacation. I will respond to all comments when I return. Thank you!

By now thousands in Minnesota have begun using the new clothes washers they bought as part of the state’s Trade-In & Save program.

But that $200 check isn’t the only sign of money savings hitting your mail box.

Just wait until you see your utility bill. New Energy Star washers save an average $135 in water and energy costs.

Don’t stop there, though. These guidelines will help you save energy, water and money:

DON’T use too much detergent
You’re only helping Proctor & Gamble when you pour in those heaping cups of laundry soap. The owners’ manual provides instructions on the proper amount of soap to use. Using too much soap also can shorten the life your clothing, which could get expensive.

DO keep venting dry and clear.
We recommend cleaning your dryer vent a few times a year (see Dryer not drying? Check the vent). Otherwise, it could get blocked up, causing your dryer to take longer to do its job. And remember to clean your lint filter after every use.

DO switch to cold-water washes
About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes in an average washer is for heating the water. Need I say more? If you have tough, oily stains, even switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half. Otherwise, you’d be surprised how well cold water cycles clean these days.

DON’T over-dry your clothes
Instead, use a moisture sensor (if you have one) to automatically stop the dryer once it’s finished. Note: Dry towels and heavier cottons separate from lighter weight clothes to ensure proper drying when using a sensor. If you don’t have a moisture sensor, use the cool-down cycle to finish drying clothes using the residual heat.

DO put full loads in the washer and dryer.
Full loads of laundry mean fewer loads of laundry, which mean less energy, water and money used, too. If you must wash a small load, remember to set the water-level to match.

What are your tips for saving money on laundry?

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