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How to save money when doing your laundry

Save your pennies when doing your laundry from with these energy saving tips...


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Doing the laundry can be a chore, but it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. And what with school uniforms, work gear and endless piles of towels, your washing machine roughly accounts for 7% of your energy bill, according to comparison site uSwitch.

In fact, there are some simple ways to save money and be more eco-friendly when doing laundry. By making a few small changes, you can keep your clothes clean while minimising your environmental impact.

Read on for tips on energy-efficient washing, and the features to look out for when buying a new machine or tumble dryer.

How to save energy when using your washing machine

Energy efficient washing machines are obviously the best step you can take to save energy and cut down bills, but there are also some practical things you can do no matter what washing machine you have:

  • Keep it short and sweet
    It's not always necessary to run a long cycle. Choose the shortest programme when washing lightly soiled items.
  • Go for 30°C cycle
    Washing clothes at 30°C uses up to 40% less energy than washing at higher temperatures and is ideal for lightly soiled loads. Only use higher temperatures (above 40°C) for towels, bed linen and underwear.
  • Wait for a full load
    Two half-loads use more energy than a single full load, so always wait for a full load otherwise you'll be wasting water and literally throwing money down the drain.
  • Pre-soak really dirty clothing
    Having to repeat a wash because the stains didn't come out the first time is both annoying and expensive. That's why you should pre-soak really dirty clothing beforehand.

What is the most energy efficient washing machine?

Buying a new washing machine or tumble dryer is one of the best ways of reducing the amount of energy you use, especially if you haven't upgraded for a number of years. While it seems like you're spending more now, it'll pay off in the long term.

Check out our energy saving washing machines and look out for some of these features when you're shopping:

  • A rating
    All washing machines are now rated A-G so keep a look out for a top energy rating.

  • Full-load / quick-wash program
    Quick-wash programs do exactly what the name suggests. Machines with a full-load quick option, as opposed to just 1.5kg, are the best.

  • Drum size
    Buy a washing machine with an extra large capacity (10+kg) if you're going to be washing large loads - for example, if you have a large family. Take at a look at our capacity guide to find out exactly what size you need.

  • Timer delay
    A timer delay option lets you do your washing or drying overnight when power is cheaper. Simply switch on your washing machine off before you go to bed.

  • Consider brands with energy saving tech
    Both Samsung and Hotpoint has tech in their washing machines designed to help save you energy. Samsung has Ecobubble, which it says makes a 15°C wash as effective as a 40°C. Hotpoint's Smart Technology meanwhile is designed to use only as much water and energy as your load size and type of fabric needs.

You’ll find more great features in our Washing machine buying guide.

How to save energy when using your tumble dryer

The more energy efficient tumble dryer you have, the more energy you'll save. Look out for heat pump tumble dryers - these are generally more expensive than other models but are said to use up to 40% less energy. But no matter what tumble dryer you have, here are some good habits to get into when you're drying:

  • Don't start with soaking wet washing
    If you can remove some water from your washing before it goes into the tumble dryer, it'll naturally take it less time to dry. A good way of doing this is to use a high spin speed in your washing machine.

  • Keep the filters clear
    If your tumble dryer filters are clogged up with lint, your tumble dryer motor will have to use more power to get everything dry. So make sure filters are clean and clear before you start your tumble dryer.

  • Dry similar fabrics together
    A thick jumper takes a longer time to dry than a cotton t-shirt. Dry clothes made of similar materials together. That way, you won't be drying any longer than you have to.

  • Make every cycle worth it
    Put too few items into your dryer and you'll be using a lot of energy just to dry one or two things. On the other hand, overload your tumble dryer and your clothes will be in there a long time. So make sure you put on a full load, but that there's room for the clothes to dry.

  • Do your drying in one session
    If you've got multiple loads to do, it's best to do them one after another. Your tumble dryer has lots of residual heat after a cycle - so you can put it to good use on the next load.

Find out more about what to look for in a new tumble dryer.

What is the most energy efficient tumble dryer?

A new tumble dryer is one of the best ways of reducing the amount of energy you use, so it's best to go for an eco friendly tumble dryer.

Here are some features to look out for:

  • A rating
    Just like washing machines, tumble dryers also carry A-G ratings. A C rating is good, but the best energy efficient tumble dryers will usually have an A rating.
  • Filter full indicator
    We've already mentioned how important a fluff-free filter is to efficient drying. Get a tumble dryer with a dedicated indicator and it'll help you save energy.
  • Drum size
    Buy a tumble dryer with a large drying capacity tumble dryer (8kg) if you're going to be drying large loads. Take at a look at our capacity guide to find the right size dryer for you.
  • Sensor drying
    Many energy efficient tumble dryers will come with automatic sensors that tell you when your clothes are properly dry. Not only will this save you energy (and money) on overdrying, but it will also help your clothes last longer.

The eco friendly way to clean your washing machine

Keeping your washing machine clean will help keep it working efficiently. It also means you'll get the best results after every wash. But there's no need to use harmful chemicals. Check out our video below or read our article to find out how to clean your washing machine.

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