I just received my electric bill and OUCH! It had jumped way up from where it was last month.  I’ve already turned down the thermostat a notch or two (as I sit here with a sweater and blanket writing this article). So now I’m finding other little ways to lower the heating bill and save money too.

According to the US Department of Energy, about 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating water. To cut your energy use and save money, use cold water for everyday washing and reserve hot water for loads with oily stains. The Department of  Energy has dozens of other energy-saving tips for the laundry room.

Did you know that every load of laundry that you wash in cold water saves 25 cents? Now that doesn’t sound like much until you do some simple math.  I have a family of five, so let’s use my family as an example.

Let’s say we each wash one load a week.

5 people  x  1 load each  =  5 loads a week  x  52 weeks in a year  =  260 loads a year  x  $0.25 =  $65 dollars a year saved.

Now here’s the kicker…we do way more than 5 loads a week.  Think of all the variables that can up these statistics…babies, sports, washing sheets and towels, pets, unexpected spills.  So then multiply the $65 times 2 or 3 and you can save a significant amount of money.


And regular laundry comes out just as clean. Advances in clothes washers and laundry detergents have made it possible to get white and colored clothes perfectly clean in cold water.

Use a good quality stain lifter (I like Shout).  I also keep a Tide-to-Go pen handy for immediate pre-treatment of the stain.

Always wait for a full load of laundry. If you do need to wash a partial load, adjust your water level accordingly.  But on the other hand, don’t overcrowd the machine with too many clothes. They won’t agitate well and therefore, not come out as clean as they could.

Another simple tip: Use half the amount of laundry soap.  I rarely use the full amount and my clothes come out very clean.  Use can also use this tip for dishwasher detergent too…half the amount is plenty.