Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Cost of Doing Laundry

Mr. Electric has a bunch of little energy calculators to help you understand how little or how much power you use for typical day to day living.  Most of us here in the US use a washer and dryer.  You can see how much it costs to do a month's worth of laundry at your place by going here:

I have been using homemade laundry soap for months, but sometimes I wash grungy work jeans in Simple Green, or add $0.10 worth of baking soda to the wash.  I also have a private well, so every time I use a bunch of water, the pressure tank kicks on, using electricity.  Ditto for the well pump. On the flip side, my Fisher-Paykel washer uses 1/3 less water than a standard washing machine. So my numbers aren't exactly accurate.

I'm okay with hanging clothes, but I hate stiff clothes, so I do the 5 or 10 minute dryer thing with a couple of dry towels, then hang everything to finish drying.

So, how did I come out?  Drum roll please....  My cost by using homemade laundry detergent, cold water wash, 10 minute dryer time and 4 loads per week = $2.41 a month.  Wowser!

He does a have blurp about putting a wet towel in with your clothes that have sat in the dryer, then turning the dryer on again.  Why do that?  Does it matter if your underwear is wrinkled?  Just hang up your shirts, whatever, then give them a few light sprays of water and let them dry for a little bit.  You could also hang it in the bathroom while you take a shower.  The steam will relax all the wrinkles, and it will be good to go by the time you finish getting ready.  You might want to hang it outside of the bathroom when you're drying your hair, etc.  I did this all the time when I was traveling with my job.  Sometimes I had to finish 'drying' a heavier dress, pants, whatever by using the blow dryer for a minute, but most things were dry enough to put on.