report

Using Washing Machines After 10 pm - Tips to Save on Water and Electricity

Wash Your Clothes for Less

Sunshine is less expensive than electricity and clothes can smell a whole lot fresher.  Try it!
Sunshine is less expensive than electricity and clothes can smell a whole lot fresher. Try it! | Source

It's not easy in a recessionary economy to cover all your bases. Seems like every month or two something has gone up - electricity, water, gasoline, natural gas, and the list goes on. Income does not rise to meet these increased demands for utilities. What can a person do - except become crafty like a fox!

I don't say that I am, but I have learned some good habits worth sharing. Try these simple tips and see if your electric, water, and cost of laundry expense doesn't go down as well.

The Cost of Kilowatt Hours

First of all find out how much kilowatt hours cost in your area. I was surprised to learn that between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am (slightly different in the summer time) the cost is only 50%.

I also found out that the most expensive time to wash clothes (or bake, use the dishwasher or whatever) is Monday-Friday, during business hours because it's the time that most businesses are open.

Informed is well-armed. Now I knew what I had to do. Wash clothes whenever possible after 9 pm. Not such a tough thing to do....

Kilowatt Hours

Do you know how to find out how much a kilowatt hour costs?

See results

Biologically Friendly

I went searching for a good quality detergent without any added fragrances, which do the most damage to the environment. I found a good one - concentrated - and have been happy with the results.

Pre-Treating before washing

OK, we all know how to wash clothes. I try to soak them (if they need it) during the day. When 9 pm rolls around, in they go. The pre-treating helps to remove stains and saves money in the washing cycle.

The Delicate Cycle

Since most of us don't go around digging ditches for a living, our clothes are mostly dirty from office sweat or stress sweat, plus a little hard work sweat. That dirty, grimy, mechanic greasy dirt that is always shown on the TV detergent ads is not a common problem.

Which leads to my next point. Are we overkilling our clothes in the washing machine?

After a day or two's wear, maybe that office sweat can be easily removed in the delicate cycle, which is about half the length of time and half the expense as the full cycle. I mostly wash all my family's clothes on delicate except for whites, or really filthy clothes, or seasonal washing like a bedcover or some other "once in a while" project.

By the way, did you know that stuffed animals wash really well in the DISHWASHER?

No kidding!

A Dishwasher's Many Uses!

Stuffed animals, plastic action figures and other toys, baseball caps, tennis shoes and hairbrushes come out squeaky clean after a trip in the multi practical Dishwasher.
Stuffed animals, plastic action figures and other toys, baseball caps, tennis shoes and hairbrushes come out squeaky clean after a trip in the multi practical Dishwasher. | Source

Clothes for Play, Clothes for School

It took a little time to get used to, but when I come home from visiting a friend, having coffee, shopping or going to the kids' school, I change my clothes immediately. I run, not walk to the bedroom and put on something "a little more comfortable."

At home I wear my sweat suit for cooking, working around the house, and writing articles. It's comfortable and if I get a food spot on it while cooking its not a crisis. The only problem is, it's hard to get out of it when I need to go to the store or something! OK - send one of the kids...

My "good" clothing stays clean for longer. I may use the same outfit half a dozen times without having to wash it because it's only worn an hour or two each day. This helps save money on washing too and clothes stay newer looking longer. Win - win.

This is great for active kids, too. When they come home from school, they need to get into the habit of changing their clothes. The ones with a patch on the knee which are slightly worse for wear are great to romp around in. I try to keep them separate from the ones they wear to church, school and other nicer events. Play means rough-housing, so why take a chance? With a little luck, they can wear the same jeans to school for a day or two or three and maybe just change their shirt the second day. The play clothes can get fairly dirty and by week's end after a whole lot of abusing, they too will get thrown into the washing machine.

Washing Machine

The washing machine is not so new.  Even in ancient times, women would use a natural whirlpool to help them wash clothing more efficiently.
The washing machine is not so new. Even in ancient times, women would use a natural whirlpool to help them wash clothing more efficiently. | Source

Frugal Washing Machine Tips

What - more ways to save money, you may ask? Yes, absolutely.

Before I start my laundry I soak it in medium to hot water (colored or whites determine this) and let it soak again. The washing machine is at "OFF" but it's sitting in warmish water with detergent and already starting to clean. A half hour later I start it up again. The whole idea, I guess you could say, is to get the maximum out of my detergent. Just throwing in the soap and letting it start seems to miss out on the opportunity for it to "ruminate" and really soak up all those cleaning agents. Best when clothes are pretty dirty. This tip works and the clothes do come out looking pretty darned clean.

Here Comes The Sun

Whenever possible, instead of using electricity, I love to dry my clothes in the fresh air. This is not always possible for people living in a large city, but I did know one woman who hung her clothes out at 10 pm and picked them up again in the early morning hours. They looked great!

Using natural means to dry them will save a bundle - automatically half - if you are used to drying every load. During moist or rainy weather I do what I can and then finish the job on the furnace, draped over a chair.

Drying Clothes

Is drying clothese outside a feasible option for you?

See results

Comments 14 comments

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Interesting. I don't know if I get charged extra for peak hour usage or not. It never occurred to me to think about it! Thanks for sharing the tips - voted useful.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

Great tips. It's surprising how much you can save on your electricity bills by using the washing machine at night or at the weekends - and drying outdoors if you can.

Very helpful Hub in these economically hard times.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Thanks NatashaLH for the Up-Vote! Try to find out on your electricity statement or call the electric company to find out. This is an often overlooked area that can save a bundle.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Bravo, Goodlady, great minds think alike! LOL. We have the advantages of a mild climate, so this is a big plus when it comes to drying clothes outside. Thanks for reading and commenting, ECAL


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States

We just moved and my husband is going to be putting a drying line. I've never used one before, but his grandma said, if you dry them out there, just put them in the dryer for five minutes and it will make them feel softer.


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I never thought about using the delicate cycle for clothes that are not actually stained. I do use delicate for clothes that I wear to work M-F such as dress pants, dress shirts, suits, etc. and then air dry them in the bedroom, since where I live it is not allowed to dry clothes on the balconies. I use regular cycle for the towels, sheets, underclothes and then put those in the dryer on low heat for about 30 minutes and they come out dry, but perhaps I will try using the delicate cycle for those as well since they are not that dirty. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Hi Angela Michelle, sorry for not responding sooner. Air dried is efficient and yes the dryer tumbles them for an extra warm and fluffy feel. A good bio-friendly softener is helpful, too. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Anastasia


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

You are more than welcome, Efficient Admin. Hope that the delicate cycle works out well for you. Sounds like you are on the right track, already. Best to you, Anastasia


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

I just did some research and got the numbers for Croatia, at least. The KwH for prime time energy usage is 1.14, but the "night shift" rate is only .56 per KwH, so it really pays to wait a little to turn on the dishwasher or the washing machine. Cheers, Anastasia


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Now that winter is here, and the cost of heat and electricity can be more than they should be, these handy tips can really reflect in significant savings for the family budget. Weathering out the colder months without breaking the bank is certainly my goal. Cheers, ECAL


LauraGSpeaks profile image

LauraGSpeaks 3 years ago from Raleigh, NC

Good tips! I am always doing LOTS of laundry during the daytime hours. I will now try to change my habits. Thanks!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

Good advice, Anastasia - I do most of my laundry in the evenings, anyway, and always run the dishwasher at night. Looks as though I was saving money without being aware of it! Now that I know, my routine feels virtuous....

Voted Up++

Jaye


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Good to hear it! Maybe you just have good instincts! I too automatically run the machines on the night shift. Morning, brew the coffee and put out the laundry from the night before. Honestly, my neighbor is jealous why I pay slightly more than half her electric bill - she lives alone and I with two kids. Being thrifty IS a virtue :) thanks for commenting and voting!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Hey everyone, have great news too good to keep to myself. I just got my electric bill for October. Can you believe it, I have OVERPAID my electric bill, which is prorated for six months a year and recalculated again in the autumn. I paid the equivalent of more than two months in advance. I was trying to be frugal, wash clothes at night, and the dishwasher as well... keep my hot water heater going all day cuz I hate cold showers. These tips REALLY WORK!!!

Happy saving...

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article