Wash Clothes After 10 PM: Tips to Save Money on Laundry
Wash Your Clothes for Less
It's not easy in a recessionary economy to cover all your bases. It 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 laundry expenses don'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. It's not such a tough thing to do . . .
Do you know how to find out how much a kilowatt hour costs?
Use a Biologically Friendly Detergent
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-Treat 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.
Use 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, really filthy clothes, seasonal washing like a bed cover, 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!
Separate Clothes for Play and 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, it's not a crisis. The only problem is that it's hard to get out of it when I need to go to the store or something! OK—send one of the kids.
Keep Your "Good" Clothes Clean Longer
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.
It Works Especially Well for Kids
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.
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. It works best when clothes are pretty dirty. This tip works, and the clothes do come out looking pretty darned clean.
Here Comes the Sun: Dry Your Clothes Outside
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.