How to make your laundry cheaper courtesy of the smol wash-o-meter.

Our smol wash-o-meter hasn’t stopped whirring since it launched a couple of weeks ago and over 25,000 of you have now logged your results to learn the hidden costs of your dirty washing. 

So how do your results compare?  

If you’ve not had a chance to discover your laundry secrets just yet you can head over to the wash-o-meter and get the low down on everything from detergent to drying. 

Want to know how your dirty washing measures up?

Results so far show that the average household runs their washing machine just over 4 times a week and their laundry cost per year comes in at £219.71 for the household (which works out to around £89.05 per person). 
But it seems there are many areas where we can cut those costs… 

Turn it down. 

We know that washing on cooler temperatures is going to cost us less in our energy bills but what are the actual facts on this? One 2006 study* from a German research institute found:  
It looks as though on average 35% of our washes are being done on a 20°C setting or an eco setting. This is going to cut our energy bills enormously. The more we can turn it down the more savings we are going to make. 
The great thing about modern detergents like smol bio capsules is that they work brilliantly at these lower temperatures, especially with today’s modern machines. You’re still going to see great results and your bills are going to fall. 
And don’t forget your eco modes. They may take longer than a standard cycle BUT they use up to 59% LESS energy and that’s going to have an impact. 
Those of us who are already using the eco setting or washing at 20°C for 60% or more of our laundry will find our household yearly average cost drops to £184.00. We’re saving £35 just by turning the temp down! 
A quick note about Quick wash cycles… they can use around 50% of the energy of a standard cycle so are really worth consideration, particularly if your clothes aren’t getting really filthy.  

Let’s hang out. 

The wash-o-meter has revealed that 26% of us are using a tumble dryer to get over a quarter of our laundry dry. And that’s going to push up our laundry costs.
In fact for those of us in this set the average cost of our laundry rises to £164 per person. That’s nearly double the normal cost average.
As the weeks get wetter and colder and winter takes hold we feel this is one area to watch. 

Take a load off. 

Not surprisingly, some of us have to wash more loads of laundry each week than others. Around 37% of us are running our machines more than 5 times each week. 
But what if we could wash a little less, avoid half loads and only wash clothes when they really needed it… a bit of consideration could see you dropping one whole load of laundry each week. 
Running 5 washes a week, the average household will spend around £276.61 in a year but if you can just drop that down to 4 washes each week your bill will fall to £218.66 - that’s a saving of nearly £58.

An extra note on drum size! 

One way to run fewer loads is to have a machine with a larger drum size. 
Drum capacity doesn’t really impact on overall running costs, so the larger volume drum allows you to wash more in one go. And that’s going to save you money as you run fewer loads each week. Something to think about next time you’re in the market for a new machine.

And an extra, extra note on energy ratings.  

The energy you use is going to be subject to the rating your machine displays.
In the wash looked at energy efficiencies across all ratings on washing machines and found on average an A-rated machine used £0.23 of energy per cycle, whereas an E-rated machine used £.034 of energy per cycle. As the energy ratings get worse, the costs go up.

So perhaps consider an A-rated machine with a larger drum size when you next need to replace your appliance. 



*Öko-Institut 2006