The cheapest time of day to run your washing machine and other energy saving tips

As families across the nation are hit with bigger bills, inflated fuel prices and more expensive food shops, most people will be looking for ways to save a bit of cash however they can.

Washing machines and tumble dryers are some of the most energy intensive appliances in your home. But there are ways to use them more efficiently and save some money.

As reported by Stoke-on-Trent Live, Deyan Dimitrov, chief executive of laundry company LaundryHeap, has shared how to save money by reducing energy consumption. His tips include the cheapest time period to use your washing machine for in a day and how to maintain your appliances.

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1) Put your machine on later in the day - but not while you sleep

According to the advice, there are certain times in the day when running your washing machine can rack up your energy bill. The most expensive time to wash your clothes is reportedly between 4pm and 7pm.

On the other hand, energy prices are at their lowest between 10pm and 5am. But make sure to follow fire safety advice and never put a load in before you sleep.

2) The colder the cycle the better

Washing your clothes at lower temperatures for less time can improve your machine's efficiency. For instance, a 30C cycle can cut your washing machine's energy use in half compared to a 40-60C cycle.

It is recommended to save hot washes for bedding, towels and sportswear as they carry the most bacteria. To save further, use the eco setting on your washing machine if it has one.

The cheapest time of day to run your washing machine and other energy saving tips

It is a similar case when it comes to drying your laundry. Try and run a cooler cycle in your tumble dryer even if it takes longer to dry.

3) Fill your drum with the right amount

It is far more energy efficient to do a large load of laundry as opposed to a small one. However, an overfilled washing machine may not wash your laundry thoroughly enough so it's important to fill them with suitable loads.

A good way to ensure that your machine will run as efficiently as possible is to check if you can still touch the top of the basin after filling either machine with your laundry. If you cannot fit your hand in and amongst your clothing, the machine is overpacked.

4) Look after your machine

It is recommended that you should clean your machine every three months.

To do so , pour two cups of white vinegar into your machine’s detergent drawer and run the hottest cycle. After the first run, add half a cup of baking soda directly into the basin and run a hot cycle again.

Equally, you can run a hot cycle with a limescale removing product. This is just as effective.

5) Use bio capsules for more effective stain removal

Bio capsules or bio laundry detergent contain enzymes which can be activated at lower temperatures than non-bio products. Therefore, these detergents will be more effective at breaking down dirt and stains in a cold wash.

It must be noted that non-bio detergents are often better for sensitive skin.

6) Buy some dryer balls

Adding wool or rubber balls to your dryer during a cycle will separate clothes and increase airflow. This can reduce drying time and, in turn, save energy and money.

7) Air dry when possible

Tumble dryers are notorious for consuming large amounts of energy. Although it may be hard in winter months, drying clothes outside is the most cost-effective method.

An alternative method is to put clothes in front of the radiator - preferably with doors closed to create a small heat vacuum.

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