Are you concerned that your current washer and dryer set isn't cleaning your clothing as efficiently as you'd like?
Wondering what you can do in order to lower your home's energy and water bills every month?
Tired of feeling like your washing machine simply isn't getting the job done?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you need to read this post. Sometimes, the best home improvement advice is all about how to use your appliances more effectively.
In this post, we're sharing some of our favourite pieces of advice on how to use your washer and dryer in the best possible way.
From determining the best temperature to both wash and dry your clothing at to understanding the benefits of waiting to do a full load of laundry, read on to learn how to get more out of every cycle.
1. Use Cold Water
If you want to get the most out of your washing machine while also managing your energy bills?
One of the most effective ways to do exactly that is by using only cold water during the rinse cycle.
In fact, washing your clothing with exclusively cold water can reduce the amount of energy that doing a load of laundry uses by half.
If you're concerned about how using only cold water during your next wash cycle will impact the cleanliness of your clothes, then we suggest investing in cold water laundry detergents or high efficiency detergents.
And if you simply cannot use cold water only when washing certain pieces of clothing? Just focus on setting the temperature as low as is possible.
2. Invest in an Eco-Friendly Washer Dryer
The truth is that, especially in today's world, it's not especially difficult to find a washer and dryer set that comes equipped with eco-friendly settings.
Look for a washer that has a feature like "eco-boost" or "eco-friendly" as a setting.
We know that, as with the cold temperature setting, you're likely concerned as to whether or not an eco-friendly setting can truly get your clothing clean. Due to the incredible efficiency of today's appliances, you simply don't need features like "heavy soil" or "extra rinse" to clean your clothing.
While these features can be useful if you need to sanitize certain linens, like a baby's bed sheets, most of the time, they truly aren't necessary.
Not only are these eco-wash settings great for the environment. They also use far less energy and water to get the job done. We're certain that you'll love seeing lowered energy bills every month.
To get a better understanding of the different types of energy ratings for your washer and dryer set, we suggest reading this article.
3. Do Full Loads Only
Even if you invest in the best washer and dryer when it comes to energy efficiency?
None of it will make any difference at all if you're doing small and incomplete loads of laundry.
Instead of washing several smaller loads, it's much more effective if you wait until you have enough laundry to run a full load.
If you live in a flat with roommates, institute a laundry day to avoid doing laundry too frequently. The same goes for family members. Before you run your next load of laundry, ask if anyone else has anything that they'd like to toss in.
You're not just doing your family members a favor. You're also making things much more energy efficient.
4. Don't Overstuff Your Dryer
Overstuffing your dryer is one of the biggest wastes of energy when it comes to doing your laundry.
When you're in the market for a new washer and dryer, make sure that you invest in a set that's large enough to handle the average size of your laundry loads.
Additionally, when it's time to dry, consider which pieces you're able to air dry.
First of all, depending on the fabric, it may actually be better for certain pieces of clothing to be air dried rather than dried by machine. Most importantly, however, removing pieces that can be air dried before beginning a drying cycle on your machine means that your clothing will be able to be completely dried.
There's nothing more frustrating than having to run your clothing through a second round in the dryer because you overstuffed it the first time around.
5. Use Less Detergent
Especially if you're doing a smaller load of laundry -- or if you have a stronger, HE detergent -- resist the temptation to use too much of it.
Remember that, if you use too much detergent in your washing machine, it will have to work much harder in order to rinse it out of your clothes completely.
In most cases, especially if you pre-soak and spot-treat your clothing, you only need to use about half of the amount of detergent recommended to you on the bottle.
Plus, you don't want detergent to run out all over your bathroom floor!
6. Clean the Filter
While cleaning both your washer and dryer is an incredibly important way to ensure that the machines are working as efficiently as is possible?
We're always surprised by just how many people overlook the necessary step of cleaning out the dryer filter.
First of all, if your dryer's filter is packed with too much lint, it can actually become a fire hazard. Consider investing in a dryer lint alarm, that will alert you when the levels of lint in your filter become too high.
Of course, the best way to avoid all of this is by cleaning out the filter in your dryer before or after each use. We're certain that you don't want lint and dirt potentially rubbing off on the clothing that you've jut cleaned, after all!
To clean things properly, first take the filter out of the dryer completely.
To ensure that you get rid of as much lint as possible, use a toothbrush or even a brush specifically designed for cleaning dryer filters. Once you've cleaned the filter itself, take a look at the filter's cavity.
This is where loads of lint and dirt can build up.
Using a small brush, pull the lint out of the cavity. If you suspect you have a large amount of lint build up, use a vacuum with a small hose to get rid of the lint.
7. Use Dryer Balls
Another way that you can ensure that your clothes come out completely dry -- while also drastically reducing drying time?
Use dryer balls during the drying cycle. These balls work to put space between the pieces of clothing, so that they can dry quickly. You can also opt to invest in scented dryer balls, if you'd like for your clothing to have a bit of fragrance.
They last for months at a time, and are incredibly affordable, as well.
Dryer balls are a cost-effective solution to dryer sheets, as well as being a much more eco-friendly one.
Depending on the size of the laundry load, you should use anywhere from two to four balls in each drying cycle.
8. Lower Drying Temperatures
Believe it or not, your washing cycle isn't the only time when opting for as low of a temperature as is possible is the best bet.
It's also true when it comes to your drying cycles. Despite what many people think, a higher drying temperature doesn't actually do much to take time off of the drying cycle as a whole.
All it really does is increase your energy bills.
Instead, even if that means the drying cycle will take a bit longer, opt for lower temperatures.
This doesn't just make things more energy efficient. It also prevents warm temperatures from damaging your clothing.
If you're truly concerned that lower temperatures will extend the drying time, then split up cottons and lightweight fabrics into two drying cycles.
And as we've mentioned before in this post?
Whenever possible, opt to air dry your clothing.
Get the Most out of Your Washer and Dryer with These Tips
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand how to make using your washer and dryer much more efficient.
Remember that, in most cases, more intense washing cycles and higher drying temperatures likely aren't having as much of an effect as you might think.
Instead, it's always worth saving the energy bills and protecting your clothing by looking for more eco-friendly options.
Of course, we understand that your laundry room isn't the only space in your home that you're interested in getting more out of.
Looking for advice on how to improve your kitchen, upgrade your flooring, or choose the right countertops for your space?
Be sure to keep on checking back with our blog for more home improvement tips that you can't miss out on.