Saturday, April 30, 2011

How much does it cost to run your washing machine?

Check out this nifty chart.

You can calculate how much it costs you to run your washer and dryer, per load of laundry.

For example, I have an old front-loader. But we don't pay for water (the landlord covers that), I use the cheapest bulk laundry detergent known to man ($12 for 10 gallons of powder, which lasts me close to a year), and I wash everything in cold water. Based on those calculations, at 3 loads a week, I pay a whopping 7 cents per load to wash and 26 cents per load to dry, for a total annual cost of about $52.

Not bad, right?

(Of course, if we paid for water, those costs would be a lot higher. And 3 loads a week is a high estimate--most weeks, it's closer to 2.)

If I were to air-dry, I could save $40 a year, for a total annual laundry cost of $12.50.

However, if I were to start washing my stuff in hot, or even warm, water, the cost per load would skyrocket to 26 cents, an almost 400% increase.

I learned that up to 90% of the costs for a load of laundry are in heating the water.

Contrary to popular belief, hot water doesn't get your clothes any cleaner. (Hot water will also shrink them, and cause them to fade/wear out more quickly.) You also don't need special "cold water" detergent--I wash everything in cold water, with el cheapo detergent, heck, I don't even use fabric softener or dryer sheets, and my clothes are just as clean as everyone else's. I never understood the point of fabric softener, anyway.

It really puts those years of pumping quarters into the laundromat into perspective, doesn't it? If it only costs about 26 cents per 45 minutes to operate a dryer, and I was pumping in $1 - $1.50 in quarters per load to dry, why in God's name were they raising my rent every year?

The good news is that my dryer is far less expensive, in terms of energy costs, than I feared it was. Dryers can suck up about 10% of the average electricity bill, but we don't do that much laundry, and I can handle $40 a year for the convenience of using the dryer.

1 comment:

  1. I like your post, completely agree with washing clothes in colder water. It saves lots of power. I would also recommend to replace draining pipe once a 4-5 years. You can prevent lots of damage.

    Thank you for your post again, Superior Plumbing & Draing in Alabaster, Al.