When doing your weekly washing and tumble drying you probably aren't thinking about it costing money, each and every load you do. But all the energy and detergent used adds up to around £160 a year.
Making small changes can reduce these costs and turn into big savings down the line, saving you around £100 per year.
We tested a range of washing machines in 2020 to see how washing at lower temperatures effects cleaning and energy use.
On average, switching from 40°C to 30°C saved 38% energy, and going down to 20°C saved 62%.
The average washing machine costs about £38 a year to run four washes a week. So switching to 30°C would cut £13 off of this, while 20°C will cut £24.
Lowering the temperature doesn't mean you need to compromise on stain-busting power, either.
Follow our tips for cleaning at lower temperatures:
According to NHS and government advice, the normal washing of clothes will reduce the risk of germs spreading such as coronavirus. Although there are some cases where you might want to wash at a higher temperature - read our story on to find out more.
When we tested how a range of heat pump dryers performed over 20 loads, we were shocked by the findings.
Some ended up using 50% more energy than at first. The average heat pump dryer costs around £39 per year to do three loads a week, so you can quickly see how this could add nearly £20 to your annual laundry costs.
The reason for this is the filters getting blocked up with dust and lint from your clothes.
To avoid your dryer becoming inefficient, follow these easy steps:
It's all too easy to stick a couple of items in the wash, putting it on a quick program.
These quick programs or speed-up buttons do reduce how much energy is used in the wash slightly, but not by the same amount that the capacity is reduced.
As such, it's much more economical to do fewer big loads than daily little ones.
When we checked what effect speed-up functions have on cleaning and energy in May 2019, we found dramatic differences between the three we tested.
One only reduced the energy used by close to 20% while another cut it in half. But this isn't enough to justify a daily wash.
Doing a bigger normal wash four times a week still ended up using 17% less energy than the average of the three fast washes, done daily.
This would add up to an annual saving of around £7 for the average washing machine. This may not sound like much, but remember, you'll also be saving by using up your detergent more slowly - more on that below.
Total saving: £50
It doesn't pay to spend more on a detergent. We've found cheap Best Buys that cost as little as 7p per wash.
Compare this to some of the most expensive on the market, that can cost 31p per wash.
Add that up over a year and you'll be saving close to £50, based on four washes a week.
Best of all, of course, is that because it's a Best Buy you'll still be getting top-notch stain-busting cleaning power.