Like baking my own bread, I’ve been washing most of my clothes in cold water for some time. Washing clothes is cold water is another simple way to save. I know this practice saves me money but I was curious to find out exactly how much I am saving. Do you know? In research for this series and today’s tip, this is what I discovered. I think you’ll be amazed. I know I am!
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First, I happened to stumble across the Simple Dollar’s article on why to use cold water. It was very well written with great detail. The Simple Dollar referenced Mr. Electricity’s article on washing machines, which gave even more detail. These two articles give you proof that you save using cold water. I highly encourage you to read them! However, I will summarize my findings here – adjusting the numbers for my own use.
According to Mr. Electricity, here are the average levels of kWh use per load, based on wash and rinse cycles. This is noting the cost of electricity only, because all loads of laundry will have the same cost of water.
Hot / Warm uses 4.5 kWh.
Warm / Warm uses 3.5 kWh.
Hot / Cold uses 2.8 kWh.
Warm / Cold uses 1.9 kWh.
Cold / Cold uses 0.3 kWh.
Right away, we can clearly see that that based on the kWh, we are saving from using hot water. I looked at my most recent bill and figured out that my kWh cost is currently 11.5 cents per kWh. Using that cost, here is what the levels cost me.
Hot / Warm uses 4.5 kWh and costs $0.5175 per load.
Warm / Warm uses 3.5 kWh and costs $0.4025 per load.
Hot / Cold uses 2.8 kWh and costs $0.322 per load.
Warm / Cold uses 1.9 kWh and costs $0.218 per load.
Cold / Cold uses 0.3 kWh and costs $0.0345 per load.
Isn’t that incredible? By switching from hot water (at 52 cents) to cold water (at 3 cents), I am saving $0.49 on every single load of laundry that I do that way! I have to admit that I am shocked. I didn’t expect the savings to be this great. Considering that I do at least 2 loads of laundry a week, that is $1 I am saving each and every week – which adds up to over $100 a year saved just from this one simple change. Wow. Knowing this, I will continue to use hot water only on my sheets and towels. As for the rest of our laundry, I’ll stick to using cold water and pocket the savings!
Will you make the switch, or do you already wash your clothes in cold water? If you want to see how this applies even more directly to you, you can adjust these numbers by multiplying the kWh by your current cost of electricity. Finally, were you surprised by the amount of savings in this one simple strategy?