What is the best time in the day to do your laundry to save energy and electricity costs? Taking good care of your clothes saves you money in the long run and protects the environment.
Try doing laundry in the early afternoon before 2 pm, late night after 10 pm, or very early morning before most people wake up and avoid peak hours to reduce energy usage.
Properly doing laundry is one of the best ways to make sure your clothes last longer and save money on electrical and water bills.
The two most important facts you need to know to save energy when doing laundry are the following. A washing machine uses the most energy to heat the water. And many energy companies charge more for electricity during peak hours.
Let's look in detail at each time of the day to find out which one is the best to wash your clothes.
To help you make conscious decisions as a well-informed individual, here is the definitive guide on the best time to do laundry to save energy.
1. Very early morning
The very early morning before most people wake up is an adequate time to do laundry to save energy.
This might be an ideal time for you if you are a morning person and won't bother your neighbors by turning the washing machine too early. Otherwise, you can jump to the next section.
In the very early morning, the peak hours haven't started yet so energy consumption remains low. Electricity is also unlikely to cost more in the early morning, with most energy companies.
To exactly determine your energy savings, you need to know the retail electricity deal you are on. You might have to call your electricity provider to get more information.
But know that most people are on block tariffs with at least peak and off-peak rates. Most peak rates begin at 4 pm and end before 10 pm.
However, the cost will be the same regardless of the time of the day if you are on a fixed rate.
Do your laundry before most people wake up especially in the winter because, in the early morning hours, people click their heaters on to warm their houses and electricity costs more.
Run your washing machine preferably outside of high energy demand hours to maximize your savings. People usually use more electricity in the morning before work and in the late afternoon and evening.
Remember that a washing machine uses the most energy to heat the water. And the water is the coldest in the very early morning in the winter before the sun had time to warm up waterways.
Extra cold running water is another drawback of doing laundry first thing in the morning, besides having to wake up early and bothering the neighbors.
2. In the morning
It's best to hold off on cleaning your clothes in the morning. Electricity might cost more in some cases with a few energy companies.
Electricity usually costs more when the demand is higher. And the morning is when most people are active before heading out to school or work.
Regardless of the time you decide to do laundry, run your washing machine with cold water as much as possible to save energy. Cold water does a good enough job for most fashion items, beddings, and linens.
You can place your things in the washing machine with a temperature lower than 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) to effectively refresh textiles that are too dirty without spending too much electricity.
You can safely put most garments, shoes, and accessories in the washing machine on the cold-water setting. Technology in home appliances improved drastically over the last years.
And detergents got a lot better, which means that washing clothing with cold water is now a viable option.
Hot or warm water is still useful for sanitizing, eliminating bacteria, cleaning heavily soiled clothes, towels, underwear, and white garments that show dirt.
The biggest benefit of doing your laundry in the morning is to have enough time to air-dry your clothes during the day.
The dryer isn't the most environmentally friendly device in your home. It consumes an absurd amount of energy and can damage your clothes.
Many fabrics don't support a tumble drier very well. They have very low thermal resistance and will melt under high temperatures.
Delicate fabrics require the lowest temperature setting. And clothes that go into the dryer are more prone to wrinkling or even shrinking. Read the guide on how to prevent clothing from shrinking.
To save money on electrical bills, reduce carbon emissions, and ensure your clothes last longer, air-dry your clothes whenever you can.
You can lay your garments down on a towel for a while, then flip them over. Or you can hang them up on a hanger to help them dry naturally.
3. Early afternoon
Try doing laundry in the early afternoon before 2 pm to avoid peak hours and reduce energy usage. Most peak rates start in the mid-afternoon until the late evening.
Before you decide, make some calls to your energy provider and look at your electricity bill to understand the rates you are paying. You may have a fixed rate for the whole day. So the time of day might matter less for you.
In general, there is a peak of electric power consumption during the morning when people get up for the day, and during the evening from 6 pm to about 9 pm.
Waterways had time to warm up in the early afternoon, so the washing machine is less likely to consume a lot of energy to heat the water. Use the cold water setting if you can to reduce your electrical bills.
Use a detergent that does the job with cold water. And note that the best washing machines are those with frontal loading. Select a short program and washing cycle if your clothes aren't too dirty.
And fill your washer with at least a nominal load, but not too many clothes. Do your laundry when your washing machine is full to save energy.
Washing your clothes too often can damage the fabrics and make them unwearable a lot sooner. To save time, money, water, and energy, take care of your wardrobe and household textiles the right way.
Do your laundry the right amount to be more sustainable with clothes and make sure they last longer. Read up the ultimate guide on how often you should do your laundry.
4. In the evening
Avoid doing your laundry in the evening when most people use a lot of energy at home. Peak hours usually go from 5 pm or thereabouts to 10 pm.
Utility companies prefer to have some consumption beyond peak hours. However, for some people, it would make no difference in how much they pay.
Be sure to get in contact with your utility if you are unsure what rates you are on. Your bill may or may not be subject to preferential rates at low demand times.
Whatever the case, plan your laundry to use natural drying rather than a tumble dryer. Your washer and dryer use a high amount of electricity to heat clothes and water.
Earlier during the day is probably best to start your washing machine to have enough time to air-dry your clothes and save dryer electricity costs.
Use cold water and mostly hang things to dry and save money, your clothes, and the environment by not using the dryer.
5. Late night laundry
You may have a tariff that charges less overnight. So it might be cheaper for you to do laundry at night. If you clean your clothes late at night, you will have plenty of time to air-dry your clothes once you wake up.
Hold off on cleaning your clothes until late at night after 10 pm. Peak hours usually have passed after 10 pm.
Make sure to measure the right amount of detergent before putting your clothes in the washer. And turn your garments inside out before doing laundry to preserve their quality.
Remember to wash your clothes in cold water as it has plenty of benefits and can save a lot of energy. Place them in the washer with a temperature lower than 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
To reduce your energy consumption, protect the environment, and ensure your clothes last longer, choose lower temperatures whenever you can.
Your laundry doesn't require high temperatures every time. The cold water setting on your washing machine saves lots of energy and money.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.