Friday, 26 October 2012

Save money with a fast wash

I suppose it had to happen eventually. I ran out of clean pants today so I had to put the washer on. I don't normally wash things untill they are visibly dirty or start to smell, and as I wear mostly dark colours the only way I can decide if the time has come, is if my trousers take a walk by themselves, or by having a good sniff through the contents of my wardrobe. I have been known in the past to get caught out with an empty undies drawer, and had to fish out a pair of pants from the bottom of the linen basket, oh well, nobody will notice. C'mon, own up, I bet you have done that too, ha ha.
When I bought the washing machine I chose a particular setting which suited all my needs. I rarely read labels in clothing, if I do I ignore them. Most of my garments are bog standard day to day wearing anyway, teeshirts, sweatshirts, jog bottoms, walking trousers, casual jackets, socks and pants. I also don't spend a lot of time reading instruction manuals, so once I figured out what setting to wash on, that's where it stayed for everything. For the last five years the machine has been set on 'H', at 40 degrees, 3kg, wash for 1 hour 5 minutes, slow spin. I don't need twelve settings. When I had a twin tub I never bothered at all about temperatures, how much clothing to put in, how long to spin for. The hot water came out of the hot tap, I had no idea what the temperature was. Life was so much simpler with a twin tub, bung the clothes in the wash side, let them swish around for a while, transfer to spin side and spin till no more water came out. Empty washer and refill with cold rinsing water, rinse and spin again. Even though the whole operation was more labour intensive, there was no difficult decisions to make.    
Today I figured out a way to save money, so I got my instruction manual out again and changed my setting. Looking down the list it seems I can cut the washing time down by half, and lower the temperature. Now everything will get washed on 'L', 30 degrees, 3kg, fast wash 30 mins, slow spin. That should save quite a bit of electricity over the year. This will be much better for me, I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before.
Anyway, then I had the problem of drying it. It was murky, damp, and no wind outside so I hung it around the house.  

Then the sun came out so I moved it all outside to the washing line where it was blowing away nicely. Then I went out for a couple of hours and bugger me, the clouds came over and it rained. So now the washing is all back inside again. Ah well, I think I'll have to get the hair dryer out to dry a pair of pants for tomorrow, ha ha. Have a nice weekend. Toodle pip.

Ooooooh looookie  >>>>>>>>> I've hit 500 >>>>>>>>>> Welcome number 500


  1. It is so annoying to be ready to go out and have to figure out which is the cleanest dirty pair of pants (outer wear) to wear! If I don't have any clean panties, I just go without. I go commando. Those trips are usually just because I forgot I had no milk or need to pick up a prescription. I always hope I don't sneeze!

    I was horrified when I read how long you washed your clothing and at what temperature. You are so careful and saving that I guess I assumed you did that. I have washed almost exclusively on Cold for over 30 years. Only something disgusting gets Hot. My machine does not tell me temperatures, just hot, warm, and cold. Most wash cycles are 30-45 minutes. You will see a great reduction in your electric bill!

    Stink or visible dirt are good reasons to wash something. But, I will wash something just because I got sweaty in it. I don't wait for stink to toss them in the laundry room. Actually, my pants might stink or be dirty, but they are in the laundry room after a couple of wearings, depending on what I do. When my waistband of pants get sweaty, I don't wait for stink to throw them in the laundry.

    My pants I wear in the yard are worn out(holes and stains)too much for going anywhere. They and light colored tshirts get washed with towels if I have only a partial load of towels and need my yard pants.

    Check your water heater temperature. You may be heating water to a greater temperature than you actually need.

  2. Hi Ilona. I've been thinking about washing costs today. I have tried washing at 30 as it seem to be the one that money savers recommend, but it just wasn't getting things clean for me (we are a mucky lot though) towels and jeans were still smelling a bit wiffy and had to be put back in which annoys me a lot. So it's back to 40 and 60 for sheets, towels and tea towels. I have been really clever this summer. My dryer died and I won't be replacing it, so when it was wet outside I set up my fan with a timer and let it blow it all dry inside. Halved the time of drying especially for those moments when you need some emergency pants lol. Because it's on a timer I have to keep coming and resetting it meaning I'm not wasting electric. Not a perfect money saving angel but better than the dryer or lots of damp washing.

    What detergent do you use? I have been using value from morrisons and I think it's pretty good.

  3. I wash in cold water and on a speed wash, as our clothes never really get that dirty.

    Gill in Canada

  4. I used to have a twin tub, it was my mom's from when she upgraded from a ringer washer. used to love helping her do the laundry with that ringer! i miss those old machines, not really sure these machines today are much of an "upgrade". I also use cold water to wash except for my towels. we live in a damp apartment and its hard to get the mildew smell out with just cold water.
    have a great weekend!

  5. My mam used to dry our socks in the gas oven. Thankfully my sister and I lived to tell the tale. lol.

  6. We've just bought a "kitchen maid" type airer to fit on that wasted space above the stairs to dry own clothes when they can't go outside

  7. Ha ha Ilona you crack me up:) I wash 99% of the time using a fast cold water wash with eco rinse, from start to finish it's 38 mins. We have a top loader so if I forget anything I can easily pop it in.

    1. Putting in forgotten items is the reason I will never get a toploader!

    2. I meant I will never get a frontloader!

  8. When I needed to replace my last washing machine, I bought one with a 15 minute wash - it's great.

    1. Hi, I would be interested in this type of machine what is the brand name

      Midlands annie

    2. I have a Bosch machine with a 15 minutes wash. Have started to use it more to save money as figured it gave as good as wash as I could do by hand if I was that way inclined.

  9. Ilona, if I could just put my 2 cents worth in here. I just retired after 19 years running a launderette and laundry business. There are a couple of things that I am positive about:
    1. detergent - you get what you pay for. You need less of the good stuff and it does a better job. Your clothes stay looking nicer longer.
    2. Slow spins are ok for lightweight fabrics but for heavier items, like towels or jeans, the more water and residual detergent you can get out of your fabric the better. Econo-rinses do not remove all your detergent and dulls the colors. Try doing a wash sometime with no detergent and see the suds caused by the leftover soap.

    I consider my clothes an investment (I don't buy fancy clothes but what I do have I want to keep nice and make them last). I have rusty, hard well water at my house so I take my laundry to a laundromat to wash and wear my clothes more than once when possible to cut down on costs.

    I enjoy your blog Ilona,
    Joan from Michigan

  10. Hi,love your blog! :) I also during the summer hang my clothes out to dry (I refuse to own a dryer)and have also been caught in a down poor a time or two! In the winter I hang my clothes in the house to dry, when its freezing outside and I have the wood stove cranked up the clothes usually dry faster inside than if it were summer and they were outside. Another good thing at least in the house I never get caught in the rain :)

  11. At my passing out parade in the Royal Navy there was a bit of a mix up.We thought we were supposed to be wearing one kind of shirt and we weren't ...all the wrens ran back to their cabins to change shirts...the only ones we had were in the washing baskets...aah well...we looked nice (even if we didn't smell too good).
    Jane x

  12. My twopence worth is this and I may be wrong (very possible) it is just what I was told by an 'expert'. I would love to know the actual correct answer.
    I was told that the cheapest way to use a washing machine is the longest running programme and the reason is this: it takes a lot more electricity to get water up to temperature fast than it does to get it up to temperature very slowly. There certainly is a bit of logic in this and I have been blindly using the 'eco' programme on my machine, which does indeed take about 2 hours. Perhaps the thing to do is to read the electricity meter before and after a short wash and a long wash and see if there is a difference. It's an interesting conundrum.

  13. Hi Rosie, I am using Ariel at the moment. It's a gigantic box, 120 washes. I shall probably get double that amount out of it because I use it very sparingly. Stains don't show on dark clothes as much as lighter colours, so most of my washing is done to freshen rather than clean.

    I've no idea of the answer to your conundrum, FL UK, but I would say as a guess it sounds a bit daft. But as you say, the only way to get an accurate answer is to compare two washes and use one of those consumption gadget thingys, which I haven't got. Anyone else want to do the experiment for us?

    My machine does not have a cold water setting.

    Hi Kev, thanks for your comment and welcome if you have just found us. I've had a peek at your blog, and will be visiting again. For anyone interested in self sufficiency, including chicken keeping, click on Kev Alviti, it's a good read.

    Joan, that's very interesting, thank you.

  14. Hi Ilona
    I don't own a washing machine and never have done.
    I wash most items in the sink and spin them in the spin drier (yes, I do have one of
    Big items like sheets go to the Launderette over the road.
    I suppose its swings and roundabouts regarding the cost, the launderette costs £3.40, I don't dry but bring it home for that. It has always worked for me.
    I like the festooned kitchen, that's okay as long as nobody pops by unexpectedly, they really would think you'd lost it them . lol

  15. I make my own laundry liquid now, don't buy washing powder at all (courtesy of Rhonda at Down to Earth), and use vinegar in the final rinse as a condtioner and to remove the excess soap. You can use any old soap to make it, the left over bits from the bathroom, or some of those little freebies that you get from hotels etc. Saves a fortune!

  16. Hi Ilona, I have a quick wash on my machine which allows me to wash clothes in 31 mins which is very handy. Could'nt you roll your pants in a towel to get some more water out before hanging them up. You could stamp on the towel to get most of the water out. Failing that, spin them around your head in the bathroom, that should get some excess water out too. You are right to use a slow spin, fast spins just mangle your clothes and wear them out quicker. Congrats on the 500+ users. Will comment on your other posts later as typing this on a touch screen and it's very fiddly. Cheers for now, Christy.

    1. Pick up a salad spinner in a charity shop Ilona. Or a boot fair, they are always knocking about. Wonderful for getting the water out of your smalls or in your case boys' pants!!


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