I've cut £75 off my annual energy bill by washing my jeans every six weeks – but some people might disagree | The Sun
MUM-OF-TWO Lindsay Edwards has cut nearly £75 a year from her energy bills by keeping her jeans clear of the washing machine and tumble dryer.
As gas and electricity prices have gone through the roof, the 37-year-old has made it her mission to do the laundry for less.
She lives with her husband Ryan, and their children, Jake, 16 and Christopher, 13, in Bedfordshire.
Lindsay, who runs personal styling business REIMAGISE, told The Sun: “I make big savings by only occasionally putting my jeans through the wash.
"Washing your denim more frequently than every four to six weeks is unnecessary, and can cause their colour to fade.”
Instead, the savvy money-saver recommends spot-cleaning jeans with a sponge.
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“You can then freshen them up with antibacterial fabric spray,” said Lindsay.
“You can pick up a spray for just £2-£3 from your local supermarket.
"Alternatively, you could try leaving your jeans in the freezer overnight, as this is said to remove odours and kill bacteria.”
Lindsay said she wears jeans around twice a week.
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Of course, not everyone will agree with washing jeans just every six weeks, but it will save you cash.
Energy bills for the average household are currently capped at £2,500.
But during the Autumn Statement in November, the Chancellor said this price freeze would only be in place for six months – until April 2023, when typical bills will rise to £3,000.
And even now, some families are already finding themselves paying more than the average household because the price cap only limits the amount firms can charge customers per unit of gas and electricity.
The average washing machine uses 0.79kWh of electricity per cycle, according to inthewash.co.uk.
With energy costs at 34p per kWh under the current price cap, this means a cost of 27p per cycle.
Add to this 14p of water per cycle, and you’ll spend a total of 41p.
“Skipping one wash a week saves me around £21 a year,” said Lindsay.
“These might seem like small steps, but they soon add up.”
In a bid to keep a lid on rising costs, Lindsay has come up with lots of simple ways to cut back on using energy-guzzling appliances, including her tumble dryer.
“You should never tumble dry jeans as it will break down the fibres and alter their fit,” she said.
“The best way to dry jeans is to lay them flat on top of a dry towel in front of a window or radiator.
"Flip them over, or turn them inside out, every hour or so, until dry.
"If you have access to a washing line, you can’t beat drying jeans, or any clothes, outside.
"Just make sure you hang them very neatly on the line to reduce creases forming.”
An average tumble dryer uses 3kWh of energy per cycle, costing almost £1.03 a load, according to Uswitch.
“By running one less washing machine cycle a week, I save 41p (or £21 a year), while one less tumble dryer cycle saves me £1.03 a week (or £53.56 a year),” she said.
“This adds up to a total of almost £75 a year.”
Other ways to cut costs of drying and washing clothes
In addition to these tricks, Lindsay has come up with a host of other ways to wash and dry her clothes on a budget.
“I use the tumble dryer as infrequently as possible, as it’s so expensive to run,” she said.
“But when I do use it, I chuck in a couple of tumble drying balls to reduce the overall drying time.
"I always add a few drops of essential oils to the dryer balls before I put them in the machine, as this eliminates the need for costly washing conditioner.”
Lindsay also recommends switching from a 40-60 degree cycle down to a 30-degree cycle to cut energy consumption, and do your bit for the environment.
Making the small change to a 30-degree wash could cut £29 off your annual bills, according to Which?.
“Modern washing powders and detergents work just as well at lower temperatures,” said Lindsay.
This is backed up by a recent snapshot test by Which? showing that unless you’re trying to clean really soiled clothes, modern machines will still do a good job most of the time at a lower wash temperature.
It means you don’t need to compromise on stain-busting power.
“Another tip is to buy washing powder, as opposed to washing pods or liquid,” said Lindsay.
“I find that not only is powder cheaper, but it will also keep whites brighter for longer.”
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Lindsay added: “As a busy family, making a few adjustments to the way we wash and dry clothes means big savings over the course of a year.”
For more tips, read our guide on the 30 top ways to save on your energy bills this winter.
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