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How to properly use your washing machine and save money?

It's a long time since doing the laundry was a manual chore! Nowadays we set the washing machine going mechanically, without giving it much consideration. Yet changing your laundry habits can help you save money.
Here are a few tips for optimising how you use your washing machine.

Use your washing machine properly

Did you know that up to 95% of the energy consumed by your washing machine is used to heat the water? So you will achieve the most savings by acting on this factor. How?

  • Avoid prewashing (+15% consumption). If your laundry is very dirty, use laundry balls. These mix the laundry up and improve the efficiency of the wash.
  • Wash at 30°. This is adequate in most cases and is gentler on your clothes! If you are washing at a lower temperature, choose a liquid detergent. These are more effective because they are already dissolved.
  • Give preference to longer but more economical eco programmes (30 to 45% energy saving).
  • If your laundry is not really dirty and your machine allows it, you can also use the 'fast', 'express' or '15 minutes' programme. The shorter duration of this programme offsets the electricity consumption.

But also…

  • Load the drum as full as possible without cramming the laundry in.
  • Do not use more detergent than necessary: it's inefficient and polluting.
  • If you are using a quick or half-load programme, use liquid or powder detergent that you can dose precisely instead of a tablet detergent.

Use the washing machine at the right time

Do you have a day/night dual meter? Use your washing machine at night or on weekends to enjoy the reduced tariff.

If you have photovoltaic panels, it is better to do your laundry in the middle of the day to take advantage of the free electricity produced by your panels.

Eco-friendly detergent

For laundry that is not too dirty, try soapnuts (the fruit of the Koelreuteria paniculata tree). Add a few drops of essential oil to the detergent drawer.

Do you have a solar water heater? You can connect it to your washing machine and save anywhere between 25 and 70% of electricity, provided you fit a mixer. This device, connected to hot and cold water taps, allows you to adjust the water temperature. Otherwise, very hot water from the solar water heater could damage your delicate clothes and your machine, which may not necessarily be designed to receive hot water.

Maintenance

Light maintenance is enough to keep your washing machine on top form.

  • Every 2 months: clean the pump filter, which can be accessed through a hatch
  • Clean the small water inlet filter every 6 months. Run the empty washing machine at 90° with a product designed to clean and disinfect the machine.
  • Regularly: add a washing machine descaling agent to your laundry

Does your washing machine need to be replaced?

  • If you need or want to replace your washing machine, invest in an A+++ class machine. Some manufacturers even offer A+++ machines with additional savings of up to 40%!
  • If you can, choose a high-end machine with a long warranty. Depending on the model and the capacity, the annual cost of using a machine can double from € 63 to € 120, according to Test-Achats.

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