Am I doing something wrong (laundry related!)

(154 Posts)
alabasterangel Thu 25-Oct-12 09:44:59

Trying to cut down on our mega combined fuel bills of almost £200 p/m for a three bed terraced house. (trying to cut down/save money in all ways really, but thats fodder for another thread I think!). Several friends have commented that I seem to do a lot of laundry; I estimate for a household of me, DH, DD(4) and DS(1) I seem to do probably on average 3 or 4 loads a day. I don't think I over-launder, but friends with similar households all seem to say they only do one or maybe two loads max. Heres what I seem to do in a week and in () the loads of washing it creates:

Bedding for our bed, daughters bed, cot. One bed change a week each. (3)
DS's Grobags, prob has a clean one every third night, totalling (1) per week.
Bathsheet and towel each for me and DH, bath towel each for DC's, bathmat. Change weekly (3). Handtowels for both loo's I change twice a week, teatowels prob three a week, so totalling (1). Swimming once a week so 4 lots of swimwear, two grown up towels, two small towels (2).
PJ's and vest for baby (clean every day, so 7 lots) and PJ's for daughter who invariably gets breakfast down hers and it's rare she doesn't have a clean pair most nights, totalling (2). DS's daytime clothes, plus the invariable changes due to leaked nappy, spilt food, bibs etc (1). DD's non-uniform clothes, if shes going to play somewhere after school, weekend wear etc (1)
5 work shirts for DH, 5 t-shirts he wears under work shirts (cold office!) (1)
DD's school uniform, polo shirt, skirt, tights, vest, cardigan. Rarely a day passes where I don't need to wash the whole lot. She's only little and gets lunch on herself, or glue, snot, paint, etc! probably (2) a week although I do have to wash her burgundy cardis seperately as they run.
My work clothes, I have a clean top/blouse every day and try to make trousers last two days, so would guess (1) total a week
non-work clothes for me (wear two nights running, jeans and top for example), weekend clothes, and same for DH (2). PJ's for me, again I invariably end up with baby breakfast and am a bit fussy and change every second night. DH's PJ's once a week so (1). DH is also going a lot of work on the house and garden, and I seem to get a load of work clothes at the end of the weekend too (1)

So thats 21 loads, before anything "incidental" happens - bed accident (rare, but still occasional), changing cot sheets daily when baby has a snotty cold, someones coat needs a wash through, washable sofa covers if something gets spilt, matress covers need a wash, etc, etc.

I wash everything on a 30 minute fast wash where possible. I use a 40 degree slightly longer wash for bedding and towels, and do an extra 10 minute 1600 spin to get them as dry as possible.

And I know I'm a bandit for doing it, but 80% of all the above goes through the dryer too - so therein lies my theory that a significant portion of our fuel costs derive from the above! The dryer is often on for 2+ hours a day.

I'm tight as a wedge with the heating so don't want to start drying stuff on the radiators. Do heated airers work? I don't want another outlay of £30 odd when I really can't afford it unless I will be able to recoup that relatively quickly.

There must be something I can do to cut this back or significantly save money. Anyone got any bright ideas?

MrsDeVere Thu 01-Nov-12 14:56:20

I do a lot of washing too.
I wouldn't put swimmers in the washer or dryer though. I would hand rinse them and hand up to dry. They are designed to dry quickly.

I save up my whites for one wash on a friday. DS3 wears white polo shirts to school so I have a full load by then.

I save towels and tea towels for one wash and do them on hot once a week.

I know its a pain having drying hanging up around the place but if you are struggling with fuel bills it is worth it. Finish them off in the dryer. We have an A rated one but I try not to use it too much.

We recently bought one of those heated airers from Lakeland. We are lucky because we have a large wet room. I stick it in there during the day and it has the added bonus of drying out the dampness in there.

Do you have any space for one at all? They do fold up flat and cost a few pence and hour. You can get loads on one.

DragonMamma Wed 07-Nov-12 15:25:13

That's a lot of washing OP!

There's 4 of us, my DH plays football twice a week and DD is in school, there's also DS who is a messy eating toddler. DH also washes his work uniform too.

We do this in a week:

1 dark uniform wash
1 light uniform wash
1 light wash
1 coloured wash
1 jeans and joggers wash
1 towel wash (I have a 6kg drum and it holds 2 thick bath sheets and 2 handtowels or 1 normal bath towel)
Ours and DD's bedding get washed together on a 60c wash and DS's grobags and bedding get left to build up as he has loads of sheets from his reflux days when they were changed a few times a day.

I have a utility room where there boiler is so I bought some of those over the radiator things and shove them on the top of the internal doors and dry as much as possible that way. What can go on the radiator does and what we aboslutely can't dry goes in the tumble!

Gas and electric are £100 a month together and we live in a 3 bed semi. DD's match up to useage for once too

Masses to read, but I wonder if anyone has pointed out that fabric conditioner on towels means they take forever to dry, because the conditioner 'coats' the fabric so the water can't evaporate.

And I agree with the suggestion to turn your dining room into a drying room.

madmomma Wed 14-Nov-12 22:24:42

when I do a wash I just shove as much as I can into the washer. Is that wrong? I know you can overload a dryer, but thought you just filled the washing machine drum confused

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