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How to save more than $500 a year on your laundry costs: CHOICE

Tips and tricks to save on electricity, detergent, water and more.

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has crunched the numbers and discovered how you can save more than $500 a year on your laundry costs. 

"We know that the costs of laundry can really add up for Australian households. Laundry detergent, water bills, and electricity bills can make up a significant part of your budget," says CHOICE laundry expert Ashley Iredale. 

"At CHOICE, we spend a lot of time in the laundry lab testing washing machines, dryers, laundry detergents and other products. While we've been in the labs we've picked up on some easy things you can do to significantly reduce the money you're putting towards the costs of doing your washing," says Iredale. 

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CHOICE's tips for cutting your laundry costs: 

1. Run full loads of washing. 

"Instead of doing smaller washes every day, try doing a full load every two days," says Iredale. 

"Your washing machine can fit far more clothes than you think, so fill it up as much as you can. A full laundry basket is only about 3.5kg of laundry, and your typical machine will fit much more than that," says Iredale. 

2. Wash your clothes in cold water. 

"Cold water washes clothes almost as well as warm water, and the difference is so small that the energy and cost of a warm cycle is just not worth it. Modern enzyme-based laundry detergents are designed for cold water washing, so your clothes will get a great clean," says Iredale. 

CHOICE's calculations found that if you switched from washing a half load every day on a warm wash to washing a full load every day on a cold wash, you would save $135.85 a year.

3. Switch to a cheaper laundry detergent that performs just as well. 

"Switching to a cheaper laundry detergent that performs just as well as a more expensive detergent is a great way to save money. We've found that top performing laundry detergents can range in price from 13 to 86 cents per wash, so there are lots of savings to be made," says Iredale. 

"Omo Active Powder Front Loader and Aldi Almat Concentrate Arctic Breeze both scored 77% in our testing. The Omo power sets you back 50 cents per wash, while the Aldi powder costs just 13 cents per wash. Assuming you run a wash each day, you would save $134.55 a year just by switching from Omo to Aldi," says Iredale.

You can check out our laundry detergent reviews here.

4. Use less detergent. 

"At CHOICE we've found that you can get a great wash using only a third of the recommended amount of laundry detergent. You really don't need to add a lot of detergent to your washing machine for a great result," says Iredale. 

"Using a third of a scoop of detergent means that your detergent will last three times longer, saving you even more money," says Iredale. 

5. Skip the fabric softener. 

"Fabric softeners really aren't a necessary part of your laundry routine. They reduce the moisture absorbency of your laundry, which isn't great for towels. Fabric softeners also build up in your washing machine, which can make it run less efficiently," says Iredale. 

"If you want to save money on your laundry costs, getting rid of fabric softener is a great idea," says Iredale. 

6. Reduce your dryer use. 

"In Australia we typically have warm weather throughout a lot of the year, so line drying your laundry is a good habit to get into that will save you a lot of money. If you do need to use a dryer regularly, consider buying an energy-efficient heat pump dryer, which will save you money on electricity," says Iredale. 

7. Choose your washing machine and dryer carefully. 

"CHOICE testing often finds that cheaper washing machines and dryers can perform better than the more expensive machines. It's a good idea to have a look at our reviews to find the most cost effective appliances," says Iredale.

Read more about cheap washing machines that outperform their more expensive competitors here.

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Media contact: Katelyn Cameron, 0430 172 669,

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