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This is how you save when you put on a washing machine

You have done it the same way all your life and that is precisely why it is now worth changing. Putting on a washing machine is not as simple as it looks. By following these 10 tips, you can save money, energy and time. 

Putting on a washing machine might seem as simple as it is mechanical: filling it with clothes, adding detergent and fabric softener, and pressing a button. The time arrives when our acts almost become robotic. According to studies from the main brands, 75% of people repeat the same washing programme most of the time and very rarely try other ones. We stick to our habits, but to really get to grips with efficiency, we have to leave our comfort zone behind.

The washing machine in your house uses the following elements:

  • Water: the most common and widely-sold washing machines, designed for households of 3 or 4 people, have a capacity for 7 or 8 kilos of clothes. They consume between 40 and 60 litres of water per wash.
  • Electricity: this depends on many factors including the price of electricity, but as an approximate average value we might say 40 cents is what it costs you to put on a washing machine.
  • Time: here we are not talking about the time it takes for the washing machine to finish, but the time you spend selecting clothes, filling the drum... and then taking them out and hanging them up. It is difficult to calculate, but for a washing machine of 7 kilos of clothes we would be talking about 20 minutes. We want to help you save on these three elements. If you follow these guidelines, your quality of life will improve as you will spend less money and waste less energy, and thus enjoy more leisure time. 
"50 litres of water, 40 cents of electricity and 20 minutes of time. That's what you spend on a standard wash."  

10 tips for spending less on washing machines

1.    If it is not dirty, do not wash it: that is the golden rule. Washing clothes has an impact on the environment and on the wear on clothes. If a garment is clean and only smells a little, it may be enough to hang it out and air it.

2.    Understand the energy label: if you are going to buy a new washing machine, you need to understand what energy labels mean .The greater the efficiency, the less the electricity and water you will use.

3.    Study the hourly rates: electricity does not necessarily cost the same for you as it does for everyone else and, in fact, at some times, it can turn out to be free.

4.    Fold the clothes you are going to wash: this might seem like being a little manic, but it is not. The first step in putting on a washing machine is to organise the clothes we are going to wash. This means getting them together in the hours before, in an organised way (one basket for light colours and another for dark ones). Folding them is worthwhile, because by avoiding wrinkles we guarantee that the garments will remain in a good condition for much longer. 

"Dirty laundry should be folded as it builds up. This prevents wear."
  1. Check before loading: check that the pockets are empty and make sure you have all the items that form sets (pairs of socks, tops and bottoms of tracksuits, etc.). Close all velcro strips to prevent them from sticking to other clothes. 
  2. Separate light and dark colours: we recommend you include a colour catcher in colour washes (sold in supermarkets). These prevent colour from running between garments. Remember that new clothes usually fade in their first washes: wash them separately the first few times and you will avoid getting upset.
  3. Short, cold wash programmes: read the instructions for at least the first few times. They are essential to understand the washing programme you need to use. Follow the next rule: you don't need much time or very hot water to achieve maximum cleaning results. The longer the time and the higher the temperature, the more you end up paying.
  4. Whatever is dirtiest goes in a separate wash: if you have a very dirty garment, do not mix it with the rest, since dirt can go from one garment to another. Do a special wash with these garments, with a pre-wash and, if possible, at a higher temperature. Remember that stains work best if you try to clean them on the spot rather than waiting for them to dry out. It is best to keep stains moist until you put the garment in the washing machine. 
  5. Moderate the use of detergent and softener: if you add a lot, you will prolong the rinse and use more energy and water, as well as causing a greater impact on the environment. These products are so effective today that the amount indicated in their instructions is sufficient. We recommend you opt for liquid detergents: they are easier to dose and you can better control the amount you use.
  6. Do not overload the washing machine: it is very harmful to your appliance and can cause a breakdown. Furthermore, it hinders the washing process: the clothes must have space to move around inside the drum so that they can be washed and rinsed well. If it doesn't have space, the cycles will be longer and more water will be needed, spoiling the efficiency of your wash. When you put the clothes into the drum, make sure there is a gap equivalent to a clenched fist between the pile of clothes and the top. However, if your washing machine does not allow adjustable loading, you should use it when it is full.
"Check the times when you usually put on the washing machine and find an electric price band that suits your routines."
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