Where does all the washing come from? I don’t understand how Team Minted, an average family of four, can generate so much laundry. Here’s the pictorial proof. That mountain on my kitchen floor is not even a week: it’s last week’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday, piled up after Mrs Tiggy-Winkle here dared to take the weekend off.
While I endlessly feed the machines socks and shirts, I’m conscious of how much all this spinning and rinsing is costing me. It’s estimated by UK Power that it costs 50 pence to wash a load in a machine and then 35 pence to tumble dry it. The Office of National Statistics says the average UK household does 260 loads a year but they don’t live in Minted HQ. I reckon we are doing two loads at least every weekday – that’s basically double the average. My bill then, just for keeping clean, comes in at £390 a year.
Talk about laundering money – and that’s without the washing powder. I confess I do use Persil when I’m sure that own-brand is just as good. In my defence, I only buy it when it’s on a half-price special offer. Also, I don’t use fabric conditioner or tumble dryer sheets, so that’s a kind of saving, as is not bothering with the ironing.
Powering the machines is the major cost of laundry. You can save lots by washing at lower temperatures, using more energy-efficient machines and of course drying clothes outside or just on a rail. uSwitch* has other tips on laundry cost saving here* as does the Energy Saving Trust. One of my own strategies is to use the 15-minute cycle on my machine for sports kit which is only sweaty, not dirty. Even so, I think I might have to take action on the supply pipeline.
I’m sure in my youth I wore shirts or tops for more than just one day. I’m not sure my parents changed the guest bed sheets after a visitor had slept in them for just one night. And clean towels every week? All these soap chemicals are bad for the environment too. That’s what I’m going to tell the mini-Minteds. Wear those jeans for two days in a row, don’t chuck them in the basket after only one outing. Although I do hope I don’t end up spending all my laundry savings on extra deodorant.
See our SMM guide to saving on energy bills here.