Experts reveal the trick that will save you money when washing your clothes

If you're looking to save some cash, this is a trick well worth knowing

Wooden worktop with washing machine underneath, and a patterned curtain instead of a door
(Image credit: Future PLC)

During the current cost of living crisis, we're all doing what we can to save as much extra cash as possible. And sometimes, the best ways to make an impact on your finances is to make smaller changes on a daily basis – as these are the things that are likely to add up over time.

Many of us will already be trying out certain energy saving tips in a bid to save money around our homes, such as installing smart meters, turning off lights, and being more aware of which rooms need heating and which don't.

However, one method we hadn't considered for saving a little bit of extra cash is to use our washing machines a bit more strategically, too. Opting for certain times of day to save money.

Can washing your clothes during certain times save you money?

When it comes to saving money, surely it doesn't matter when you wash your clothes, right? According to experts, this actually isn't the case – and in fact, there are certain times during the day when putting a load of laundry on causing you to fork our extra cash.

Vivien Fodor, Laundry Category Manager at Hotpoint reveals: 'The most expensive time to run your washing machine is between 4.00pm and 7.00pm (depending on your tariff).'

Why is this? Andrea Pesce, Domestic Appliances Service Director at Domestic & General explains that it's all about demand during these hours. 'With increased demand between 4pm and 7pm, doing a wash or dry between these times may be more expensive than between 10am and 5pm, when energy prices are considered lowest.'

Grey kitchen with patterned flooring, white washing machine and tiled splashback

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Interestingly, this is due to a pricing structure set by the energy companies we all source our electricity from. 

'During these peak periods, the power grid experiences increased demand, leading to higher electricity rates,' laundry expert and CEO of Laundryheap, Deyan Dimitrov, says. 'To encourage consumers to shift their energy usage to off-peak hours and balance the load on the grid, many utility companies implement time-of-use pricing models.'

As such, if you're looking to save some money where possible,  it's a great idea to run your washing machine outside of peak hours if you can. These off-peak hours are generally in the early hours, before the working day begins – or, if you can, pop a load on in the middle of the day. 

If that doesn't suit, Deyan said, 'You can also take advantage of this fact by using the time delay setting on your washing machine. Simply load your washing in the evening and schedule the machine to run during the early hours of the morning, and you'll see significant savings on your electricity costs.'

White utility room with washing machine and baskets on shelves.

(Image credit: Future)

However, it's worth noting that the actual cost of using your machine during these peak hours is likely to vary regionally, depending on your local energy provider.

And that's not all. While running your washing machine outside of peak time is a great option for saving some cash, it'll also be helpful to consider other ways to save money whilst washing your clothes. 

'The overall cost of running a washing machine can also depend on a few variables, such as the temperature that you run your wash on, the electricity tariff that you’re on, and how energy efficient the washing machine itself is,' Andrea said.

'Another important cost-saving measure is to make sure you are taking steps to extend the life of your machine. This can include reducing the amount of laundry detergent you use, minimising the size of your laundry load and using an anti-limescale magnet to soften hard water, if you can.'

Who knew that a little laundry scheduling could be the ticket to saving previous pennies.


 Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine