Save Time, Money, Water, and Electricity with This Laundry Tip

When my father was planning to retire, he decided to upgrade his older appliances. His dryer worked fine, but he wanted to have a matching set. My dryer was dying and he offered his old one to us. He wasn’t sure how long it would last.

That was ten years ago and his dryer is still running!

What did I do to extend its life?

I followed a tip I first heard at

“Put your dryer on the ‘Delicate’ setting and dry everything on the ‘Permanent Press’ cycle.”

Your dryer’s heating element on low extends its life. The clothes dry just as quickly…even towels!

Another thing I do is get the clothes out of the dryer on the first buzz. If there are items that are not completely dry, I put them back in the dryer and let it run while I fold the remaining clothes. They are usually dry before I get the rest folded. If not, like the double pockets on jeans, I throw them over the retractable clothesline, see here.

I take the time to shake out each larger item before I put them in the dryer. Clothes tangled in a ball take longer to dry, and it leaves them hopelessly wrinkled.

I turn flannel pajama pants and sweatpants inside out to allow the pockets to dry completely. I even fold the jeans into a “Z” to keep them from tangling. (Don’t forget the tennis balls, see here.) It really helps if you have white jeans washed with other white fabrics, see here.


In November our washer started leaking. The repairman said a bearing was failing and it wore a hole in a hose. He repaired the hose and it still leaked. When he came back he found the second leak was from the gasket on my front load washing machine.

That disgusted me!

We had to replace that gasket twice while it was still under warranty. The gasket cost $100.00 and the labor to replace it was $200.00. The repairman told me to use it until the ball bearing completely failed. We both agreed it would not be wise to invest another $300.00 in the machine.

Our washing machine is 12″ from a drain and there is nothing between it and the drain. It has been no problem to just let it leak when I run it. The water just goes down the drain.

I was so pleased with the dryer’s longevity, that I decided to find a way to make a washer last longer. Then it hit me…

the “Speed Wash” cycle!

That cycle runs for 38 minutes and the regular cycle has an extra rinse and runs for 61 minutes. I started my clothes on the “Speed Wash Cycle” for a few months now and they are just as clean. I treat stains as usual before throwing them in the wash.

The great thing is the washer cycle finishes a few minutes after the dryer’s first buzz. I have time to fold that load before putting the next load in the dryer. A load used to take 2 hours to wash and dry; now it takes an hour and fifteen minutes.

I wash 2 loads a day and I finish in an hour and a half, including the time to fold the clothes. It used to take me over 3 hours to do the same 2 loads. It’s wonderful to finish my laundry in half of the time!

A tip to save time, water, electricity, and wear and tear on your machines.

A tip to save time, water, electricity, and wear and tear on your machines.

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