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My trick dries clothes without using a tumble dryer or heating – it cuts nearly £140 off our yearly energy bills

MUM-OF-TWO Jodie Clough has cut almost £140 a year from her energy bills by boycotting her tumble dryer.

Instead, she uses an airer, a sheet, and a portable heater.

Jodie Clough has cut almost £140 a year from her energy bills by boycotting her tumble dryer
The 35-year-old mum to Jaime-Rae, 14 and Bradley, 15, is on a mission to do her laundry for less

The 35-year-old is a mum on a mission to do her laundry for less, and has found a host of ways to wash and dry her clothes on a budget.

Jodie lives in Greater Manchester with her two children, Bradley, 15 and Jaime-Rae, 14.

She is the founder of – a business offering eco-friendly letterbox subscription boxes.

As gas and electricity prices have rocketed due to the energy crisis, Jodie has stepped up her efforts to keep costs down.

“I’ve come up with lots of simple ways to manage the expense of laundry from a busy household with teenage children,” Jodie told The Sun.

“It’s all about making small changes which can bring down my spend, while also doing my bit for the environment.”

Energy bills are currently capped at £2,500 for the average household.

In the recent Autumn Budget, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that from April 2023, a new £3,000 cap will take effect for millions on standard variable tariffs.

Conscious that her tumble dryer is one of the greatest gas guzzlers in her home, Jodie uses a host of budget-friendly methods to help reduce her energy usage.

According to Which?, a tumble dryer costs the average household a whopping £140 a year, so Jodie tries to avoid using hers as much as possible.

“We haven’t put the heating on so far this year to avoid huge bills, so we haven’t been able to use the radiators to dry clothes,” said Jodie.

“Even using the clothes airer on its own would mean it would take too long for stuff to dry. I needed to find something more practical.”

Jodie’s hack involves placing a king-sized bed sheet over her clothes airer to stop the heat from rising and escaping.

She then adds a portable heater, which she bought for just £20, to create heat around the airer.

Shop around, and you should be able to pick up an electrical heater for less than £30.

As a rough guide, it could cost from around 50p an hour to run one of these.

“The bed sheet keeps all the heat inside, so this means the clothes dry so much faster,” said Jodie.

“As a busy family, choosing to dry washing in this way means big savings each month.”

An average tumble dryer uses 3kWh per cycle, costing almost £1.03 per load, according to uSwitch.

“I do end up paying a little to run the heater from time to time,” said Jodie.

“But everything dries much quicker, and I’m still making big savings on my energy bill compared to using the tumble dryer.”

Jodie also reminds households that the sun is often still out even on the chilliest days at this time of year.

“Place your airer in the sunlight,” she said. “That way you can make the most of any warmth coming in.”

If you do need to use a tumble dryer, Jodie recommends using wool dryer balls to reduce both the temperature and the time needed to dry a load.

“Another advantage is the laundry comes out less creased,” she said.

“This means you rarely have to iron.”

How to cut the cost of the washing machine

Jodie also has some clever hacks when it comes to using her washing machine, another energy-guzzling appliance.

EDF’s data suggests it costs the average household around £14 a month or £171 a year to run a single cycle on their washing machine daily.

“Try giving your clothes an extra 10-minute spin to remove some of the water that’s been retained,” said Jodie.

“This will mean items will dry a bit quicker. And while you do need to fill your washing machine to a reasonable level to make the load efficient, don’t overfill it.

“This can prevent it from spinning clothes properly.”

With a close eye on her budget, Jodie has also swapped out some of her laundry essentials, such as softener.

“Instead, I use a cup of white vinegar, and get creative with essential oils to create a fresh scent,” she said.

“This prolongs the life of my clothes and keeps them smelling fresher for longer, without waste or chemicals.

“I find that lavender works really well for bedding.”

Jodie also recommends adding drops of essential oils to wool dryer balls for an extra scent boost.

“This means you can save on the cost of buying tumble dryer sheets, often around £3-£5 for a pack of 30.

“This is in addition to saving on the cost of softener, often around £2-£3 per 1.75l bottle,” she added.

“As I don’t create as much waste from empty bottles and packaging from the never-ending piles of laundry, this means I can save money – while also having a positive sustainable impact.”

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