How much does it cost to wash?
July 16, 2005 12:36 PM   Subscribe

How much does it cost (or what is the amount of electricity / volume of water used) to do one full load of laundry, as an average. Or, how would I go about getting precise figures for this? I want to know how much too much we pay to operate the pay-per-load laundry machines in our new apartment building.
posted by ChrisR to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Energy Star has information about energy and water use per year for specific models (assuming 392 loads per year). You could use that info along with water and electricity costs in your area to calculate the incremental cost of a load to the landlord. Don't forget to factor in the capital and repair costs of the machines, but to do that accurately you would need to know how many actual loads are done per year, how long the machine will be in service, and approximate the repair costs. Anything left over is profit.
posted by caddis at 1:37 PM on July 16, 2005

Drying Laundry sorta answers one part of your question, specifically page 2.
posted by odinsdream at 2:33 PM on July 16, 2005

Once you know the numbers, you'll have to do the math to whatever your local energy/water prices are.

So, according to Energy star "Most full-sized ENERGY STAR qualified washers use 18-25 gallons of water per load, compared to the 40 gallons used by a standard machine." You'll have to figure out water [and in some places sewer] rates to figure out what that costs you.

This Australian page spells out a lot more of the costs that you would have to consider [they are trying to convince you buy cloth diapers]. They have this to say about enrgy consumption "The average top loading washing machine uses 560-644 kilowatts based on one wash per day over a year" and "Front loading machines range from 198KW per year to around 330KW per year." So, choose your kind of washer and divide by 365 to get your KW per day.

Then you have to deal with the cost of machines and all the stuff, like caddis says.

I think if I were answering this question for myself, I might decide to look into the coin washer racket instead of doing all these complicated calculations. You can see more about this business here with a breakdown of costs here or maybe you want to ask an expert, here
posted by jessamyn at 2:36 PM on July 16, 2005

I've gone the drop-off route. It's another way to go. I did the math and realized it was only about a dollar more per load to get someone else to do all of my laundry instead of using the overpriced coin-op machines where I was living.
posted by abbyladybug at 2:39 PM on July 16, 2005

jessamyn, interestingly enough, I'm trying to figure out how much more our coin-wash machines cost than having one ourselves.

Thanks, guys, I'll check out these resources.
posted by ChrisR at 2:40 PM on July 16, 2005

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