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Doing Laundry At Night: Does it save money, and is it rude?

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Sometimes our busy schedules can get in the way of our housework. If you, like many others, have limited daytime hours, you may be wondering if you can do laundry at night. Working all day and coming home to care for your family can leave very little time for completing the laundry. 

There are advantages and disadvantages of washing laundry at night. Some energy and financial savings can be associated with washing laundry at night. The largest disadvantage is that leaving wet laundry in the washer overnight can cause them to sour and require another washing cycle. 

If you have limited daytime hours available for completing your daily housework and would like to know more about doing laundry at night, continue reading this article for tips that may help you. 

Reasons Why People Do Their Laundry at Night

There are many reasons as to why someone would do their laundry at night. This section will give examples of why some choose to do their laundry at night versus during daytime hours. 

Busy Schedules Leave Little Spare Time

Many times people will do their laundry at night simply because that is the only time they have available. People with busy careers, university schedules, and family routines to maintain are often left with only a few hours to complete tasks such as doing the laundry in the evening and late-night hours. 

Being Energy and Financially Conscious

There is the belief that doing laundry at night during the “off” hours can save you energy and money. This is not entirely untrue, but some clarification does need to be given on this matter. 

The only time washing laundry at night will truly save you money is if your particular power company participates in “peak hours,” meaning that during times when people are using the most power, the energy consumption and, therefore, the cost of energy will increase. 

If you live in a community that has a power company that uses “peak hours,” it is important to check with them to learn their schedule. Peak hours may vary and change depending upon the season and when people are using the most amount of power. 

Night Owls Get More Done When the Sun Goes Down

Another common reason that some people do their laundry at night is that they are night owls. Some people are just nocturnal and prefer to get things done while the rest of the world is asleep. 

Procrastinators Waiting Until the Last Minute

It’s not always easy to admit, but you know who you are; the procrastinator, the one who waits until the last minute and then has to rush around and wash their clothes unless they want to wear a table cloth to their next destination. There is always tomorrow until you have no clean underwear. 

The next section will answer some commonly asked questions and concerns about doing laundry at night.

Doing Laundry at Night – Common Questions and Concerns

Whatever the reason is for doing your laundry at night, you may have some questions or concerns. Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to doing laundry and how it should be done. This section goes over common topics that arise regarding washing your laundry at night. 

Can You Hang-Dry Laundry at Night? 

Hanging your laundry at night can be done, but it is not recommended that you line dry them outside overnight for the simple fact that dew can fall, which will result in a longer dry time. If you live in a hot, dry climate, this may not be as much of an issue.

You also have to contend with the possibility of nocturnal creatures damaging your garments or birds defecating on them. If you live in a hot, dry climate, hanging your clothes out to dry is perfectly fine as long as the wildlife does not interfere with them. 

If you have a drying rack and an oscillating fan, you can very easily dry your fresh laundry overnight inside without the worry of dew falling or critters running off with your favorite shirt. (Amazon paid links above)

Another solution is to hang a line or set up a drying rack inside of a screened-in porch – if you have one. This way, they still have the fresh air feeling without the risk of nature or animals damaging your clothing. 

Is it Rude to Do Laundry at Night? 

This is more of a common-sense and common courtesy matter.

Whether or not you are being rude by washing your laundry at night depends entirely upon where you live or where your laundry room is located in your residence. 

If you live, for example, in an apartment complex, it may be considered rude to wash your laundry at night; however, one thing to consider is that when living in city settings or apartment buildings, life typically does not stop when the sun goes down. 

Life Doesn’t Stop When the Sun Goes Down

If you choose to live in a city or area where you are in close proximity to others, you must understand that there are going to be things that people do that can be construed as annoying or rude. 

If you live in an apartment building or home with thin walls, it may be pertinent to consult with those who live with and/or around you to see if they are bothered by such nocturnal activities. 

If they are not, then carry on. However, if they are bothered, do your best to wash your laundry when they are not trying to sleep. 

Is it Cheaper to Do Laundry at Night? 

In many cities and towns, doing your laundry at night is beneficial for saving energy and, therefore, some money. How much money depends upon where you live and what your rates run. 

Many cities and towns have “peak” electrical times when it is best to avoid using any major appliances as that is the busiest time and therefore the most energy and financially expensive time of the day. 

Honestly, the money saved by doing your laundry at night is probably not enough to write home to mom about, but it is a positive environmental choice to make if it works with your schedule. More about some smart ways to save money when doing laundry a little further down the article.

You can also learn about running your dishwasher at night here.

Is it Safe to Do Laundry at Night? 

There is always a risk of a mechanical or electrical issue when using any appliance. The same goes for your washer and dryer. 

In most cases, it is safe to do your laundry at night. However, you do need to consider the possibility that if something did happen electrically or otherwise, you might not be awake to notice, and things can go wrong very quickly depending upon what the actual issue is. 

It is safe to say that you should be cautious when washing and drying your laundry at night or anytime you leave your home, especially if you live in an older home or building that may not have updated wiring. 

Is it Bad for Your Clothing to Wash at Night? 

The time of day has no effect on the actual washing process. However, when washing at night, your clothing could go sour while sitting in the washing machine if you fall asleep and do not switch it to the dryer in time. 

According to Martha Stewart, as long as you don’t leave your wet wash in the machine for hours and hours, your clothing should be fine to dry without rewashing. 

If you are unsure as to whether or not your clothing has soured overnight, simply take a big sniff. If they do not smell fresh, you had better wash them again. 

Tips for Saving Money on Laundry Day or Night

People are always looking for ways to save money in the laundry room, and these tips can all help with nighttime laundry as well. Some of these tips may help free up some change in your piggy bank. 

1. Air Dry When Possible

The obvious choice, if you are trying to save money, is to nix the dryer whenever possible. Not only will you save money, but you will have the fresh feeling of air-dried clothing just like your grandma always had.    

Here is a good option for a drying rack on Amazon (paid link).

Dry Clothes WITHOUT a Dryer (Using Indoors Drying Rack)

2. Clean the Lint Trap 

To prevent a devastating fire and keep your dryer running efficiently, always clean the lint trap before each use. If you maintain your dryer properly, it will save energy and last longer. 

3. Dryer Balls Aren’t Just Cat Toys

Using dryer balls (Amazon paid link) can help reduce the amount of energy expended by separating the clothes and helping them to dry faster. That also helps you to get your task done more quickly so you can move onto something more entertaining – like playing with the cat. 

4. Use Energy Star Appliances

Anytime you can purchase an appliance that has an Energy Star™ rating, you are already on the way to saving some money. Combining an Energy Star appliance with doing your laundry at night will help you save even more money. 

Here is a great option for an energy-efficient washing machine on Amazon (paid link)

5. Extra Spin Cycles Start Your Drying Process

To reduce the amount of water left in your clothing, be sure to use the extra spin option on your washer if available. The less water in your clothing, the less time your dryer will be running. 

6. Fill the Washer

Be sure you have enough laundry to fill the washer. It is better to do one big load versus multiple small loads if possible. Don’t over-fill your washing machine, though. Overfilling your washer can result in soap residue being left on your clothes requiring you to wash them again.

7. Smaller Dryer Loads

Conversely, when using the dryer, try splitting larger loads up. If you have too many items in your dryer, it will take longer to dry and use more energy than if you split the loads apart. 

8. Should You Put Wet Loads In the Dryer When It’s Still Hot?

If you are going to be drying multiple loads of laundry, be sure to switch them while the dryer is still warm from the previous load. This will help to reduce the amount of energy used because the dryer won’t have to keep heating up in between loads, especially in the winter months.

9. Use Cold Water to Save Energy

Using cold water is a sure-fire way to save some energy and money because you won’t be using the water heater. 

10. Use Smart or Economy Settings

Nowadays, most washers and dryers come equipped with “smart” or “economy” settings that help to reduce the amount of energy and water the machines are using. 

The next section will discuss using a laundromat at night to do your laundry. 

Is It Best to Use the 24-Hour Laundromat After Dark?

If you are like many people who don’t have a washer or dryer in their home, you may be wondering if going to the laundromat at night is the best time to get your laundry done. 

Generally, the best time to get your laundry done at a 24-hour laundromat is later at night during the week. Trying to do laundry between four and eight pm can be tricky because people are getting out of work and trying to get things done before it gets too late. 

Continue reading for more details on using a laundromat after dark. 

Best Times of Night to Use a 24-Hour Laundromat

If you are fortunate enough to live near a 24-hour laundromat, then you have the flexibility to wash your laundry whenever it fits into your schedule. 

If you want to get to the laundromat when there are no lines for the machines and gaggles of children running amok, it is best to get there after nine pm during the week. 

Most laundromats recommend that you avoid them at lunchtime hours and early evening hours. As people are getting out of work and trying to finish up their chores before they go to bed. Going to a laundromat late at night is typically very quiet, and you can get everything done at one time.  

What Works for One May Not Work for Another

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages no matter what time of day you choose to do your laundry.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what works best for your schedule and those who live around you. If you are concerned about energy consumption, keep an eye on your power company’s peak hours and follow some of the energy and money-saving tips listed in this article.


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