(WTNH) – Doing the laundry is something that’s on almost everyone’s to-do list, and with inflation rising, there are things you can do to save money and help the environment when you wash your clothes.

Doing laundry is a fairly simple chore that oftentimes we don’t think twice about. But there are choices we can make that can help your budget and the environment. Tanya Christian from Consumer Reports said one of the first things to consider is the water temperature you’re choosing.

“A lot of people have a tendency to use the hot water when they wash clothes. But really what we found is you can use the colder cycle for practically everything,” said Christian.

Cold water can save you money because your washing machine doesn’t have to use the energy to heat the water. That said, there are times when washing in hot water is best.

“The times that you want to use hot water is when maybe somebody’s sick at home. So you want to launder sheets and hot water to kind of kill that bacteria,” noted Christian.

Consumer Report also said to make sure you’re using the right amount of detergent.

“What we found is you can use one and a half ounces of laundry detergent, and that really does the job on a regular load. Sometimes you use too much and that’s actually when you get buildup on your clothes,” said Christian. “So it’s less expensive because you’re not using as much and it’s just better for your clothing to use the appropriate amount of laundry detergent.”

And if you’re using fabric softeners or dryer sheets, you may want to think again.

“Most of the time, if you use just a regular cycle, it’s going to get your clothes soft. You know you don’t need the extra additives. So stay away from those things and save money in the long run,” she added.

And one final tip from Consumer Report is this: over-drying your clothes can increase your electric bill and shorten the life of fabrics. They recommend using automatic drying cycles on your dryer to save energy and extend the life of clothes.