With a family of six, there’s never a shortage of laundry. Some days there is not an end in sight. I always feel so accomplished when all the hampers are empty and the drawers are full, though it’s only a matter of hours before the laundry begins to pile up again.
With a task as never-ending as laundry, finding ways to save money really pays off. Since the laundry isn’t going to go away, learn ways to minimize the expense so the savings will keep adding up.
Here are 8 great ways to save money on laundry. Feel free to share what works for you in the comments!
Make Your Own Detergent
I have been making my own laundry detergent for years. I have made both liquid and powdered versions. I have liked them all, but my this is my favorite recipe. It’s simple to make and takes just a few ingredients. I use a tablespoon or two for each load of laundry, so it lasts a long time.
Use Less Detergent
Even if you don’t make your own detergent, you can save on detergent by using less. Of course the brand will recommend using a lot of their product because the sooner you use it up, the sooner you’ll have to buy more. Using a third or a quarter (or less) of the recommended amount is plenty to get your average dirty laundry clean.
We’re inclined to think that more detergent will get our clothes cleaner, but the opposite is actually true. When you use too much detergent it doesn’t all get rinsed out out of your clothes, which leaves them dingier and more likely to attract dirt. Using too much detergent is also bad for your washing machine.
Use Dryer Balls
Instead of dryer sheets and fabric softener, use wool dryer balls. They soften your clothes and cut down on static, and you don’t have to worry about chemicals. They cut down the drying time, so they save energy too. You can even make them yourself with this great tutorial. We use wool dryer balls that were made by a friend.
Use Half Dryer Sheets
If you use dryer sheets, cut them all in half. In almost any case, half of a dry sheet is sufficient for keeping static at bay and leaving clothes smelling fresh. Before converting to wool dryer balls, we always tore our dryer sheets in half.
Only Wash Dirty Clothes
Washing clean clothes is a pet peeve of mine. Unnecessary washing wastes water, electricity, laundry detergent, and my precious time. When I find folded, unworn kids clothes in the hamper, the owner gets a good talking to.
Skirts, jeans and other pants can often be worn more than once before they need to be washed. Pajamas can also be used for several days before needing to be washed. For me, a skirt or pair of pants can be worn several times before it needs to be washed.
Use a Clothesline
Appliances with a heating element are notorious for using lots of energy. You can save on energy by using a clothesline to dry your clothes. Besides saving energy, there are lots of great reasons to use a clothesline.
Repair Your Appliances
Our washer and dryer (well, my inlaws’ washer and dryer) might be older than us. They are nothing fancy, just a top-loading washing machine and standard dryer. In the time that we’ve been here they have “broken” several times and I was sure that it was time to replace them.
Between my handy husband, frugal father-in-law and some online videos and tutorials, our washer and dryer have yet another life. Before replacing your appliance, give fixing it your best shot (or ask for the help of a handy friend). Washers and dryers are pretty simple machines and the knowledge-base available on the internet is quite profound.
Use Energy Wisely
Depending on where you live, you may have programs available to you that allow you to cut your energy bill by using energy at off-peak hours. During our law school years, our electric company had an option where you could have your bill calculated at the varying hourly rate rather than the flat daily rate. Each night the rates were published for the next day. I made it a point to do my laundry (one of my highest energy-using activities) late in the evening when prices were the cheapest. We saved something like 25% off our electric bill. See if your area has a similar program!
How About YOU?
- What do you do to save money on laundry?
- Do you ever find clean clothes in the laundry hamper (or is it just me)?