How to Save Money at the Laundromat

Save Money at the Laundromat

Let me start by saying that I haven’t been to a laundromat in years. Unfortunately, due to the city wide water ban in my area, I am unable to use my washer or just about anything else that uses water at my house.

So, it was heigh ho, heigh ho off to the laundromat two towns over I go tonight.

Lucky me…

I actually forgot how much I hated doing laundry at the laundromat! Not only is it boring, but it’s also really expensive! Even more expensive than I remember! Needless to say, this frugal chick thinking about how to save money at the laundromat…

1. Bring Your Own Detergent

When I first started going to the laundromat — so many years ago! — I would buy those cute little single packets of laundry detergent and fabric softener. I quickly realized that this was costing me an insanely stupid amount of money. Bringing your own laundry laundry detergent may be a little more of a pain, but you’ll save a bundle in the long run.

2. Hand Wash at Home

You can actually save a decent amount of money by hand washing what you can at home. For instance, underwear, bras, undershirts, tank tops and some t-shirts can usually be hand washed at home. The less laundry you have, the fewer quarters you’ll drop into the machines.

3. Wear Twice and Wash Once

Some clothes can be worn more than once before being washed. We usually wear jeans more than once before washing, and we also usually use towels more than once before washing. Again, the less laundry you have, the easier it is to save money at the laundromat.

4. Don’t Wash Clean Clothes

If you’re a parent, you probably already know where I’m going with this. Some darling little children — yes, Boy One and Girl One, I’m looking at you! — have a cute little habit of throwing clean clothes in with dirty clothes. This usually happens when they clean their rooms and don’t feel like putting their clean laundry away or when they decide to change four times in one day. Be diligent about what goes into your laundry bag when you’re trying to save money at the laundromat, especially if you have kids. Washing clean clothes is just a waste of perfectly good quarters.

5. Wash Full Loads

Save money at the laundromat by filling the machines with full loads. Several smaller loads will take more money to wash and dry, and you’ll use more laundry detergent and make more trips to the laundromat. And nobody wants to go through that!

6. Forget Sorting

I hate sorting laundry with a passion. So, I usually cheat and skip this step completely. Anything white usually just gets hand washed anyway at my house. Fortunately for me, skipping this step allowed me to save money at the laundromat tonight, since I was able to wash fuller loads. Otherwise I would have needed to plunk quarters into about six machines rather than just three.

7. Stop the Dryer Early

Dryers in laundromats run for a certain amount of time per quarter, so shortening your drying time is a great way to save money at the laundromat. We just aren’t able to use our water right now, so we dried the clothes just enough and brought them home to dry them in our dryer here. If you don’t have your own dryer at home, you can also hang clothes to dry the rest of the way or iron them.

8. Shop Around

I must admit that we didn’t shop around tonight. We just stopped at the first laundromat that wasn’t packed with people from our town who had the same idea. But, in the past I did, and it did help me save money at the laundromat. Some laundromats, particularly those with newer machines and nicer facilities, may charge a little more per wash and dry time. The difference may seem negligible at first, but over time a few extra quarters can really add up!


Do you have any other tips to save money at the laundromat? At this rate I may need to make another laundromat run next week, so saving a little extra money would be nice!