Clean clothes are an essential part of our life these days. With a house full of people, though, (particularly rough and tumble little people who like to make mud pies) the cost of doing laundry nearly every day can be a little overwhelming.
There are ways you can cut costs and save money on laundry.
Use Less And Wash Less
If you’re anything like my kids, you probably use too much detergent. Try cutting the amount of detergent you use in half for lightly soiled loads. If your clothes come out clean, you know you’ll be able to save money on laundry by using less detergent. Heavily soiled loads, however, will still most likely need the regular amount of detergent to get completely clean.
You can also save money on laundry by washing certain items less. For instance, jeans can usually be worn twice and towels can last through a couple showers. Also, consider not washing clothes that have only been worn for a few hours.
Make Your Own Laundry Products
Making your own laundry products is a great way to save money on laundry. You can make laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets.
The estimated cost of doing a load of laundry with homemade detergent is usually no more than a couple of cents. It’s also simple to make and requires nothing more than a cheap bar of soap, borax, washing soda, and water.
Fabric softener is even simpler and cheaper. Just add some vinegar to your washer while doing a load. Vinegar helps remove soap residue, remove odors, and cuts down on static. If you want something a little more fancy and perty smelling but still want to save money on laundry, you can whip up a batch of homemade fabric softener with two parts hair conditioner, three parts vinegar, and five parts water.
Finally, you can also make homemade reusable dryer sheets to help save money on laundry as well. To make these, just soak some clean white washcloths or rags in some fabric softener. You can wring them out and toss them in the dryer with wet cloths, or you can allow them to dry before you put them in the dryer with a load of clothes.
Don’t Overwork Your Machines
This is a no brainer… The more you run your washer and dryer, the more energy they use and the more money you pay for utilities. One great way to save money on laundry is to use your machines less.
Only wash clothes when you have a full load, if possible. This will help conserve water and you’ll use less gas and electric. If you must do a sall load, change the settings to reflect the size of the load.
On the other hand, don’t overload your washer. This won’t help you save money on laundry in the long run, since an overloaded washer won’t clean clothes as well, so you may end up washing the clothes more than once.
Washing your clothes in cold water can also help save money on laundry. Your water heater doesn’t need to work as hard, and you’ll pay less.
Don’t bother using your dryer at all in the spring, summer, or fall. Instead, hang your laundry out to dry. If you don’t like the feel of line dried clothes, take them off the line while they’re still slightly damp and toss them in the dryer for a few minutes.
When you do need to use your dryer, don’t over-dry your clothes. If your dryer has a sensor that turns it off when clothes are dry, use that. If your dryer doesn’t have a sensor, check your clothes every half hour or so and remove them when they feel dry to the touch.
Change How You Shop
You can save money on laundry by changing your shopping habits as well.
First of all, try not to buy clothes that are dry-clean only. Dry cleaning bills can add up quickly each week.
Use coupons and watch sales for laundry detergent. Stock up when it’s super cheap. If you can’t or don’t want to use coupons, try out a store or generic brand of laundry detergent. Many off-brands clean your clothes just as well as the expensive brands, and they can help you save money on laundry costs.