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5 Laundry hacks that save money while doing laundry
Welcome to the Housekeeping in the Modern Age Series. Let’s talk about saving money while doing the laundry.
Who wants to wash clothes? Me! I actually like doing laundry. I don’t know what it is about it. Maybe it’s because when things are clean, life is easier.
Let’s be honest though, it’s a chore and a necessity. If you are the laundress or launderer of the house, this article is for you. How can you save money while doing laundry?
I’m glad you asked.
Step 1: Laundry triage
When I was a child, I remember my mother complaining that my brother changed clothes three times a day and threw them in the dirty laundry basket.
These clothes were not dirty. This was an enormous waste of my mother’s time and the family’s money and resources.
Maybe that sounds more harsh than the reality. Unless of course you are the one who is spending time and resources.
Triage that laundry! Here are my tips for triage.
- Bath towels can be used multiple times if hung up to dry after use. They only dried a clean body, you didn’t clean the floor with it. Use these multiple times and hang up to dry
- Jeans/pants can be worn at least twice as long as they don’t become soiled. Hang them over a drying rack, valet, or in your closet to air them out and keep them from looking like they laid in a ball on your floor.
- Sweaters and
sweat shirtsare good for multiple wears as long as they weren’t worn to a bar with a lot of smoke or to a football match with a lot of sweating. When in doubt perform the sniff test. Hang these back up to air out and keep from wrinkling.
- Bras can be laundered after multiple wears as long as there isn’t a lot of sweating. Launder these in a mesh bag to protect them from being tangled and ruined in the machine (or hand wash).
- Pajamas can also be worn multiple times before washing, especially if you only wear them a few hours in the evening
. DryClean Only items, hang up after wearing, inspect for stains, wear multiple times.
Clothing that should be single wear and wash
- Underwear and socks, never, ever, wear multiple times.
- Men’s dress shirts, t-shirts, and most tops are a wash after wear item due to underarm sweat.
Sort the laundry by color
I sort my laundry in the following loads: whites, towels/sheets, colors. If I have a new item that is red, I wash it the first time alone. This also applies to new dark rinse jeans. These items have a tendency to bleed in the first few washes.
If you don’t like to sort laundry, or need to do a small load, invest in Color Grabbers. These little sheets you can throw in the laundry and it grabs the dye in the water.
I’ve used them in the past and they work. However, if you are trying to save money, just sort the laundry and save the $3.
Use less laundry soap or make it yourself
I hang all of my laundry
This also is complicated by the laundry detergent. I use Mrs. Meyers laundry detergent in my
There are a lot of articles out there on making your own laundry soap using Borax, Fels Naptha, essential oils. I’ve made tons of this stuff and used it for over a year. It works, get’s everything clean. My mother still is using this years later.
I stopped because I love the scents of Mrs. Meyers laundry detergent. It’s environmentally friendly and I love the company, so I pay a bit extra for this.
Cut costs where it suits you, but not to the point where it makes you unhappy. Unless you have to out of necessity.
Skip the fabric softener
If you are going to line dry your clothes, don’t use fabric softener, it doesn’t work out so well. I stopped using it when I realized it contains endocrine disruptors. No thank you.
I don’t really have much more to say about that. It’s just not worth the risk in my opinion if you are trying to live a greener lifestyle and saving money while doing laundry.
Hang dry your laundry or line dry
This is where the savings really start adding up, line drying. The dryer is the most expensive appliance to run in your home after the air conditioner. Not to mention that it heats up the house while it’s running causing your air conditioner to work harder.
If you don’t live in the swampy humidity of Florida, like I do, this likely doesn’t mean much. But when it’s 98 degrees outside and your dryer is running, your air conditioner is working overtime. You are running the two most expensive appliances at the same time and they are competing for energy!
You might argue and say that your time is worth money as well and line drying takes longer to hang up than to just toss in the dryer.
Let me explain why it’s not as
The hanging and folding step is eliminated, saving more time. I hate it when clothes used to sit in the dryer and get wrinkled and I’d have to dry them some more to get the wrinkles out. UGH! What a waste of money!
If you want to read a more detailed post of how I line dry my laundry and what types of racks and methods I use, go to this link.
In addition to the above savings, your clothes will last longer. The lint that you clean out of your dryer after every load is a layer of the knit fabric that has been lifted off as the fabric slowly deteriorates.
Cha-Ching! Here’s an additional tip for saving money doing laundry. Use the cold water cycle except for towels and bedding. I wash towels and bedding on HOT in the Allergiene cycle on my machine to kill skin mites and any potential body debris. Ewww.