Save Money Doing Laundry

Save Money Doing Laundry

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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.

Laundry hacks

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 afterwards.
  • 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 shirts are 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.
  • Dry Clean 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 to dry. I stopped using a dryer five years ago and haven’t regretted it. However, in Florida, we have hard water and this tends to make clothes crunchy after hanging them to dry.

This also is complicated by the laundry detergent. I use Mrs. Meyers laundry detergent in my high efficiency front loading washing machine. I use half of the recommended amount. My laundry is clean and smells great. Remember, half of the recommended amount is enough to get the job done, try it.

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 time consuming as you think. First, as you pull a shirt out of the wash, give it a snap, hang it on a hanger, and walk away, you are done with it. Now, all that is left is to take it the closet once dry.

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.

Darn Good Yarn: Online Yarn Store

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4 Replies to “Save Money Doing Laundry”

  1. I’m not gonna lie. I don’t like line drying. It takes too much time to hang up. I also live in Wisconsin, so it’s not feasible 7+ months out of the year. But I gave up dryer sheets/fabric softener years ago and never looked back. I also always use half the soap. I’m partial to Oxydol powder, but may need to look into Meyer’s. I really like their lotions’ scents. 🙂

    Great post!

    1. Hi Melissa, I hear you. I hate dragging it all outside and back in, running for rain which happens frequently in the summer in Florida. I have another article that might give you an idea of how to do it easier inside the house. My in-laws live in Holland and none of them own a dryer, most of the Dutch don’t. Yet they still hang dry laundry. Check here for tips on drying inside like I do. Hope this helps! Line drying laundry

  2. These are great tips! Laundry triage is my favorite. When I lived in St. Vincent I came across these small laundry baskets that weren’t very deep. (I’m sure I could find them if I looked hard enough in America but I haven’t come across them yet) I had three of them that I slid underneath my bed and had them categorized as “dirty, dirty” which consisted of gym clothes, clothes I word to town, all the gross stuff. “Day clothes” which had clothes that had been worn to class but hadn’t really been sweated in. And “inside clothes” which had pajamas or clothes I typically put on after a shower. It made everything so much easier when I went to wash!

    Alexx |

    1. Exactly Alexx!! I think in countries where water and resources are plentiful, people take for granted the little things like re-washing clothes. My Mother-in-law in Holland is extremely frugal with water because of the cost. I’m glad to see that laundry triage isn’t a foreign concept to everyone! I appreciate your comments as always.

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