No matter how frugal you are, there’s one necessity you can’t avoid: laundry day. I scrimp and save wherever I can, but having clean clothes is just something I can’t get around. Although you can’t avoid spending money on doing laundry, you can be smart about your approach. Follow these tips to save money on laundry each week, and watch the savings add up over time. You might be surprised by how much you can save on your laundry by thinking carefully about your routine. Let’s get started!
Wash in cold water
Hot water eats into your utility bill every time you do laundry. This might go against everything you’ve been taught, but remember that unless your clothes need some serious cleaning, cold water is completely fine. If you have extremely dirty clothes or sheets that you want to sanitize, choose the hot cycle. For everything else, set the dial to cool or cold water. Making this small change will add up to big savings over time.
Skip the dryer
Although it can be convenient, using the dryer eats into your utility bill. Why not do it for free using a clothesline or drying rack? In addition, air drying your clothes helps maintain their shape and quality for longer, and drying them outside gives them a fresh scent naturally. If you want your clothes to dry faster, you can start them for 5–10 minutes in the dryer and then transfer them outside. You’ll still save money on electricity and your clothes will dry in record time.
Limit your detergent use
I have to admit that for years, I used way too much laundry detergent without realizing it. The lines on the cap are rather generous, but you can get by with much less detergent. It turns out that using too much detergent can make your clothes dirtier because dirt sticks to the leftover soap. You can wash large loads by filling to the lowest line and honestly not notice a difference. Scale back your detergent use for instant savings on your grocery bill.
Make your own detergent
Save even more money by using a DIY version of your laundry detergent. You can create a simple version using borax and essential oils, and a large batch will cost you only a few dollars and last far longer than your regular purchased detergent.
Ditch your fabric softener
Aside from adding to your total laundry cost, fabric softener actually builds up on your clothing and weakens the fibers over time. It also can’t be used on all clothing; children’s clothing, athletic wear, and synthetic materials can all be damaged by fabric softener. This means you’ll go through clothing more quickly and need to buy replacements sooner. Save yourself the extra cost by using vinegar instead. Add 1/2 to 2/3 cups of white vinegar to each load for clothes that are just as soft as using chemical softener.
Get familiar with your clothing labels
Nothing is more expensive than accidentally ruining a garment and having to pay to replace it. Before you wash a garment, check the label. Some garments will be ruined by washing in hot water or taking a trip through the dryer. If an item is labeled as dry clean only, trust your local cleaner to take care of it. Taking matters into your own hands will usually end up with a ruined blouse that needs to be replaced.
Take good care of your clothes before they enter the washer
When you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to throw everything in without looking, but this can lead to damaged clothes that cost money to repair or replace. It’s worth making an investment of your time to carefully sort your clothes. Start by sorting by color, then sort by material.
Delicate clothes should be washed with other light, delicate clothes so that none of the material gets damaged. Make sure you completely fasten all zippers and buttons to avoid snagging. To lengthen the life of your dark-wash jeans, turn them inside out before washing so they don’t fade. Paying special attention before you wash your clothes can help keep them in good condition longer, saving you money in the long run.
When I first learned about these ways to reduce my monthly laundry cost, I wished someone had told me sooner! I hope these seven tips will help you save money on your laundry each week so you can devote your money to the things that really matter to you. What do you think of these tips? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think, and remember to share this list with your friends who love saving money.