6 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Laundry

We’ve all heard the classics tips for getting more for your buck in the laundry room.  If you’re looking for a few “out of the basket” tricks for stretching that buck a bit further, however, these are little-known, but very effective!

Mix a DIY Stain Solution

Sure, you could spend $6 or more for a stain stick or other goo to rub into your stained sweater, but why not just create an affordable homemade version?  Many detergents are super-concentrated and work well as a stain fighter when applied directly to the clothing at full-strength.

You could also try filling a spray bottle with two parts water and one part rubbing alcohol.  You may want to test on an inconspicuous part of your more delicate clothing, but this all-purpose stain fighter is cheap and works very well.

Use Just Enough

Overdoing it on the detergent doesn’t make your clothes any cleaner, and can cost more than it should.  Be sure to use the measuring cup that comes with the brand you are using and use even less than recommended for soft water.

Skip the Softener

Yes, it can make your towels snuggly and your stinky stuff sweeter, but liquid softener generally adds a sticky film to the inside of your washer that can cut the life of your appliance short.  Opt for a sheet solution instead (or skip it altogether for added budget friendliness.)

Savor the Spin

Dryers work extra hard when clothes don’t wring out fully.  If you don’t own an HE washer with a super-efficient spin cycle, put clothes through an extra time on “spin” to wring out extra water and cut your drying time down.  You may also want to invest in an electric clothes spin dryer, a stand-alone unit that spins clothes at an impressive speed for line drying or shorter dryer times.

Snip Dryer Sheets

It’s almost as effective to use one half of a brand name dryer sheet as it is to use a full one.  Cut the cost of softness and static protection by cutting your sheets in two before you dry.  (Generic sheets may not have the power of more expensive brands; use this trick at your own risk for cheap brands.)

Tuck in a Towel

Drying times can be reduced simply by throwing a completely dry (and color coordinating) bath towel in each new dryer load.  The towel will help to absorb some of the water, cutting your time down quite a bit.

Do you have a trick for slashing laundry costs (such as line drying or one we mentioned above)?  We’d love to hear about it!

5 Responses to 6 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Laundry

  1. We line dry our clothes. Electricity is 20 cents/KWH here. That means about 75 cents per dry. At seven loads/week, my family saves over 250 dollars/year. We also wash on the cold setting, as oil is now at 3.25/gallon. This saves another almost hundred bucks. We also use half the recommended detergent (bought at about 5 cents/load, of course.)

  2. rather you are drying in a machine or on a outdoor umbrella clothesline run your washer a second time through the last spin cycle. The more water you get out there the faster your clothes will dry.

  3. Cut your detergent 50/50 with baking soda and then still use less. Let the washer fill and turn off for a pre-soak. Run the washed clothes for a few minutes on the no-heat dryer cycle before air drying to eliminate wrinkles/ironing. Many clothes can then be put immediately on plastic hangers to finish drying. I dry year round in an upstairs room on adjustable metal racks, so no clothes pins are needed and I don’t have to worry about weather or timing concerns. Plus the clothes don’t fade from the sun. In nice weather I open the windows for faster drying time. (P.S. An off the subject stink bug tip I discovered today. If you accidentally suck one into the vacuum and it stinks, just suck in about 1/2 cup of baking soda, so you dont have to immediately empty the bag.)

  4. My friend and I started a laundry service from our homes a few years ago. We found a little tip that we use on every load now. White vinegar. Add 3/4 cup into the rinse cycle and it acts as a natural fabric softner, saves money, is eco-friendly and helps keep your washing machine clean.
    Philadelphia Laundry Care

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