Oh the never ending job of laundry. Just when you think you have the final load in the washer you see someone has put something in the hamper! It can be maddening.
Laundry can also be costing you a lot of money. You have laundry soap, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and of course energy costs. It’s really frustrating for your never ending job to also be costing you a lot of money.
I’m always looking for ways to cut costs and I’d much rather my money go to a fun trip than laundry. Over the years I have found ways to not only cut my costs when it comes to laundry but I found all of these tips are also eco-friendly! Don’t worry, none of these tips include extreme couponing or stockpiling.
Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
I know this one may seem like a very time consuming task but I have found a very simple way to make laundry detergent that works! So many of the recipes you see out there are soap not detergent. They end up building up on your clothes making them look dingy and not cleaning them very well. That soap also builds up in your washer which isn’t good for it either and can cause mold to grow.
The laundry detergent I’ve been using for many years is made using water and soap nuts, that’s all! It’s really simple to make and it works. There is no build up on your clothes or your washer. It’s even cloth diaper safe.
Of course one of the best parts is that it’s really cheap to make. For less than $20 you can get around 240 loads. It works out to about $0.08 a load, compare that to a leading brand that is $0.21 a load.
Stop Buying Fabric Softener
Fabric softeners are another product that builds up on clothes and your washer. They also often contain endocrine disrupting ingredients. You can just skip it all together. Most of the time you won’t really notice a difference. Winter may be the main time you notice.
Another option is to use white vinegar. This is what I use. It’s really simple, just add about a 1/4 of a cup to each load in the same way you would fabric softener. This not only will soften your clothes but it also does a great job removing odors and can even help take off the build up from your past use of fabric softeners and laundry soap.
Skip Dryer Sheets
This is another laundry product that can contain endocrine disruptors and add a lot of cost to laundry is dryer sheets. I have gotten to where I can step outside and know neighbors are doing laundry. Dryer sheet scents are just overwhelming and permeate the neighborhood through dryer vents.
If you are using white vinegar in the rinse cycle you likely don’t need anything to replace dryer sheets. If you do feel like you need more then try dryer balls. They work well and can be used for a very long time. You can even put a few drops of essential oils on the dryer balls if you want a light scent on your clothes.
Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
Some dirtier loads you will likely want to use hot water but for most loads cold water is best. It will save on energy costs and also prevent a lot of fading and clothes won’t be as likely to bleed on each other.
However, you can save more than $0.60 a load by making this switch! If you just switch two loads a week to cold water, that’s over $60 in a year. I can think of a lot of things I’d rather use $60 for than laundry.
Wash Only Full Loads
Making sure loads are full is also a good way to save money. It saves water, energy and even detergent. Plus it saves you time. No reason to be doing more loads than you have to.
With only two of us and a super capacity washer I can’t always get it totally full before I need to wash our clothes but I get it as close as possible. If you have more in your family this will of course be a lot easier.
Line Dry Your Clothes
I try to line dry almost all of my clothes. It costs on average about $0.36 per load to use your dryer. I do at least 6 loads of laundry a week so that’s over $2 a week just to dry my clothes. It adds up to over $100 a year. Line drying is also easier on your clothes so that will help save you money as well.
If you have concerns about line drying your clothes read The Problems with Line Drying and How to Fix Them. If you still aren’t convinced check out 10 Benefits of Line Drying, it may just change your mind.
What other tips do you have that can help save money on laundry? I’d love to here them, share in the comments below.