Having to do laundry is something that everybody has in common. More than most other chores, it is repetitive, and pretty expensive. Between the washer, dryer, laundromat fees, fabric softeners and detergent costs,and the power it takes to run your machines you may find yourself in over your head. Read up on a few ways to keep some cash on laundry day.
- Make sure it needs to be washed- Don't waste money washing clothing that is already clean. Double check your laundry sack to make sure all those clothes are actually dirty.
- Can it be used twice?- Things like jeans and towels can be used two or three times before they actually need to be washed.
- Express wash- If your unit has this option, use it! It will shorten washing time, and drying time as well (as the clothes don't get as wet). For everyday laundry, there really is not need to use the "heavy duty" cycle. Save it for truly soiled items.
- Don't use too much- Make sure you are not wasting your detergent by using too much. Read the package! And for clothes that are hardly soiled, or half-full loads half the recommended amount will be fine. For those of us in the older crowd detergents are much more concentrated than they used to be, so don't measure with your eyeballs :)
- Use powder detergent- Ounce for ounce, it's cheaper than the liquid variety.
- Homemade fabric softener- Replace manufactured fabric softener with 1 cup of white vinegar
- Double check the settings- Always make sure your settings are correct before starting a cycle to avoid using too much water.
- Look around- If you do your laundry in your apartment complex's laundry room, consider doing it elsewhere. You may pay $1.50 or more per load, while a nearby laundromat or another complex's laundry room only charges $0.75. The savings will add up!
- Use cold water- It cuts down on energy costs, by eliminating the need to heat the water. Modern detergents clean very well with cold water.
- Shut the door!- Make sure your dryer door is shut all the way. When it is ajar, it wastes energy by releasing heat, and using the dryer light.
- Wash only when full- Make the most of your water, and only wash when you have a full load.
- Air dry?- Save on either your power costs, or the amount it costs to use a dryer at the laundromat by line drying clothes in warm weather. Sheets and towels will smell fresher when line dried.
- Generic detergents- No need to shell out an extra five bucks just to have the brand name stuff. Discount and generic brands still get the job done.
- Don't cram it- Some people think that they save time and money by cramming as many clothes as possible into the washer and dryer. It actually decreases both machines efficiency, and causes it to work harder, which could lead to an early breakdown.
- A good investment- If you are shopping for a new washing machine, investing in front loading machine is a great money saving idea. These machines (also called horizontal-axis washer) use 1/3-2/3 less than an old fashioned, top loading model. Also check out efficient top loaders from brands like Fisher-Paykel. A bonus...these washers spin the clothes more aggressively, leaving them less wet for the dryer, saving even more.
- Speed up dryer efficiency- To speed up your drying time (and soften clothing), invest in Dryer Balls.