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16 ways to save money on laundry day

Posted In:  energy saving tips  other

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. 

  1. 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.
  2. Can it be used twice?- Things like jeans and towels can be used two or three times before they actually need to be washed.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 :)
  5. Use powder detergent- Ounce for ounce, it's cheaper than the liquid variety.
  6. Homemade fabric softener- Replace manufactured fabric softener with 1 cup of white vinegar
  7. Double check the settings- Always make sure your settings are correct before starting a cycle to avoid using too much water.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Wash only when full- Make the most of your water, and only wash when you have a full load.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Speed up dryer efficiency- To speed up your drying time (and soften clothing), invest in Dryer Balls.


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Re: 16 ways to save money on laundry day

I bought a wringer washer, and I LOVE it.  I use 1 load of water and small amount of eco-friendly soap for all my wash, same with my rinse water, then I just keep my rinse water in the washer tub with my next batch of soap for people to put clothes into that need to soak before laundering.  My greywater now is used for my indoor and outdoor plantings.  Another benefit of using the wringer washer is that I control how long to agitate, not a machine setting.  Energy Star is great, but it is not everything!!!!
Also, we are nude whenever we possibly can be.  That means clothes get worn several times before they need washed because we take our clothes off and hang them somewhere to "air"  Keeps them clean.
I cut my large bath towels up into smaller towels.  The smaller towels dry just as well, and they wash and are line dried much easier and faster, and since I use each smaller towel a few times between washings, that really saves us a bunch of laundry work and expense.
Like the comment above, we do use a drying rack or clothesline for drying.  The sun does a fantastic job of killing germs and fading stains.  When I know it will rain, I often do not bother rinsing, counting on that clean, free water from the sky. (I really do not use much soap at all!) In the winter, we dry on racks inside, especially in front of windows.  I like everything about how I do laundry!
A caution, though, about tip #8.  If you have to drive a vehicle to get to another Laundry facility, rather than washing where you live, it could easily destroy your "savings".

Re: 16 ways to save money on laundry day

Zoey's picture

Who leaves their dryer door open? Mine doesn't operate at all if it's not closed fully. What a dumb thing to do. It's probably the most expensive appliance to run.

Re: 16 ways to save money on laundry day

Another tip is to use environmentally friendly washing powder, so you can use the grey water to water the garden.

Re: 16 ways to save money on laundry day

17. Hang those wet clothes outside on the clothes line in the back yard like your Mom probably did. That's still the best, and most cost-effective, way to dry your laundry.