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Saving Money While Doing Laundry

Updated on July 15, 2018

"Around ten percent of a home's total electricity use goes to washing and drying clothes."---Noah Horowitz, the Senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Tons and tons of money is spent every year buying laundry equipment and supplies like a washer and dryer, detergent, fabric softener, and stain removers. Then, there is the energy consumed to run each wash load. Last year In the United States, Americans use eight billion kilowatts washing clothes and sixty billion kilowatts running those wash loads through the dryer. Every year, the average American family does 400 loads of laundry. This costs a great deal of money considering the electricity, water, detergent, and fabric softener. We need to look at ways of conserving energy while doing the laundry and keeping our clothes clean. One of the suggestions is to help lower the bill by only using hot water for towels, washcloths, underwear, and bed linens. Other laundry items can be washed with cold or warm water. Cold water is the least costly temperature setting. Even using warm rather than the hot setting lowers the costs. Another way to lower laundry costs is by making your own laundry detergent, fabric softener, and stain remover. A third way to keep the costs down is by using dryer balls. You can either purchase dryer balls or make your own. Many people prefer to make their own because it not only costs less, but it also is more natural and better for the environment to use dryer balls made out of wool than rubber.

"The dryer uses more energy per year than a new refrigerator, clothes washer, and dishwasher combined."-Noah Horowitz, the Senior scientist at the Natural Resources defense council.

Dryer Balls

Although I never got a stop watch and timed out how long or not long it took for my laundry to dry with the addition of dryer balls like what is displayed in the above video, I have noticed that it takes much less time for my dryer to dry clothes with the addition of dryer balls than without them. I like the ones that you can get at Krogers that come in packs of two with rubber spikes coming out of them because they get in between clothes and bed sheets and really stretch out the material so that it dries faster. After every laundry load I will spend time picking out the dryer balls from sweaters and bed sheets where they get stuck in the pile of laundry. However, some people prefer the more natural wool dryer balls that you either make yourself and save money that way or buy online.

How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent:

Ingredients (buy in grocery store):

1 bar or 4.5 oz. of shaved bar soap

1 cup of borax

1 cup of washing soda (not baking soda)


Steps:

1. You just mix the ingredients together thoroughly.

2. If desired, you can put it in a blender or a food processor so that it dissolves easily in water. Wash your blender or food processor thoroughly afterwards.

3. It must be stored in a sealed container.

4. Only one tablespoon is used per load except for heavily soiled loads which might require two to three tablespoons.

The Cost of Laundry Detergent

Detergent Used:
Cost of Detergent:
Cost per Laundry Load:
Cost of 3 Loads per week:
Cost of Detergent per Year:
"Tide He Pads" 81 pacs each
$23.31
$0.58
$1.73
$82.88
Tide liquid 150 fl. oz.
$19.07
$0.20
$.60
$28.80
"Gain Flings Scent Duet" 37 pacs each
$12.71
$0.69
$2.06
$98.93
Home Made Detergent:
$1.84
$.08
$0.24
$11.52
This is considering you are only using two "Tide He Pads" per wash load, two "Gain Flings Scent Duets" packs per wash load, and two tablespoons of the home made detergent per wash load.

How to Make Your Own Fabric Softener

Liquid Fabric Softener Ingredients:

1 cup of hair conditioner

3 cups of hot water

1 1\2 cups of white distilled vinegar


Steps:

1. Put hair conditioner in a large mixing bowl.

2.Slowly add the hot water and stir frequently.

3. Lastly, stir in water, vinegar, and if you want fragrance added to your laundry, add a few drops of an essential oil. Use whichever scent you prefer.

Whether fabric softener or laundry detergent or stain remover, it is recommended you do a test run before using any homeopathic products on a whole load.


Fabric Softener:
Price of Fabric Softener:
Price per Load:
Price per 3 loads a week:
Price per Year:
Snuggle Sheets 80 sheets
$3.49
$0.04
$.13
$6.80
Ultra Snuggle Liquid 120 fl. oz.
$9.53
$.08
$0.24
$11.44
Bounce Sheets 80 Sheets
$4.76
$.06
$0.18
$8.67
Homemade Fabric Softener:
$.74
$.03
$.09
$4.32
This chart is assuming you only use one dryer sheet per laundry load and two tablespoons of either homemade fabric softener or the 120 fl oz. liquid softener. It is also excluding the cost of water and any scent you wanted to add to the homemade fabr

How to Make Your Own Stain Remover:

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon of Downey soap

2 Tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide


Steps:

1. Measure out Downey soap. Add two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and stir.

2. Spoon mixture out on stain and rub in with back of spoon.

Energy Star Washing and Drying Machines

When buying a washer and/or a dryer, only buy energy star certified. They in general use 20 % less energy than other models. If every single person in the United States bought an energy star certified dryer, the U.S. would save 1.5 billion every year in utility costs. It would also prevent greenhouse gas emissions that would be the same amount as two million vehicles. The best thing to do when shopping for new a new washer and/or dryer is to look for the energy star certified label.

More Suggestions

Some more suggestions for saving money while doing laundry include making sure the lint filter is clean every time you use the dryer and always doing full loads of laundry. Another suggestion is to buy a gas dryer because they, in general, cost 15 to 33 cents per load less than an electric dryer. One of the other suggestions is to get a drying rack if you can not line dry your clothes outside and just not use the dryer at all or use it sparingly. Even drying a few items per week on a drying rack helps reduce the energy bill a tad. In conclusion, there are many ways to conserve energy and money while doing the laundry.

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