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6 Ways to Save Money on Laundry

Updated on May 22, 2011
Doing laundry costs more than you might think, but below are easy ways to save.
Doing laundry costs more than you might think, but below are easy ways to save. | Source

Wash full loads

Whether you do a full load of laundry or a half load, you’ll use the same amount of electricity, so you’re best off to wait until you have a full load.  This will save you electricity, and it will also save you time because you won’t have to do as much laundry.

Use cold water

Use cold water for laundry.  You don’t even have to buy the special cold water detergent.  All of the laundry soaps should work just fine in cold water and get your clothes perfectly clean.  Almost 90% of energy used for laundry comes just from heating the water, so by washing in cold water instead, you can save significantly.

DIY Laundry Soap

Buy laundry soap at a discount or make your own

Paying full price for laundry soap is a waste of money.  To save, first, don’t be brand loyal. I grew up with Tide, and when I started buying laundry soap on my own as a young adult, I bought Tide, too, but it was extremely expensive, even with coupons and/or a sale.  Other brands clean just as well, so now I will buy whatever I can get for a good deal.  I use coupons combined with sales, and I won’t pay more than 5 cents per load of laundry, so I always check how many loads per bottle and divide that buy the final cost.  When I do find a good deal, I stock up.  I currently have more than a year’s worth of laundry soap that I purchased for less than $10.  Stocking up now is a good idea because in June, many of the major manufacturers are upping prices by as much as 7%, so buying now will end up saving you even more.

While I’ve always been able to find great deals on laundry soap and therefore don’t think I’d see significant savings over making my own soap, I know several people who swear by it.  If you’re not into clipping coupons, you can whip up a large batch of laundry soap for a fraction of the cost of store bought.

Use half the soap called for

Companies want you to use more of their product, so they list a higher-than-necessary amount to use on the directions.  Unless you have really dirty laundry, half of the recommended amount will usually work just fine.  Be sure to pay attention to where the line is in the cap of the detergent and then just go half-way to that.  When I use Purex Sheets (I love these!), I just cut them in half.

Use tennis balls instead of laundry softener

I don’t buy laundry softener, so if I can’t find a way to get it for free after coupons and/or rebate, I don’t get it.  Tennis balls thrown in the dryer with your clothes work just fine, though, and only call for a one-time investment.  The work similarly to the dryer balls you can buy in the store.  Just throw them in and they will soften and fluff your clothes as they bounce around your dryer.

Air dry clothes instead of drying in the dryer

Using the dryer costs an average of $250 each year.  If you hang most of your clothes up to dry instead of drying them all the way, you can save about $200 a year.  The only things I dry all the way are towels and underwear and socks.  Everything else gets dried for about 10 minutes to get the water out and help reduce wrinkles, and then it gets hung on a drying rack to dry completely.


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    • profile image

      Amanda 6 years ago

      Great tips! My friend and I have a laundry service and we also use tennis balls. I think it cuts the drying time down as well.

    • seriousnuts profile image

      seriousnuts 6 years ago from Philippines

      thanks for the tips! Voted up for this hub.

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 6 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Nice hub! I like the tennis balls idea! I also own the those bumpy balls. Every once is a while my husband forgets that we use the balls and buys fabric softener and it gets returned. I also dislike the fabric softener scent.