Frugal Laundry Tips During a Recession

pink piggy bank filled with saved money
We always enjoy a good challenge. Whether it’s identifying and removing mystery stains from clothing or folding a fitted sheet, we welcome finding a solution. One of the biggest challenges in any household is how to save money…especially on regular, everyday products, activities and tasks. Laundry, in particular, is a constant task everyone (minus nudists) has to do on a regular basis-and a perfect opportunity to save. You can save big with just a few small changes to your laundry routine!

1. Wash Less Often

Do not wash your clothes after every single use; doing so is not only cost-effective, but will also preserve the life of your clothes. It’s often tempting to throw clothes into the hamper instead of taking time to fold them or put them on hangers. Barring any stains or smells, you can generally wear almost anything at least two or three times before it needs to be laundered. Jeans are generally good for 4-5 wears before they need a date with your washing machine.

2. Conserve Utilities

Wash only full loads of laundry. It’s true that washing smaller loads use less water, but it still uses the same amount of energy. Most washer and dryer manufacturers suggest filling machines ⅔ -¾ capacity for an optimal clean. Wait until your hamper is filled to keep your water and energy bills down.

3. Use Cold Water

Wash most of your clothes in cold water. Save the warm and hot temperatures for towels and whites. Up to ninety percent of the energy used to wash clothes is expended on heating the water. Warm and hot water will keep your whites bright, but they will eventually fade your colors. Moreover, laundry detergent is what cleans your clothes, not the temperature of the water. Your clothes will still be clean if they’re washed in cold water.

4. Buy Generic

Consider using generic brand detergents, bleaches and fabric softeners. Many of the generic products you find in the laundry aisle are made with the exact same ingredients – some are even made by the SAME COMPANY just with a different name and different packaging! Who knew? Why pay more for the name and packaging of another brand, when a generic does the same job for less?

5. Use Fewer Products

Instead of buying specialized stain removers, try treating soiled areas with liquid laundry detergent. Simply apply detergent to the affected area and use a toothbrush to work it into the stain. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before normal laundering. Baking soda is another budget-friendly stain removal tool. Make a paste of fifty percent water, fifty percent baking soda and apply it to the stain before tossing the item in the wash.

6. Substitute Products

Save money on bleach by adding one cup of white vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda to the wash when you add your detergent. These will brighten and whiten your wash without making you smell like vinegar.

5. Conserve Electricity

Use shorter wash cycles for lightly and moderately soiled loads. Reserve the normal and heavy-duty cycles for heavily soiled laundry or items with major stains. As an added bonus, shorter wash cycles mean less time you have to wait for each load to finish. Why spend 5 hours doing laundry if you can do the same amount in 3 hours?

6. Less is More

Be sure pay attention to the amount of detergent you’re putting into the washer. Normal size loads only require a quarter cup AT MOST, especially with the high-efficiency and ultra-concentrated detergents that are commonly found on store shelves. More often than not, less detergent is equally effective at getting the load clean. In fact, your clothes are likely MORE clean because there is less potential for product buildup over time.

7. Grab the Scissors

Cut your dryer sheets in half. One half of a sheet for each load will almost always be equally effective at softening clothes and reducing static as a full-sized sheet. Want to save even more? Skip the softener and dryer sheets all-together. Try a ½ cup of distilled white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser for the same result. An even more sustainable and cost-effective option is to toss 5-6 reusable wool dryer balls available in store or online into the dryer with each load.

8. Add a Towel

This tip is super simple. Just place a dry bath towel into the dryer with each wet load. The towel will help absorb excess water, which will decrease the time you need to run the dryer by up to 50%.

9. Maintain Your Dryer

Clean the lint trap and dryer vent. A lint problem around these areas will prevent moisture from escaping, which will cause the dryer to work harder. A dryer that works harder will result in higher electric bills and will also need to be replaced sooner.

10. Skip the Dryer

By far, the most effective way to reduce energy use is to skip the dryer altogether! Install an outdoor clothesline or use a collapsible drying rack to dry clothes indoors. Shirts and pants can alternatively be hung on regular hangers in a well ventilated area of the house. Air-drying your laundry will leave the entire load smelling super fresh and assure your clothes last longer.
As always, Laundry Care is here to help you with your laundry needs. We offer exceptional quality wash and fold laundry service that is also fast and affordable. Sign up online and download the Laundry Care mobile app today!