Saving Money on Laundry

April 19, 2005

Saving Money on LaundryI had always worn an item of clothing only once before washing it. Same with bath towels. I've recently begun inspecting my clothing before automatically throwing something into the hamper. If an item of clothing isn't visibly dirty or less-than-fresh smelling, its get put into the "refresh" pile.


On laundry day, clothing that needs only to be "refreshed" either goes through a short rinse cycle with 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar, or into the dryer with a wet towel and dryer sheet for 5 minutes. And the bath towels? They get reused until I find a reason to have to wash them (usually a bath towel is good for nearly a week.)By Leann D

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January 12, 2009

Everyone that has kids, has lots of laundry! I've got four myself. The kids never wanted to pick up their towels and re-use them. I had to get tricky. I now take the towels they use and hang them over other laundry baskets to dry.


November 15, 2007

I just can't justify wasting warm water and soap so I often plan for at least two loads of laundry and reuse the wash water from the first load to do the second load.

Frugal And Green Laundry


August 17, 2016

Here you will see a Costway mini washer. It's great for anyone looking to save water, soap and the light bill. I run my washer all hours of the day and night.


I save money because it's good on everything. You only use two buckets of water and about two tablespoons of soap gives you a machine full of bubbles.

Save Money with a Costway Mini Washer


July 19, 2011

Re-spin your wet laundry for an extra water-removal step. The clothes go into your dryer or hanging out on the line much dryer than if you use just the one spin cycle. This works fantastically for jeans and towels.


January 2, 2011

When you're doing a load of washing, set the cycle to "drip dry". The clothes will come out wetter (even dripping a bit), but if it is really hot/windy they will dry in adequate time.


March 18, 2014

A full size dryer sheet is not necessary. I cut mine in thirds and it works fine. !00 sheets become 300.


March 8, 2005

Another cost saver when doing laundry: when the washer has finished all cycles, reset to the final spin and do again. This extra step will remove all excess moisture possible and cut your dryer time by at least 1/3.


September 2, 2004

More ways to save money on energy costs:


February 18, 2013

You can save your clothes wear and tear from the dryer and save electricity on your electric bill by putting a dry large towel in with clothes when you go to dry them. The towel cuts time down in the dryer and makes them fluffier.


February 14, 2000

When using fabric softener in the wash, I use a fraction of the amount suggested on the packaging and add water to make up the difference. The wash comes out just as soft and nicely scented.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 390 Posts
June 4, 2014

Add a half cup of white vinegar to your wash. It is better than buying Oxiclean type products and better for your machine!


April 4, 2001

When washing, to save on electric and detergent, use 1/2 cold water and let clothes soak (reduce detergent and add baking soda). Do something else while they soak. They will come out just as clean.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 25, 2005

Tips for saving money on laundry. Post your ideas!


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November 5, 20040 found this helpful

I always try to only do FULL loads of laundry. It saves so much on water usage! I also wash as much as I can in cold water. Another savings!


By Robin

November 5, 20040 found this helpful

I have replaced everything in my laundry room except the soap and bleach with vinegar. 1/2 cup in your rinse cycle boosts the colors in your wash. 1/2 cup in your wash load boosts the performance of your bleach, and removes odors from fabric. I also use less laudry detergent when I use vinegar. I spray it full-strength on my husband's greasy clothes. It is a great grease-cutter and removes most of the stains, all but the very worst. A teaspoon on a rag or washcloth in your dryer replaces your fabric softener - and no, you can't smell it after they dry :)


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January 15, 20050 found this helpful

Wash as many loads as you can in cold water. They fade less and it costs less to use wash in cold.

By Robin

By Kathy K. (Guest Post)
January 15, 20050 found this helpful

Get a front-loading washing machine...they use much less water and electricity. They get your clothes much drier, so your dryer runs less. They're gentler on clothing, so your clothes wear out slower. You can even do hand wash stuff in them and be fine. And you can sit down while loading and unloading the machine.


And when I say they cost less to run, my average, not so special Kenmore uses 16 dollars a YEAR of electricity with electric hot water. (Gas would be 8 dollars a year.) How can you beat that?

By Karen (Guest Post)
January 15, 20050 found this helpful

I've always had a washer with a suds saver. I'm able to use the same water and soap recyling it for an additional one or two loads. For example, first I do a load of whites, then a load of medium or colors, and finally a load of jeans, work clothing, or dark towels.


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January 22, 20050 found this helpful

I have been told that using 1/2 of the amount of laundry soap that is recommended on the bottle in the wash does just as good of a job as does using the whole recommended amount. It is also easier on your machines, both the washer and the dryer. Soap build up affects both of them. Using 1/2 of a dryer sheet or half of the recommended use of liquid fabric softener also works well.


By Robin

January 22, 20050 found this helpful

You can wash with half of the amount of laundry detergent if the clothes are not very dirty. I have used dryer sheets cut in half, but they always end up in my filter screen. They don't if left full size. I do put the used ones in a baby wipe container with liquid softner, to reuse over and over.

January 22, 20050 found this helpful

Washing with soft water means you can use less detergent.

Don't overload your washer so that there's room for agitating (cleans better).

January 23, 20050 found this helpful

Hi! I always start to fill the washer with water and detergent before I put clothes in. I put a good splash of vinegar in, and a small (about fill the bottom 1/8th inch--not much) of the bottom of the cap with Arm and Hammer liquid detergent(or any other, but A&H is cheap on sale) then I stir up the water-vinegar-detergent mix and froth up the suds--then a whole load of clothes. I am single, but wash a lot of jeans, etc.


because I wear them constantly(I drive school bus) and I buy a lot of clothes from the Salvation Army. I can stretch a 64oz bottle of detergent for a couple months. If the weather is at all right, I hang it out. No ironing anything, and what a great smell and feel the clothes have. I am kind of a laundry nut--I'd rather do that than do most any other chore.

By kathy a. (Guest Post)
January 24, 20050 found this helpful

I always wash in cold water. I always hang my laundry. I am not allowed to hang it outdoors, so I have clothes lines in my basement. Works just fine. It also seems to save time. I just fold items as I take them off the clothesline.

The dryer costs between .40 and .50 a load to run, so I figure over a year's time, at 5 loads a week say, I am saving between $104.00 and $130.00 per year by line drying my clothes.

It also saves wear and tear on your clothes. The lint that collects in your dryer is actually pieces of your clothes that are falling off in the dryer. Ugh!

By MB in WY (Guest Post)
January 25, 20050 found this helpful

Call me crazy, but I think that since I have started using just 1/2 as much soap, my family actually sleeps better at night - less dreaming and talking in their sleep.


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February 1, 20050 found this helpful

I use a plastic scoop that comes in powdered iced tea containers for a laundry scoop.

I found that the scoop that comes with powdered laundry uses too much for the job. It leaves too much soap in the clothes.

I use half a scoop for a small load, 1 full for a medium load, 1 and a half for a large and 2 for an extra large load.

It seems like too small an amount, but my clothes come out clean and much softer every time. My towels don't come out 'crusty' from the dryer either.

By Fran Marie

By (Guest Post)
February 14, 20050 found this helpful

Whoever buys all those fancy brands of stain removal (spray n wash, etc) will never buy one again after they try this simple cheap trick. Buy the cheapest dish soap you can find. For extra heavy grease or dirt stains just squirt it on the spot before hand and let it sink in (even for a few days) then toss in the was like normal. Takes out grease stains (especially from frying food) I've never had this effect my clothing except to make it CLEANER..

March 16, 20050 found this helpful

make homemade laundry detergent. It's easy and fun and works even better than tide and the cost is about .30 cents a gallon. Just look up homemade laundy detergent on the web and you will be amazed at all the options.


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March 30, 20050 found this helpful

Don't fill up the cap when you're measuring your laundry detergent. Your clothes will still get clean if you use half a capful!

By Elaine O.

Editor's Note: This is true of many cleaning products you use to do laundry. It takes a little trial and error but eventually you get a feel for the right amount to use for a particular load and it stretches a box or bottle of laundry detergent a long ways.

By Jill (Guest Post)
March 30, 20050 found this helpful

I rip dryer sheets in half. It works just as well as a whole one and a box lasts twice as long. I have heard of others who divide them into 4 and say it works too.

March 30, 20050 found this helpful

Like several others here, I do not use my dryer but use my basement clothesline, instead. To save folding time and electricity, I hang everything up on plastic hangers, hang those on the clothesline and when dry, hang them in the closets. With everything on hangers, you can put more on the clothesline and free up space in your linen cupboard. No ironing required!


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 364 Posts
March 31, 20050 found this helpful

Quite some time ago I read an article by an organization that was promoting ideas to use less of the earth's resources. Can't remember the name of the group, sorry. Been following their laundry guidelines ever since and have no complaints. They had something very interesting to say.
The directions on the softener and detergents indicate one should add the quantity that will go to the saturation point of the water, not the amount needed for cleansing nor softening.
In other words, waste is built into the amount that the directions would have you use.
The report said to use one forth of the indicated amount and work up to a half if unsatisfactory results as different products have unequal concentrations.



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March 31, 20050 found this helpful

Good Point Holly,
I remember many years ago someone claimed to have worked for Tide and that the formula was made to use 1 tablespoon of detergent to a washload. The company decided to claim you needed 1 cup just because then we would all have to buy more detergent. This was back in the 70s I believe. Anyway, it just goes to show you that quite often less and in some cases way less will work as well or better than what is recommended. For years people had to get their washers fixed because of over sudsing.

I'm not saying that 1 tablespoon of Tide will work now but I regularly use half or less of what is recommended and everything comes out fine.


April 1, 20050 found this helpful

We live on an animal farm & our clothes get filthy, so instead of using more detergent like i used to, now i let the clothes 'soak' for a spell in the sudsy water before letting it spin & rinse.
First, I set the water level to low, put the cap of detergent in, leave the lid of the washer up, and go set my stove timer for 5 minutes.This gets the detergent good & dissolved.
When the timer dings, I go & set the water level for full or most times medium, put the clothes in , leave the lid up, walk away and find something else to do while the washer agitates during the wash cycle, then soaks awhile as it wont spin with the lid up.
After about 30-45 minutes, i go back & close the lid to let the machine finish.
Most times I do a second rinse. When i set it to do the second rinse i slide a small angel magnet over the crack in the lid & leave it there till i come back, that lets me know it has gone thru the second rinse & is ready for the dryer. Our clothes come out much cleaner and softer than they ever did when i used 2 caps of detergent.

April 3, 20050 found this helpful

This may sound Cruel Or Funny but you still can buy Washboards,and even Wash tubs.

I have found to get some things cleaned over the years by just using regular Ivory soap on the stains and rubbing them good and rinsing them throughly does the trick.
As far as using the Dryer I hate them . If My wife would let me I would hang the wash out every time.

From Spring to Fall you are more likely to see a load of wash on a line on my front porch .
If it rains I just call it a second rinse lol.

Detergents we always use less then the reccomended in very hard water.
The clothes get clean.
This year I believe I will be Experimenting with Vinegar and such to see what happens.

Since I retired. I tend to relive your childhood years in regards to experimentations.
I hope I don't blow up the place.
The wife wouldn't like that lol

Wash On Folks
Mr. Thrifty


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April 25, 20050 found this helpful

3 easy ways to save money on laundry

1. wash in cold water
2. use less soap
3. hang or line dry

If your towels are too stiff, just tumble them in the dryer for 5 or 10 minutes. :)

By Aeromama


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 148 Posts
April 26, 20050 found this helpful

I have an old fingertip towel that I soak up liquid fabric softener on. I let it dry, and use it in my dryer in place of softener sheets. I can use it about 3 months before I have to "recharge" it. I have been using out of a gallon of cheap liquid softener for a year now, and have used just over a cupful. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, I dilute the softener with an equal amount of water first.
Harlean from Arkansas

By BL (Guest Post)
May 30, 20050 found this helpful

Some comments:

1) Vinegar is an acid (acetic) and bleach is an alkali (sodium hydrochloride). When the two are mixed, they will react, give off a gas, an nullify eachother. Don't mix them.
Look the two of them up and check it out.

2) Dish soap & Bleach: be careful mixing these. Many of them explicitly warn not to mix them! Read the back of a few different brands and see. And, just because it does'nt say "don't mix", doesnt mean it's okay.

3) Fabric Softener: There have been reports of some ill health effects due to exposure to fabric softeners. And, there are many who claim it retards to ability of fabric, particularly towels, to absorb water. You may not want to use it. Instead, put vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser or in a laundry ball for the rinse cycle. It will help neutralize detergent residue and soften the clothes a little. Makes colors brighter, and blacks blacker. Try running clothes in the drier for 10 mins if they are stiff when hung to dry.

Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe:

1/3 Bar of Fels Naptha soap (old fashioned yellow laundry bars / I guess you can use regular soap if you must, but a 1/2 bar)
1 Cup of Washing Soda powder
1 Cup of Borax powder

Grate bar and let sit in a gallon of water until dissolved. You can heat the water to speed this up.
Add the 2 Cups of powders. Stir until not lumpy.

Voila. Super charged laundry detergent. Yes it works like crazy. Use only 1/2 cup for large load. Be aware it will separate when stored and needs to be shaken before use. Might look lumpy when poured, but will dissolve fine if added at start of runnig wash water.

Alternatively, you can grate the 1/3 bar (or the half of reg. soap) and mix it with the powders dry in blender and use 1-2 TBSP per load.

Really Really Really Dirty Laundry?

Use above mixture(s)
then turn off washer or let stand in the soak cycle.
After an hour (or better yet the next day) run it.

Alternative to recipe:

1 TBSP of Washing Soda pwdr
1 TBSP of Borax pwdr
1 TBSP of CHEAP (like Xtra or Purex) Liquid Laundry Detergent OR 2 TBSP of Arm and Hammer Laundry Soap Powder (which reports say is the best for the buck)

Add each tbsp to laundry when machine fills, then add laundry.
Powders boost Soap performance beyond belief.
Ideal of those too lazy to grate soap, or those who cannot find Fels Naptha bars.

By Jane (Guest Post)
April 7, 20060 found this helpful

I was curious I have use xtra laundry detergent but want to swithch to purex which seems to work better

By (Guest Post)
February 19, 20070 found this helpful

My wife and I do several things to save money. We use fragrence free detergents after we had out baby, and they are so much cheaper than even the inexpensive brands like purex. We use cold water, and we put all our clothes on a couple drying racks that we set next to the fireplace to dry.

By xiomara (Guest Post)
July 15, 20080 found this helpful

I am very impress about everything that you guys know about laundry, I got the principal ideas and I will do something different tomorrow in my laundry routine. Thanks

By SusanWozniak (Guest Post)
November 17, 20080 found this helpful

I gave up using fabric softener 30 years ago. All that softener goes into the water stream. It smells bad. I once had a neighbor who used a terrible artificial rose-scented dryer sheet. I would hang out my wash -- refused to own a dryer -- and the smell of her dryer sheets was so strong that I sometimes had to stop hanging up my wash and wait until hers was done. Gag!

Answer this Question

September 5, 2019

Not surprisingly fewer clothes reduces the large laundry piles. You can sort through your closet and get rid of old, worn, unused clothing items. Of course less clothing does mean more frequent laundering, but the trade off may suit your needs. This page contains an essay on reducing laundry by reducing clothes.

Reduce Laundry by Reducing Clothes

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