I 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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A full size dryer sheet is not necessary. I cut mine in thirds and it works fine. !00 sheets become 300.
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.
More ways to save money on energy costs:
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.
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.
Add a half cup of white vinegar to your wash. It is better than buying Oxiclean type products and better for your machine!
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.
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Tips for saving money on laundry. Post your ideas!
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!
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 :)
Wash as many loads as you can in cold water. They fade less and it costs less to use wash in cold.
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?
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.
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.
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.