Tips for saving money on laundry. Post your ideas!
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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.
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.
Washing with soft water means you can use less detergent.
Don't overload your washer so that there's room for agitating (cleans better).
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 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!
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.
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
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..
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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. :)
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
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.
I was curious I have use xtra laundry detergent but want to swithch to purex which seems to work better
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.
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
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!
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