9 Frugal Laundry Tips to Save Money

Save Money in the Laundry Room

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Saving money is important to almost everyone. The average cost of a load of home laundry is $1.50 to $2.50 depending on your utility rates and products used. Being frugal and saving even a few pennies on each load can add up if you are buried under piles of laundry.

  • 01 of 09

    Use Cold Water

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    Almost all liquid laundry detergents today are formulated to clean in cold water. (Powdered detergents may not dissolve well in cold water and leave a white residue on fabrics.) Unless you have extremely dirty or greasy clothes, you may be surprised at how well cold water washes clean.

    Changing from hot water to cold water saves about 40 cents on every washer load of laundry.

  • 02 of 09

    Buy Generic Laundry Products


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    Many generic store brand detergents, fabric softeners, and bleach are made by leading manufacturers. Give them a try to save on detergent costs and see if you are satisfied with the results.

    Detergent cleaning power can be enhanced by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the wash load, and you'll still save money on each load by using generic instead of brand names. The baking soda will help control perspiration odor and regulates the acidity of water to make detergent and bleach work more effectively.

  • 03 of 09

    Make Your Own Laundry Products


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    If you are concerned about what chemicals are hiding in commercial laundry products, you can make homemade detergents, fabric softener, starch, and scent enhancers.

    You don't have to be a mad scientist to create these products. Four simple ingredients are all it takes to make detergent in powder, liquid, or single-dose units. And depending on your previous detergent, you can save at least 15 cents per load of laundry.

  • 04 of 09

    Use Vinegar as a Fabric Softener

    How to Use Vinegar in the Laundry Room


    Don't worry about smelling like a pickle. Add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse water. The mild acid in the vinegar will help loosen any final detergent residue that causes the laundry to be stiff that is still clinging to the clothes.

    The leading cause of mildew growth and odor in front-loading washers is fabric softener residue. If you opt for distilled white vinegar instead, you'll save money, have a fresh smelling washer, and still have soft clothes.

    There are 10 reasons you should be using vinegar in your laundry room. It's a miracle worker.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Use Less Detergent

    Liquid detergent cap

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    If you can't give up your favorite brand name detergent, use less. Try using one-half of the recommended amount. You probably will not notice a difference in the cleanliness level of your laundry and your clothes may look better and last longer.

    If you have a high-efficiency washer—top load or front load—you only need 2 teaspoons of laundry detergent. If you are using more, that could be the reason your washer smells so bad.

  • 06 of 09

    Cut Dryer Products Costs

    Dryer Cycles

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    If you have problems with static cling in the winter, add a ball of aluminum foil to the dryer. The metal will help to break the cycle of static. Replace after several loads.

    Or, you can make wool dryer balls from leftover yarn to help fluff clothes and speed drying time.

    Just like detergents, you won't notice a difference by using just one-half of a dryer sheet. Your clothes will still feel soft and smell nice. You'll get twice as many loads for your money.

  • 07 of 09

    Use Fresh Air

    Drying Clothes Outside

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    Outside air is still free, at least for the moment! Use an outdoor clothesline and fresh air to line dry your washable laundry. If you hang your laundry correctly on the line, you may even notice fewer wrinkles and eliminate the need to iron.

    That free fresh air will also freshen non-washables. Hang dry-clean-only garments outside away from direct sunlight to take advantage of fresh breezes that remove odors.

  • 08 of 09

    Make More Heat


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    To make ironing easier and more energy-efficient, add a piece of aluminum foil under your ironing board cover. The foil will help hold heat and allow you to iron more quickly or at a lower temperature.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Don't Iron at All


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    This is a personal favorite. Plan what you're going to wear. Hang it on the back of the bathroom door as you shower or bathe. The steam generated will smooth out wrinkles.

    Learn more tips on how to reduce and remove laundry wrinkles without heating the iron.