Saving money is important to almost everyone. The average cost of a load of home laundry is $1.00 to $1.50 depending on your utility rates. 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
Almost all liquid laundry detergents today are formulated to clean in cold water. (Powdered detergents may not dissolve well in cold water.) Unless you have extremely dirty or greasy clothes, you may be surprised at how well it cleans.
Changing to cold water saves about 30 cents on every washer load of laundry.
02 of 09
Buy Generic Laundry Products
Many generic store brand detergents, fabric softeners and bleach are made by leading manufacturers. Give them a try 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. 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
If you are concerned about what chemicals are hiding in commercial laundry products, you can make your own homemade detergents, fabric softener, starch and scent enhancers.
You don't have to be a mad scientist to create your own 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 Fabric Softener
No, you won't smell like a pickle! Add 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the final rinse water. The mild acid in the vinegar will help loosen any final detergent clinging to the clothes which causes the laundry to be stiff.
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.
Actually, 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
If you can't give up your favorite detergent, use less. Try using 1/2 the recommended amount. You will probably 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 two 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
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.
Or, you can make wool dryer balls from leftover yarn to help fluff clothes and speed drying time.
07 of 09
Use Fresh Air
Outside air is still free, at least for the moment! Use an outdoor clothes line 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.
And, use it to freshen non-washables. Hang dry clean only garments outside away from direct sunlight to take advantage of fresh breezes.
08 of 09
09 of 09
Don't Iron At All
This is a personal favorite. Plan ahead 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.
And, you might just make your wardrobe last longer.