Ugh! I’ve got a load in the dryer right now, plus a load that needs to go in the wash. The only household chore I like less is doing the dishes. But knowing that I’m saving money on doing the laundry makes it more bearable.
Doing laundry is more expensive than most people realize. We all have to do laundry, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to have clean clothes.
We do laundry so frequently that even a small savings per load could end up saving you a lot of money. There are many simple things you can do to cut the cost of doing laundry. And the more members there are in your household, the more the savings.
These tips will save the average family of four over $300 per year:
1. Air-dry your clothes. Do you have the space to air-dry your clothes or hang them on the clothes line outside? If you can avoid using a dryer, you can save approximately $100 each year. You will save money on your electric or gas bill, and your clothes will last longer (and smell so fresh!). The heat and tumbling in the dryer damage your clothing.
2. Spin your clothes twice. The spin cycle exists to get the excess water out of your clothes. If you spin your clothes twice, you can reduce drying time.
3. Stick to cold water. While hot water works a little better, it costs more. The biggest cost of doing laundry comes from heating the water. You can save a bundle by choosing to go with cold.
4. Create your own laundry products. There are many online “recipes” for making your own detergent, bleach, and fabric softeners. These are a fraction of the cost of grocery store laundry soaps. Here’s a DIY laundry detergent that’s eco-friendly, too.
5. Use less detergent. Remember that the companies who make laundry detergent want you to use more than necessary. Then, you’ll have to purchase more. Experiment with using less detergent. You’ll probably find you can use half as much.
6. Wash full loads. The electricity used to fill, agitate, and drain the washer is essentially the same, whether it’s a full or partial load. The same goes for rotating the drum on the dryer. Save money by washing and drying more than just one pair of socks and a towel!
6. Cut those dryer sheets in half. Half of a dryer sheet is usually sufficient. Experiment to see what works best for you.
7. Clean the dryer trap. Excess lint will trap moisture in the dryer and cause your clothes to take longer to dry. The sooner the dryer shuts off, the less money it costs you. I clean my filter before every single load. I have a plastic grocery store bag hanging on the rack over the dryer and just drop it in there.
8. Wash your clothes less often. Some individuals have outdoor jobs or those that require manual labor. But many others have jobs where they can avoid getting dirty or sweating excessively. As long as you haven’t soiled your clothing, consider wearing items more than once between washes.
9. Purchase energy efficient appliances. Washers and dryers differ by brand. There are washers that will handle larger loads and use less water. There are dryers that use much less energy. Sometimes these higher efficiency units cost more, but the savings is worth it in the end. Especially if your washer is 20 years old and finally gives out and you have to buy a new one anyway. And then a month later, you knock over a half-full gallon of paint that you set on your dryer, and the paint dumps into the filter vent, ruining the dryer and you have to buy a new one of those, too. But I digress…
10. Adjust your settings. Wash your clothes at a lower setting. Try drying with lower heat. Every load of laundry doesn’t require elaborate settings.
11. Adjust the time. Experiment with cutting a few minutes off your dryer’s cycle time. Even 5 minutes per load will add up over a year’s time.
Washing clothes is a chore that many of us perform on an almost daily basis. That’s why it’s so important to cut costs wherever possible. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra $300 a year to spend on something more fun than laundry? Help the environment and your family’s budget by applying these cost-saving tips whenever you do laundry.