And none of them require you to make your own detergent! I have nothing against the perfect detergent recipe; I’m simply too lazy to bother and, well…stuck in my old ways, I guess.
Here are 5 simple tips that require only minor habit changes:
- Use cold water for absolutely everything. I realize hot water makes us feel like better cleaning is taking place, but today’s advanced detergents can handle the chill. Heating water is still one of the biggest power-sucks in your house, and that washer is mighty large.
- Wash loads when they’re full. This one’s pretty easy at our house. 🙂 But really, no sense in running the washer (even with less water) if you can’t get your spin cycle’s worth every time.
- Use 1/2 the prescribed detergent dosage. I have to credit my mother-in-law with this one. The typical detergent directions are really over-the-top. Just slice the prescribed dosage in half, and your clothes still come out clean. Imagine that.
- Cut your dry time by 25%. It’s a happy medium between air drying and frying your shirts to a crisp. The former makes my wear really stiff, and the latter just wastes energy and prematurely ages clothes. Find a happy medium, and let your stuff air-dry from very-mildly-damp.
- Stop wearing 5 things a day. I had a big problem with this one, wearing a shirt in the morning, work clothes, another outfit in the afternoon, and probably a fourth to bed. That’s a lot of laundry. Learn to re-use and be more efficient with your choices.
Photo by mysza831
8 thoughts on “Five Easy Ways to Save on Laundry”
4. What I do for this is hang all the large items to air dry, and dry the smaller stuff such as socks and rags. Then when the large things are dry, I put them in the dryer for about 10 minutes to soften and unwrinkle. This way the hanging doesn’t take too long and isn’t much of a chore, and the dryer doesn’t take very long because there is only a little stuff in there.
5. In addition to not wearing as many different clothes, don’t wash every item each time it it used. If something was just worn for a little while, or only worn as a top layer, it probably doesn’t need to be washed. The only time I wear something once and then wash it is with underwear, socks, or when I spilled something on it. I can usually get away with wearing a shirt 3-4 times and pants 2-3 times before they need to be washed.
Two very good tips! Thanks for sharing.
I generally don’t wash clothes unless they are dirty to the eyes or nose, which means almost everything (except underwear) gets worn at least twice. (And the stiffness from air-drying wears off pretty quickly!)
I think I would be scared to cut the detergent amount in half. Maybe I’ll try that on a blanket or something first and see how that turns out. I’m the one who always pushes a little past the recommended amount because I want to be doubly sure it’s clean.
If you put in a few towels with no detergent, then check to see if they soap up, you can tell if you’re using too much. (If the water gets sudsy without any soap, you’re using too much!)
@ Heather, unfortunately we usually go to the laundromat so this wouldn’t work for us. Tell me, is this to test whether there is still soap left in the towels or the machine?
It’s to tell if there’s detergent still in the clothes. Here is the post that I originally found it on: http://www.mymoneyblog.com/are-you-using-too-much-soap.html
You really can air dry your clothes completely using a line or a clothes drying rack with out them being hard and crunchy the secret is shaking and air movement. I dry every thing on racks in my house I just give it a spin every time I walk by and it keeps the clothes from getting stiff. I also always place them under a ceiling fan or a fan on the floor. This uses a little electricity but not near as much as a dryer.
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