- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

Five Tips to Save Money on Your Laundry

My husband and I don’t usually embrace ultra-frugality for the sake of saving a buck or two.  But we will change our habits if the changes are easy or we can save a significant amount of money over time.  When we realized we were doing more than 5 loads of laundry a week for two people, we decided to try out a few things (homemade laundry detergent [3] did not make the cut).  Some suggestions worked very well but others were complete flops.  Here are a few tips we have come up with to save some money and time on laundry.

Laundry Tip #1 – Use Cold Water

I didn’t think that using cold water instead of hot water would change anything at all, but I was surprised.  We have an all-electric house, which means our water heater is electric too.  When we switched from doing all of our laundry with hot water to doing 90% of it with cold water instead, we saw our bills drop $5 – $10 a month.  It apparently does take more energy than I would have expected to heat all of that water up.  And a big bonus is that my shirts and towels don’t seem to be fading as quickly either!

Laundry Tip #2 – Do Full Loads

Most washers and dryers use about the same amount of energy running a small load of laundry as they do running the larger ones.  Given that, it stands to reason that you can save money on energy by consistently combining small loads into one larger load or waiting until you have a large load to run.  I’ve done this for as long as I can remember out of sheer laziness, so I am glad it helps save us money too.

Laundry Tip #3 – Re-wear Certain Clothes

No, please do not re-wear your stinky undergarments, but why wash a pair of pants that you only wore for a few hours while sitting around?  Unless I am doing something other than sitting in my cubicle or computer all day, I wear my outer layers of clothing several times before bothering to wash them.  This goes completely unnoticed by myself and others (I hang out with guys that would love to tell me if I was stinky).  It easily saves me the time and money of doing an extra load of laundry every week.

Laundry Tip #4 – Reuse a Towel

I was astounded to hear that a few of my friends use a new towel every, single day.  I thought that only hotels did stuff like that.  I was raised to use the same towel multiple times or you would get yelled at for causing more work!  Unless you get a ton of personal satisfaction from that new towel “feel”, I would highly suggest using the same one for at least 3-5 days before moving on.  That would lead to way less laundry and you will get that fresh towel scent the entire time.

Laundry Tip #5 – Avoid Dry-Clean-Only

It seems like common sense, but I was not in the habit of checking my clothing labels before buying something until I started doing my own laundry as a teenager.  Now, I stick with solely machine-washable daily wear that is wrinkle free out of the dryer as well.  Not only do I save a ton of fees from dry cleaners, but I also have never used an iron for anything other than making grilled cheese sandwiches in college.

Looking over my list, I realize I sound like a classic guy.  But take it from a late-twenties lady, these laundry [4] tips may not make you a millionaire, but they are easy to do and save you time to boot.  Saving a few bucks every month is just a big bonus in my opinion.

What other laundry tips do you have to help save time and money?

(Photo: springfieldhomer [5])