4 Ways to Save Money on Laundry

23 April 2014


I must admit, one of the simple pleasures in life for me is to bury my face into a load of freshly dried laundry.  Folding and sorting the said laundry, on the other hand, does not qualify as one of the simple pleasures in life for me, unfortunately.  North Americans do a lot of laundry.  Growing up as a child, my mother did three loads of laundry per week.  I only do one now, but I do live alone so there's much less laundry to wash.  Since laundry is a necessary part of our every day lives, makes sense, then, to look for ways to save money on something we do all the time.

Here are four easy ways to save money on laundry (that don't involve spending $1000 on a new energy efficient washing machine) so that you can save your money for the things that matter more.

Turn Down the Temperature

One of the easiest ways to save money on laundry costs is to turn the dial to a cold water wash.  This is because simply heating the water costs up to 90% of the load of your laundry (source: Chatelaine).  Not everyone can use a cold water wash though, if your toddlers clothes are very soiled and they are not potty trained, of course you may want to sanitize it with hotter temperatures.

Use Less Detergent

Laundry detergent is expensive.  One way to offset this the cost of laundry detergent (and consequently go to the store less often to buy laundry detergent) is to use less of it.  According to Life Hacker, the laundry machines today are so efficient that they don't need as much laundry detergent anymore.  In fact, try using half of what you would normally use to wash your clothes and see the savings multiply (and your clothes stay fresh and clean).  If you want to really use less detergent, try using none at all.  MSN Money says that if you have lightly soiled clothes, skip the detergent.  The washing machines nowadays clean by agitating the clothes mainly, so not using detergent will still get your clothes clean.

Make Your Own Detergent or Fabric Softener

If you would rather use detergent than none at all, or if you would rather know what goes into your detergent, why not make your own?  Mostly it involves using borax, which can be easily purchased at your local grocery store.  Check out this easy recipe to make easy liquid laundry detergent in 20 minutes from the David Suzuki Foundation's Queen of Green.  You can add your own essential oils like lavender or orange oils to personalize the detergent.

To make your own fabric softener, it is even more easy than making your own detergent.  All you need is hair conditioner, baking soda, and water.  Check out these instructions from Life Hacker.

Air Dry

Last but not least, instead of using the dryer (which uses up a lot of electricity) hang your clothes to dry instead.  If you find it difficult to dry your clothes indoors and it is fall or winter, use your dryer but for only 15 minutes.  This allows the clothes to get fluffed up, reducing the need for you to iron and allowing it to dry.

If you want to continue using your dryer, make sure you clean the lint prior to every load.  This will help you save at least $34 a year (source: U.S. Department of Energy).  Also, make sure you check the air duct because lint might not have gotten caught in the lint trap.  Making sure the duct is clean and free of lint can save you a lot in energy bills, even if it may cost an increase when you call someone to come in and maintain it.

So although air drying takes away the warm cocoon freshly dried laundry, it saves considerable money and is great for the environment.  Hopefully these easy tips can help you save money next time you throw in a load of laundry.

Bargainmoosers, do you have other ways in which you and your family save money on laundry?

Photo credit: Joceylyn Durston


  • Neil L.
    Use a SmartKlean laundry ball instead of detergent. I was skeptical, but after 1/2 a year of use, I can say for sure it works.
  • Clare
    @Neil- Cool I will look into this!

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