14 Frugal Laundry Tips To Save Money

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I don’t know about you, but I spend a hell of a lot of time in the laundry room. As my family size has increased, so has the amount of laundry. At one point, I even found myself googling frugal laundry tips because it seemed like I was running the washer and dryer non-stop.

Seriously, I do ten or more loads of laundry every week for my family of five. WHY IS THERE SO MUCH, AND WHERE DOES IT ALL COME FROM?!!

I was spending a ton of money on laundry-related costs (from detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and more). So, I spent some time researching how to save money. I tested out what worked the best and found some really great money-saving tips that have been effective in our home and I wanted to share them. 

So, if you’re ready to start saving money on laundry…let’s get to it!

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1. Wash everything on cold

Stop wasting energy washing your clothes on hot or warm. According to Energy Star, heating your water consumes 90% of the energy it takes to run your washer.

Also, most stains do better when soaked in cool water. Hot water tends to help the stain settle in, making it permanent. And if you’re worried about your laundry detergent not working as well, Consumer Reports experts have found that detergents are actually less effective in higher temperatures.   

So, unless your washing stuff after illness, cloth diapers, or fabric that has to be washed in hot or warm…save money and wash your clothes in cold water.

2. Only wash full loads

Energy Star also recommends only washing full loads because your washer uses the same amount of energy no matter what size load you wash. So, be sure to save all those small loads until you have a whole one.

frugal laundry tips

3. Don’t overstuff your washer & dryer

Overstuffing your washer and dryer can make your machine work harder, which causes unnecessary wear and tear. Not only that, but it also cleans and dries less efficiently, which increases your energy consumption.

A rule of thumb is to loosely toss clothes in evenly around the drum of your washer, making sure full loads only fill the drum 3/4 of the way. This will ensure your clothes will get properly cleaned and not waste energy or untimely wear and tear on your machines.   

4. Line Dry

Air drying your clothing has multiple money-saving effects. Using a drying rack overnight or hanging clothing on a clothesline will use less energy from your dryer during the day.

Because your dryer is running less, it puts out less heat. This will save you money in AC related costs because it’s not having to cool the heat the dryer is putting out.  

In addition, your clothes are subject to less wear and tear from the dryer, which saves you money in the long run because your clothes will hold up longer.

5. Clean your lint filter

Make sure to clean your lint trap after every load of laundry you do. You also need to do a more thorough cleaning of your dryer monthly. Take the filter out and vacuum inside the filter area. You would be surprised how much lint gets stuck in there and doesn’t come out with your trap cleaning.

Direct Energy recommends you should disconnect the hose from the back of your dryer and clean all the lint buildup that gets stuck in there once a year. In addition, make sure to check the vent that leads outside for any lint buildup.  

Keeping the lint cleaned out from your dryer will help it work more efficiently, saving you money on energy consumption. It also helps to prevent fires!

6. Use less laundry soap

Most of us are using way too much laundry soap. Did you know those lines on the detergent cups actually mean something? We can wash most of our laundry by filling the cup up to the first line. Crazy right?

Honestly, I never paid attention to it. I would fill the cup up (like all the way!), and that was that. But, by using more detergent than you need, you’re wasting money. Not only are you wasting detergent, but too much of it causes your machine to work harder, rinsing the extra suds away. This means your energy consumption goes up, causing your electric and water bill to go up too. 

So, make sure to check the back of the laundry detergent to see how much you really need to use.

7. Use Vinegar

Fabric softener is not only costly, but it is hard on your clothes. Fabric softener coats the fibers of your clothing, causing buildup, making it harder to clean them, says Clean Mama.  

Instead of fabric softener, you can add 1/4 cup of vinegar to your wash; it will soften your clothes and keep your washing machine smelling fresh and clean. And I promise you won’t smell like a pickle every day…the vinegar smell washes away, leaving your clothes smelling fresh…that’s it!  

8. Use Dryer balls

Dryer balls work by separating the clothes, fluffing, and increasing airflow to help them dry faster. By decreasing your drying time, you consume less energy which reduces your energy bill.  

frugal laundry tips

9. Dry on low heat

The Department of Energy suggests switching to the lowest heat setting on your dryer. By doing this, your drying time may be longer, but you still save energy which will save you money on your monthly bill.

Using the moisture detector on your dryer can save energy as well. The sensor will detect when your clothes are dry, preventing you from overdrying your clothes…saving unnecessary wear and tear on your clothes and energy!  

10. Off-peak hours

During peak hours, the cost of electricity is higher because the energy company must meet the needs of high demand all at once. Therefore, according to Flint Energies, more expensive generation units are needed to meet the demand, which increases the cost of electricity.  

So, save your high energy-consuming activities, such as laundry, for off-peak hours. By doing this, you’ll save money because you won’t be consuming as much energy during these times. 

Also, most energy companies offer a program that provides lower energy costs at certain times of the day (usually at night). So, make sure to call your energy company to find out more!  

11. Use generic laundry detergent

I have always been a Tide girl, especially when I used cloth diapers. But recently, I have started using generic or bottom self detergents. I have found they work just as well. I now pay a third of what I was paying, and my clothes are just as clean! 

12. Cut dryer sheets in half

Cutting dryer sheets in half will have the same results, but you’ll double your amount of use, which will save you a bit of money.  

But like fabric softeners, dryer sheets coat the fabric making it harder to clean and causing more wear on your clothing. So, if you’re willing to give them up altogether, you could save even more. Some alternatives to dryer sheets are…

  1. Dampening a washcloth with vinegar and throwing it in the dryer.
  2. Using wool dryer balls or aluminum foil
  3. Don’t overdry your clothes. Use the moisture detector setting on your dryer to eliminate overdrying, which can cause static.  

13. Wash less/wear more than once

One thing that has helped us cut back on the amount of laundry is to wash less. Try wearing some things more than once before you wash them.

For example, I would wash the kid’s pajamas after they wore them once. They put them on after a bath and sleep in them…they really don’t need to be washed after just one time. So, if we can, we wear things more than once to cut back on the number of loads I have to wash every week.

14. Separate heavy loads

Don’t wash and dry heavier weight items, such as towels and jeans, with lighter weight items. Lighter-weight things take less time, and drying with heavier items increases your drying time. So, make sure to sort accordingly to save.


Doing laundry is not only a pain, but it can be costly. By implementing these frugal laundry tips into my routine, I now save quite a bit when it comes to laundry-related costs.

I hope you find some or all of these tips helpful in saving you the most money in the laundry room.

If you have any other frugal laundry tips, I’d love to hear about them. So, make sure to leave a comment below!  

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