I don’t know about you, but I spend soooo much 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 how to save money doing laundry because it seemed like I was running the washer and dryer non-stop.
Where does all the laundry come from?!
Since I was spending so much money on laundry-related costs (from detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and more), I decided to do some research and see how I could save money in the laundry room.
So, I tested out and found the best frugal laundry tips that have been effective in our home, and I wanted to share them.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost, if you purchase using the links below. Please see my earnings disclaimer for more details.
What is the cheapest way to wash clothes?
Let’s discuss the best tips to save on laundry.
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 soap not working as good in cool water…don’t!
According to Consumer Reports, experts have found that detergents are actually less effective in higher temperatures.
So, unless your washing linens after illness, cloth diapers, or fabric that has to be washed on a hot or warm cycle…save money and wash your clothes in cold water.
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, make sure that you are washing full loads every time you run your washer.
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? Most people need way less detergent than they currently use.
If you’re using a good detergent, you only need to fill it to the first line for a regular load. Crazy right?
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 bills to go up.
So, make sure to check the back of the laundry detergent to see how much you really need to use when washing clothes.
Fabric softener is not only costly, but it is hard on your clothes. According to Clean Mama, a fabric softener coats the fibers of your clothing, causing buildup, making it harder to clean them.
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 don’t fret, your clothing won’t smell of vinegar, the vinegar smell washes away, leaving your clothes smelling fresh…that’s it!
Use baking soda
Baking soda is another miracle cleaner. According to The Spruce, when you add baking soda to your laundry, it can:
- help eliminate laundry odors
- boost bleach and detergent performance
- control suds which make your washer work harder
- act as a natural fabric softener
Adding a 1/2 cup to your laundry cycle will help boost the cleaning performance without having to buy expensive boosters.
Use a good laundry detergent
I have tried the DIY laundry soap and even the bottom self-laundry soap.
Honestly, I just didn’t think it worked as good. I had to use way more detergent to get my clothes clean.
So, I use powered Tide at the recommended 1 line for regular wash, and a box will last me months.
I also try to pick up the detergent when it’s on sale, and I use cashback apps like coupons.com, Ibotta, and fetch to help me save even more on my purchase.
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.
Air drying your clothing has multiple money-saving effects.
Because your dryer is running less, it puts out less heat. This will save you money in AC-related costs because it does not have to cool the dryer’s heat.
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.
Clean your lint filter
Make sure to clean your lint trap after every load of laundry you dry, and do a more thorough cleaning of your dryer monthly as well.
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.
According to Direct Energy, you should disconnect the hose from the back of your dryer and clean all the lint buildup that accumulates 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!
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, reducing your energy bill.
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 saves 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 saving energy!
During peak hours (between 4pm and 7pm), 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 if they offer something like that.
Cut dryer sheets in half
If you can’t part with dryer sheets, cut them in half. Cutting dryer sheets in half will have the same results, but you’ll double your 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…
- Dampening a washcloth with vinegar and throwing it in the dryer.
- Using wool dryer balls or aluminum foil
- Don’t overdry your clothes. Use the moisture detector setting on your dryer to eliminate overdrying, which can cause static.
- Wash less/wear more than once
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 wearing 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.
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 energy.
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 on laundry-related costs.
I hope you find some or all of these tips helpful in saving you the most money in the laundry room.
In what ways do you save money on laundry? Leave a comment below!