I thought I would share a few quick tips on keeping laundry costs low.
- Don't buy and wear items that need to be dry cleaned or otherwise professionally cleaned.
- Wash full loads using the lowest temperature that will work.
- Hang clothes up to dry when possible. I will admit I only do this in non-freezing weather. I know some people hang clothes up inside to dry but I don't because our house has high humidity and we have troubles with mold already.
- Hang dress clothes up as soon as the dryer stops to avoid having to iron. (This saves time and a little bit of electricity.)
- Encourage your family to rewear clothes that aren't really dirty. This works better in the winter (when we are more often inside) than the summer (when we are gardening and such) but it certainly helps to have less laundry. My kids haven't always done well at this but since I usually have them fold their own clothes now they have greatly improved. The boys are so willing to rewear clothes now that I have to do some moderating so that every once in a while they get clean clothes. :-)
- Instead of fabric softener or dryer sheets you can skip it altogether or use a bit of white vinegar (I put around 1/2 cup in my downy ball) in the rinse cycle.
- Another tip that was shared with me was to soak some small rags in fabric softener and then hang them up to dry and then use them (for around 5 times each) in place of dryer sheets. I tried this not long ago with some fabric softener that a friend had given me along with other laundry stuff when she was moving away. I think it might work okay but I discovered that I have become quite sensitive to chemical smells. I ended up with a headache for a couple of days.
- Spot treat with Zote soap or Oxygen Bleach. Both last for a very long time and work pretty well.
- Use homemade laundry soap. Making it is super easy (and I think kind off fun). I am not going to claim that it works better than anything else but I do think it works fine and it is tons cheaper!
This is the recipe I use:
1 bar soap. (I use about any kind)
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
Grate (or I shave it with a knife) the bar of soap into a little water in a pot on the stove top.
Cook it until it is dissolved. In a bucket (I use a 5 gallon one) put 3 gallons hot water.
Add dissolved soap water to the bucket. Stir. Add washing soda. Stir. Add borax. Stir.
Let it sit overnight (It will thicken up while sitting) and use one cup with each load of wash.