31 Days: 5 Tips to Cut Laundry Expenses {Day 15}

Welcome to 31 Days:The No Spend Month. If you are joining for the first time, you may want to start on Day 1.

Laundry is actually one of my household responsibilities that I don’t mind at all. I know, I’m weird. Unloading the dishwasher, that’s a whole other story.

I regularly do laundry every other week with one or two loads in between (kiddo wets the bed or gets chocolate on a white shirt). In an attempt to meet our utility goals this month, I am only doing laundry twice. I did it the first week of the month and will be doing it this week, as well.

Here are 5 other ways I am saving on our laundry costs:

Reduce and Reuse

The #1 way to save on laundry costs? Do less laundry. This doesn’t have to mean that you buy more clothing. It means:

  1. Encouraging the family (specifically my husband, ahem) to hang clothing after they wear it.  Clothing laying on the floor, all wrinkled up, usually gets tossed in the dirty clothes basket.
  2. Just because a pair of jeans was worn once (and for just 20 minutes, in my daughter’s case) doesn’t mean they need to washed. This is a mantra I’m drilling into the kids. I often go through their clothing at the end of the day to help them get their items back into the closet or into the laundry pile.

Large Loads

Our front-loading washer and dryer are about 4 years old and can handle large loads.  I am separating clothing into whites, darks and colors and hoping to do only 3-4 loads of clothing for our family of 4.

I use white towels and sheets in our entire home so it’s easy to toss those in the wash together.  We do have a few colored towels that we don’t need regularly so I keep them in a laundry basket, stored until I have a full load. I also add filthy shoes to this load.

Cheap Cleaning Aids

I have a few secret weapons in the laundry department that are so cheap, I can’t even believe they work. Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. I use vinegar as my fabric softener and hydrogen peroxide as bleach.  Both of them are added in the washing machine in the specific compartments.

I also use a homemade stain remover, I’ll be sharing that later. I like both the cost and how simple these solutions are – no chemical residue in our clothing or linens.

Cold Water

I always wash in cold water unless the load has a lot of stains or bodily fluids in it.  I’ve been doing this for years – it works – and it saves money because you aren’t using energy to heat the water.

Line Drying

Don’t imagine yourself dragging a basketful of clothing outside every day. I have this drying rack and keep it propped up outside my laundry room when I’m washing.

Once I’ve washed a load, I pop it in the dryer for a few minutes to get the wrinkles out and then hang it on the rack.  Dress shirts and dresses get hung on hangers. I can hang one entire load this way so I usually get 1-2 loads done per day.  Even the children’s clothing gets hung up.

I honestly believe that the combination of cold water + line drying keeps our clothing in the best condition possible.  We have avoided faded and shrunken clothing and it allows us to resell our clothing at a higher cost.

Do you love or loathe laundry? Any other cost-cutting ideas?


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