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The laundry room is usually the last place people think about saving money, but there are so many ways to be frugal. When it comes to cleaning your clothes, here are 10 ways to prevent your money from going down the tubes.
1. Air dry more often. Use your dryer less often by hanging your clothes on a clothing line. I find that my clothes dry quicker and smell fresher when I let them dry outside. If this isn’t an option, purchase a drying rack that come in handy during cold weather. Using your dryer less often will save you money and will also extend the life of your dryer.
2. Only do full loads. Wait until you can do full loads since this will help you save on energy and detergent. Plus, you’ll end up doing laundry less often.
3. Wash your clothes in cold water. Hot water has to be heated and that’s extra energy that you’re paying for. Unless clothing is extremely dirty or greasy, cold water gets your clothing equally as clean.
4. Wear items more than once. At the end of the day, check to see if your clothing actually needs to be washed before throwing it in the laundry. Not everything needs to be washed after wearing it once. Work clothes can be worn more than once if you swap them for sweatpants and a t-shirt when you get home. Other items that can be used more than once are pajamas, jeans and towels. Plus, washing clothing less helps them last longer.
5. Use shorter washing cycles. Most washers offer lots of options. Unless your clothing needs the heavy-duty cycle because of stains, use the shorter cycle. Make it easy by separating your loads by how dirty they are so you only use the heavy cycle when you really need to. The shorter cycle reduces the use of energy and it helps prevent wear and tear on your clothing.
6. Make your own laundry detergent. You can make your own homemade detergent for pennies on the dollar with just a few ingredients. The same goes for fabric softener.
7. Use your dryer during off peak hours. Power companies often charge more per kilowatt hour during peak usage time. That means that your dryer is costing you even ore than it normally does. By drying earlier or later than these times, you’ll save more money.
8. Use less detergent. Using a third or a quarter (or less) of the recommended amount is enough to get your average laundry clean. When you use too much detergent, it doesn’t get all rinsed out of your clothes, which makes them dingier and can attract more dirt. Using too much detergent is also bad for your washing machine.
9. Use dryer balls. Instead of using dryer sheets, get wool dryer balls instead. They last up to two years and they usually cost around $20. They cut down on drying time and they fluff up clothing and towels.
10. Buy store brands. Name brand detergents are usually more expensive than store brands, even though both do the same job. You’re basically paying more for the packaging and marketing associated with brand name products.
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