The average household runs over 400 loads of laundry a year. That’s a lot of lost socks! We can’t find your missing socks, but we can save you money on laundry:
1) Dry Clothes Outside. If it’s convenient for you, line-dry your clothes! You’ll save $85 dollars per year, which is the average cost of running a clothes dryer, according to the California Energy Commission. Plus, line drying also preserves your clothing! TIP: If you’ve found that your line-dried clothes become stiff, add a half-cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle. The vinegar removes residue from the clothes, keeping them soft. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell – it disappears as the clothes dry!
2) Use Cold Water. When you’re choosing your water temperature, go for cold! The Department of Energy estimates that up to 90% of the cost of doing laundry comes from the fuel used to run your water heater. So, consider using cold for your next load. No need to worry about whether that will get the clothes clean – advances in technology and detergents have made cold-water washing just as effective as hot water. Note: Hot water is important if you're trying to disinfect things like towels!
3) Make Laundry Detergent. Making your own detergent ensures that you’re not cleaning with toxic chemicals and saves you money! Win-win. It doesn’t matter if you prefer liquid or powder detergent – both are easy to make at home. All you need for powdered detergent is washing soda, soap and borax (you can find all of these ingredients at your local supermarket). For step-by-step instructions, visit: Make Your Own Laundry Soap. Bonus: With DIY detergent, you have control over scent! Like lavender? Add some essential oil to the batch! What scent will you try?
4) Maintain Your Washer. Every load you run adds wear and tear to your washing machine. Pay attention to your washing machine now instead of paying big bucks to fix it later! Take 15 minutes out of your morning, and make sure your machine door is sealed and the detergent dispenser is clean. It’s simple! For step-by-step instructions, read: Inspect and Maintain Your Front-Loading Washing Machine. If you have a top-loading washing machine, read: Inspect and Maintain Your Top-Loading Washing Machine.