Use Less Detergent
One load’s worth of laundry detergent might mean you should fill the cap 1/3 or 1/2 full, but many of us still fill to the top. As laundry detergents become increasingly concentrated we need less per load, but since the cap size has remained the same we do as we’ve always done – fill ‘er up and pour. I mark my caps with either a permanent marker or a rubber band to indicate the fill line. Using 2 or 3 times as much laundry soap as necessary can cost you up to $0.40 per load.
Use an Alternative for Liquid Softener
If you are a fan of liquid fabric softener, consider switching it out for an equal portion vinegar. Your clothes shouldn’t smell like vinegar, because you are using such a small portion relative to the volume of water, but it’ll do the trick of softening your fabrics.
Make Your Own Dryer Sheets
Making your own dryer sheets doesn’t just cost less, it’s also more earth-friendly. Consider that a dryer sheet is simply a piece of cheap fabric with dried fabric softener on it. With that in mind, it’s simple to make your own. Use a low-end rag from around the house (I use a baby’s washcloth since it is thin and small). Wet the cloth with liquid softener using a spray bottle, then let the rag dry. You shoudl be able to get 4-6 loads out of one homemade sheet.
Skip the Fabric Softener
The lowest cost option of all, when it comes to fabric softener is to skip it all together. Many towels actually perform better when laundered without softener, since store bought varieties include chemicals that coat the fibers and can decrease absorbency. In the winter months you might deal with a little more static on your clothes, but otherwise, you may be surprised you didn’t kick the softener habit sooner.
Your turn: What tips and tricks do you do to reduce the cost of laundry?