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Saving Money in the Laundry Room?

We all could stand to save some money on laundry supplies. Name-brand detergents can be ridiculously expensive and just drying clothes in the clothes dryer can increase electricity bills. Even buying dryer sheets can be an unnecessary expense, but doing household chores shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. There are plenty of ways to save money in the laundry room and here are some good ideas to get you started.

 

Saving Money on Washing and Drying

Many people are surprised by how much energy running a clothes washer and dryer takes. About 22 percent of the water used in a typical residential home is for washing clothes and seven percent of a household’s energy bill is accounted for by laundry alone (part of that falls under the green “water heating category to the left and part falls under the yellow appliances category).  All this energy costs you additional money when you have to pay your electric bill.  Many top-loading washing machines still use up to 40 gallons per load because they require a large amount of water to keep clothes suspended very much the same as it was in the 1940’s.  On the other hand, a front-loading washing machine only uses only 15-30 gallons of water to wash the same amount of clothes. And the most efficient front-loading washing machines can use as little as 5 gallons of water!

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) the new ENERGY STAR clothes washers use 20% less energy to wash clothes than standard washing machines and switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half. ENERGY STAR clothes dryers also use 20% less energy than conventional models. When shopping for a new clothes dryer, look for one with a moisture sensor that automatically shuts off the machine when your clothes are dry.

If you live in a warm climate, you could install a clothesline. Even if you don’t live in a warm climate all year long, you can still dry your clothes outside during some of the spring and summer months or use or use indoor drying racks to save money on drying your clothes (by the way adding esxtra moisture inside your home in the winter will make it feel warmer and save you more on heating bills). If you don’t want to install a clothesline in your backyard, even something as simple as a canopy tent frame may work to hang your clothes on for drying purposes. During the colder months when you may have to use a clothes dryer, consider purchasing wool dryer balls to help save money. You toss the wool balls in with each load of laundry you wish to dry, and they cause the laundry to dry quicker. You can also find ways to vent the heat and moisture from your dryer inside.

Other Tips from the U.S. DOE:

  • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material — not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
  • Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
  • Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.

Saving Money on Detergent

Name-brand detergents may be nice, but there are cheaper alternatives. There are a variety of tutorials on YouTube on how to make your own laundry detergent and in so doing save a bundle. If you do not have the time make your own, there are other inexpensive brands like Foca, available at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and other stores. It only costs around $8 or $9 for an 11-pound bag. Many people say that the detergent works very well at getting clothes clean and smells great. Compare the price of that detergent to the price of other detergents, and you have a clear winner! Just be sure to test it. If you have to use twice as much in order to get your clothes clean you really aren’t saving anything.

Saving Money on Dryer Sheets

If you dislike spending money on dryer sheets but love how they make your laundry smell, consider making your own at home. You can do this pretty simply with old rags and essential oils to make the reusable sheets smell nice. doTERRA oils and vinegar are very inexpensive and can be changed in scent depending on your mood.

As you can see, you can save some money on the everyday laundry supplies you need. Just use a few or all of these tips and see the savings stack up.

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