How to Save Money on Laundry – My Favorite Methods


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
If you ask a college student what their least favorite expense is, I’m willing to bet most of them will say laundry. Laundry is not fun to do, and it’s definitely not fun to spend money on, even if it is required. Think about it: you can have fun spending money on food and clothing. Heck, spending on rent can still give you some degree of satisfaction. But spending on laundry? Yeah, spending on that flat-out sucks.

It’s sort of understandable, given everyone’s financial situations while in college. But like it or not, laundry is something you gotta do… although the occupants in the apartment next to mine probably forgot that (you know who you are). And that is why I decided to make that the topic of today’s blog post. I’ll be giving you tips on the different ways to save money on laundry.

And while these money-saving tips are mostly geared towards college students, anyone looking for ways to save money on laundry should find these tips useful.

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If It Ain’t Dirty, Don’t Wash It

When it comes to bad laundry habits, people usually think of clothes that are used one too many times before getting cleaned (super gross). But the opposite can just be as bad – washing clothes that don’t really need it. I used to be a compulsive clothes cleaner. It doesn’t matter if I wore a sweater for 15 minutes while sitting on the porch during a clear day. That thing was heading to the washing machine as soon as I took it off. It ended up being a costly habit, both in terms of laundry supplies, and wear and tear on my clothes.

So before you toss a piece of clothing into the laundry, consider whether it really does need washing. Sometimes, you can wear it once or twice more before it needs washing. Obviously, items such as underwear and used handkerchiefs need to be cleaned after a single use!

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Wash Your Clothes in Large Batches

You might think you’re saving time and money by washing individual clothes, but the opposite is actually true. It takes quite a bit of time to get all your washing items and detergent together. And you’re saving energy when you wash single pieces of clothing.

When shopping, buying in bulk gives you great savings – and the same applies when doing your laundry. When you wash a large batch of clothes, you end up spending less energy and detergent, since a little bit of each can go a long, long way.

It’s all a matter of scheduling. I like to gather my dirty laundry and wash them every Sunday. That way, I get to maximize the detergent and power needed to clean my clothes.

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Use Dryer Balls to Maximize Your Spin-Dryer

Here’s a great life hack I learned from an aunt: when drying clothes in the spin-dryer, you can add a ball of yarn to make the drying process more efficient. These are called “dryer balls” and there are different ways to make them. But in general, it involves rolling a yarn (preferably one made from wool) around a soft, spherical object, like a tennis ball. You can even get store-bought ones (and even drier sheets), but I prefer to go the DIY route. It’s cheaper, and I can be assured that it doesn’t contain chemicals that might be harmful to my clothes, or my skin.

Dryer balls are effective because they keep the clothes from clinging to each other inside the dryer. They ensure that there is enough space between the fabric for air to pass through. And a more efficient drying process will result in greater savings!

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Still Use Dryer Sheets? Cut Them in Half

While I prefer dryer balls, there’s nothing wrong if you prefer sheets. If you do prefer to use dryer sheets, here’s a nifty little hack to get more mileage out of them: cut them in half. Dryer sheets are usually bigger than they need to be. And using one large dryer sheet could even result in decreased dryer efficiency. So cut them in half and use them the same way you would use dryer balls.

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Got Sufficient Space? Use a Clothesline

If you want to save even more money on drying your clothes, nothing beats letting mother nature do the job. If you have ample outdoor space, you can simply hang your clothes and let them air-dry. I actually find this easier to do than using a dryer. When you use a dryer, you still need to watch over it. But here, all you have to do is hang your clothes for a few hours, then put them back in your closet.

Before you hang your clothes to dry, an important reminder: never hang your clothes indoors. Even if you have a large room, don’t do it. Your clothes will dry eventually, but this really awful, musty odor will cling to them. And trust me, that odor is really hard to get rid of. So unless you enjoy smelling like something that lives in the basement, always hang your clothes outdoors.

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Take Care of Your Washing Machine

A washing machine is just like any other machine – it requires cleaning and maintenance to ensure that it’s working at peak efficiency. Luckily, washing machines don’t require the same level of care and expertise as, say, a car. All you need to do is check the gaskets, and make sure there are no clogs. You also need to clean any bits of soap residue and lint (yep, washing machines do need cleaning, too!)

And if you notice a strange sound, or if something seems “off” about it, have it checked before the problem gets worse and ends up costing you more money!

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Try Handwashing

Most things are “artisanal” these days. So why not laundry? If you have one or two pieces of clothing that need cleaning right now, you can try washing them by hand instead of using your washing machine (which would end up costing you more, as I mentioned earlier). You can use the same detergent you use in the washing machine, but I recommend wearing a pair of rubber gloves to keep your hands from getting dry.

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