Today I have 11 amazing frugal laundry day hacks to make your washing day so much easier and cheaper.
Before my boys were born, laundry day looked like this:
- Throw the laundry into the washer, roughly sorted.
- Toss into the dryer.
- Possibly a bit of ironing.
- Put away.
When children came along, laundry day became a lot more complicated. Add diapers into the mix, and it felt like I was washing all the time.
Like many other families I knew, the addition of children bought along another new normal.
Having to live on one income.
During that time, I taught myself various tricks for making washing day less of a chore and less of a strain on the pocket.
Here are eleven frugal laundry day hacks, tips, and tips to make washing day a breeze. If you are time-pressed too, check out this post – 10 Minute Clean Up Strategy That Will Change Your Life
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1. Removing stain using sunlight
Sunlight is a fantastic natural whitener.
Hang a stained item outside in the sun, and stains will bleach out in a couple of hours.
Hanging washing out to dry is the most economical way to dry your laundry, of course. I always try to do it if I can. Sadly, it rains an awful lot in the UK, so it isn’t always possible, but on sunny, breezy days, I love to hang out the washing.
2. Add a dry fluffy towel into the dryer
Adding a towel to your tumble dryer load can shorten the drying time. The towel absorbs moisture and makes the rest of the items dry quicker.
Lifehacker says that this trick is most effective if you remove the towel after 15 minutes; otherwise, it will contribute to the moisture in the load and might extend the overall drying time.
If you don’t want to bother with a towel, why not try dryer balls instead? The dryer balls I have are plastic, but they are so noisy when they bump around in the dryer!
Here are some fabulous (quiet) wool dryer balls that do a similar job. These are the ones I should have bought. They claim to reduce drying time by 30-40%.
3. Mix detergent with washing soda crystals
Use half-and-half detergent and soda crystals to get the same cleaning power.
I have been using this money-saving tip for years. With so much washing to do, a box of detergent lasts no time at all.
Another option is to use 1/3 each of good quality detergent, cheap powder, and washing soda crystals.
How about cutting out the detergent completely? CarolineVencil suggests combining Oxiclean or Vanish stain remover with washing soda crystals instead of detergent. You would need to experiment with the amounts depending on the level of staining. It works great on cold washes too.
Now I’ve switched to cold washing and run a long cycle along with a tiny amount of detergent and some washing soda crystals. Find out how I do my weekly laundry (almost) for free and still get a great wash.
- How to use less energy cleaning your house
- Pros And Cons of Homemade Laundry Detergent
- How To Wash Towels By Hand
- Do Soda Crystals Kill Bacteria?
- How To Make Homemade Washing Machine Cleaner (natural recipe)
4. Use an Ecoegg
EcoEgg is an eco-friendly and hypoallergenic alternative to detergent.
It’s initially more expensive to buy than a box of detergent, but it is meant to last for a whopping 720 washes, which works out at just 3p per wash.
I haven’t tried these myself, but I have reviewed the pros and cons of Ecoegg here. I am very tempted to give them a go.
Update: You might also want to consider soap nuts too. They are cheap, environmentally friendly, and kind to your skin.
5. Soften clothes with vinegar
Try using vinegar instead of fabric softener in your wash.
You will need the white distilled type of vinegar, not malt.
Not only does vinegar make your clothes softer, but it also helps to sanitize the clothes and clean the washing machine.
Your towels will come out fluffy without losing their absorbency, which often happens with fabric conditioner.
Cleanmama suggests putting a 1/4 cup of vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser, or a fabric softener ball.
If you’re thinking that you don’t want your clothes to smell of vinegar, never fear because the odor quickly disappears.
You could try experimenting with some essential oils. Try adding a few drops of lavender oil to your wash to make your clothes smell gorgeous.
6. Make your own stain remover
There is no need to buy a special stain remover. Make up your own spray bottle of diluted washing liquid or some dissolved powder or OxiClean. Spray liberally on the stain and add it to a regular wash.
7. Add a layer of aluminum foil under the ironing board
Shorten ironing time by adding aluminum foil under the ironing board cover. The foil will reflect the heat, meaning you need only iron on one side.
8. Wash cold
Ariel.co.uk claims that you can save 57% on running costs when you wash at 30-degrees compared to 40-degrees. That’s a big difference. If your washing machine goes down to cold (some don’t), you could save even more.
Cold temperatures are perfect for colored washes. Jeans are always best washed cold to prevent shrinking.
9. Wash without soap
Did you know it was possible to wash laundry without soap? It’s the water that does the majority of the washing.
Here’s more on how to wash clothes without soap.
10. Sanitize the washing machine with a dose of vinegar and washing soda crystals
If you are running cold cycles a lot, keep your washing machine clean and smelling fresh by running a monthly hot wash with some vinegar and washing soda crystals.
11. Half tumble dry
If you can’t air-dry your washing, and you have an airing cupboard, tumble dry to slightly damp and then finish off on a drying rack.
There you have all my frugal laundry day hacks in one handy post. Check out this post for ways to save money on cleaning your house.