Today I have ten fantastically 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 whole lot more complicated. Add washable nappies 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. Get stains out with 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. Keeperofthehome suggests adding some diluted lemon juice onto the stain for an extra boost. If you don’t have fresh lemon juice, try bottled lemon juice instead or a lime.
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 the 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 washing powder with washing soda crystals
I have been using this money-saving tip for years. With so much washing to do, a box of washing powder lasts no time at all.
Use half and half washing powder and soda crystals to get the same cleaning power.
Another option is to use 1/3 each of good quality washing powder, cheap powder, and washing soda crystals.
How about cutting out the washing powder completely? CarolineVencil suggests combining Oxiclean or Vanish stain remover with washing soda crystals instead of washing powder. 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.
- Pros And Cons of Homemade Laundry Detergent
- How To Wash Towels By Hand
- Do Soda Crystals Kill Bacteria?
4. Use an Ecoegg
EcoEgg is an eco-friendly hypoallergenic alternative to washing powder. It’s initially more expensive to buy than standard powder, 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 need the white distilled type of vinegar, not malt. Not only does vinegar make your clothes softer, but it also helps to sanitise the clothes and cleans 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 you don’t want your clothes to smell of vinegar, never fear, because the odour quickly disappears.
You could try experimenting with some essential oils. Try adding a few drops of lavender oil in your wash to make your clothes smell gorgeous.
6. Make your own stain remover
There is no need to buy 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 aluminium foil under the ironing board
Shorten ironing time by adding aluminium foil under the ironing board cover shiny side up. 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 coloured washes. Jeans are always best washed cold to prevent shrinking. I found that stains on whites don’t come out so well on cold, you need at least a 40deg wash.
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. Sanitise 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 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 in the airing cupboard.
- How To Dry Towels Without a Dryer
- How To Dry Clothes Fast Without A Tumble Dryer
- How Often Should You Wash Your Blankets?
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.