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 ten frugal laundry day hacks, tips, and tips to make washing day a breeze.
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.
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.
This post on frugal laundry hacks would not be complete without showing you ways to make your own laundry powder.
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.
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.
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 30deg compared to a 40deg. 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. I found that stains on whites don’t come out so well on cold, you need at least a 40deg wash.
9. 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 pristine by running a monthly hot wash with some vinegar and washing soda crystals.
10. 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.
I found that by doing that it reduces the amount of ironing needed.
There you have all my frugal laundry day hacks in one handy post. If you have some more ideas, I would love to know in the comments below.