Doing your laundry on the cheap

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Total amount of credit £80, duration of the agreement 29 days, rate of interest 292% per annum (fixed), total amount payable (in one repayment) £98.56. Representative 1281.8% APR.


Carolyn Thomson

If you have several people inside your household and you're all changing your outfits at various times of the day, it doesn't take that long for your laundry to start piling up. A large family could be faced with high energy bills, as well as hefty costs for items like laundry softener, detergent and more. Rather than simply biting the bullet and having to pay all of these costs just to keep your family and clothes clean, there are some strategies that you can use to reduce the burden of extra laundry over time. This will mean that you won't need to use online loans for your laundry needs.

There's a wide range of scenarios where your laundry costs can go up. Introducing a new child into the family or having a whole family out on a rainy/muddy day, generally having young children in the house and many more.

If you're facing a scenario where you have to do extra laundry or you find yourself in a place where you're spending far too much on your laundry, it could be time to make a change. Below are some of the best strategies that you can use for reducing the cost of laundry for your family.

washing machines in a laundromat

Don’t wash half full loads

Efficiency is the name of the game especially when it comes to laundry.

It can be very tempting to put in a few articles of clothing when there is a specific piece of clothing you want to wear, or if there's been an accident with your children's clothing. However, waiting and taking the time to put together all of the laundry at home so that you get a full load is a crucial step for efficiency. Washing a full load of laundry is the most cost-effective way to wash, as there is less water and energy used for cleaning every item of clothing.

Ditch the dryer

Hanging your clothing out to dry instead of using the dryer can really cut down on your energy costs. You also need to consider the cost of electricity used on the average run of your dryer. When you add in the cost of fabric softeners, and any extra settings such as steaming that your dryer may have, this can add even more cost into your load of laundry.

Hanging your laundry up accomplishes the same thing, but for free. You don't have to wait for a nice day either, you can use drying racks to make use of any space available. This gives you a cheaper, non-weather dependent method of drying your clothes.

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Stop using warm water

Hot water during your washer cycle takes plenty of extra energy in the process of cleaning your clothes.

Unless you have caked on dirt or extremely dirty clothes as a result of some form of outdoor activity, the cold water setting on your washer would do the exact same job as any type of warm cycle. You can even purchase specifically formulated laundry detergent which is made for use with cold water. These types of improvements will help you to reduce your overall energy costs and it can make sure that you can get a full load of clean clothes without having to use hot water.

bubbles on black background

Stay on top of dryer lint

You need to make sure that you are regularly staying on top of dryer lint. This means regularly removing the dryer lint from the tray in your dryer as well as making sure that you remove any obstructions from the external vent. This could require you to use a special tool to clean the inside of the vent entirely. Improving airflow inside the vent as well as regular cleaning for the dryer tray will ensure that your clothing can dry much more quickly. These regular cleaning approaches will make sure you can run your dryer on a lower cycle time and help to make sure that more air can get at your clothing.

When a dryer vent has the chance to clog up with lint and other materials, it can close off the airflow from your dryer and this can often lead to moist air only getting in your clothing. This means that leaving a dryer vent to fill up with extra material will only extend the amount of time that it takes you to dry your clothing. Increasing your drying time and the amount of heat that you have to use, which in return will only increase your expenses as a household.

Ditch softeners

Using fabric softener can be a fantastic way that you can get rid of the starchy feeling in your clothing. Rather than having to go without fabric softener, a fantastic and natural alternative is to add a little bit of vinegar into your wash cycle.

Using small amounts of vinegar will not affect the overall smell of your clothing and it can work to make sure that lingering odors can be removed from your clothing too. The nice part of vinegar is that it has an effect for softening clothes in the same way that a traditional fabric softener would do.

Make your own laundry detergent

Laundry detergent can be one of the most expensive aspects of completing a load of laundry. Making your own detergent could actually lower costs for every load of laundry used, as opposed to using branded detergents. Adding in vinegar to deal with troublesome spots and using it for fabric softener will bring your overall costs down considerably.

Follow these steps to make your own laundry detergent.


  • 1 cup of washing soda crystals
  • ½ cup of borax
  • 1 bar of soap


  • Get a large sauce pan, place it on the stove on high and place about 4 cups of water into the pan.
  • Wait until the water is simmering and start cutting your bar of soap into small bits. If you can get a cheap grater, this makes perfect dissolvable curls.
  • When the water is at a full boil, place the soap slivers into the water, wait for them to completely dissolve and keep the mixture warm.
  • Take a second container with 3 cups of water and begin adding the washing soda and soap solution that is on the stove. Stir in the borax and let the mixture sit.
  • Cover the mixture for 24 hours and you will have ready made laundry detergent that you can use in your washer.

Using homemade laundry detergent is just the same as any other name brand. Just follow your manufacturer standards for detergent measurement and you will get clean and fresh smelling clothes every time. Feel free to experiment with different bars of soap for new scents too!

Here are some other ways that you can do your laundry on the cheap.

Taking the extra step to squeeze out any excess water from clothing before putting it into the dryer can often run a much shorter dryer cycle, which in turn will help lower the temperature in the dryer. Taking your clothing out of the dryer and then shaking them out completely will also help to improve the surface area the dryer can affect while it is running on the lowest setting.

An energy-efficient washing machine and dryer can be an excellent addition to your home. If you aren’t currently using any type of energy-efficient appliances you could be missing out on countless cost savings throughout your property. Energy-efficient appliances are one of the best ways that you can reduce the overall power consumption of each appliance. Older style washing machines and dryers will often take up to 50 to 60% more energy to run than a modern energy-saving appliance. Although an energy-saving washing machine may be a larger upfront investment, if you have to replace your washing machine or dryer it could be time to upgrade to one of these new appliances instead.

No matter what type of washing appliance you are using to clean your clothing it's a good idea to choose the shortest cycle for any type of laundry. A short cycle with your laundry will save wear and tear on your clothing which can help to cut down on other costs throughout the house. A short cycle will also be very important to reducing your energy bills. With a shorter cycle on your washer, there is less of a chance that it has to go through multiple spin cycles or use as much water. So, in summary, shortening up your clothing wash cycle leads to savings by avoiding clothing wear and tear and saving you money on energy bills.

Keeping some of these top methods in mind can help you to avoid personal loans by reducing your energy bills and the overall cost of your laundry.