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Friday, January 20, 2012

Frugal Laundry


To dry or not to dry, that is the question. Wait, what about hot or cold, name brand or generic, or even does it need to be washed? Gosh, it seems there are several questions when it comes to saving money in the laundry room. Hopefully I'll be able to answer of few of these for you today.

Dryer sheets
I have used the name brand, the off brand and the generic brands. I use them for static control, not to smell spring fresh. I have been equally happy with the cheap stuff as I am with the more expensive. When using a dryer sheet, tear it in half, as half a sheet does the job and gives you twice as much for the money. Used dryer sheets can then be re-purposed for dusting and then thrown in the bucket for fire starters.

Laundry detergent
Less is more! Use less, get more for your money. The detergent companies tell you to use the 'fill line' on each load, but that isn't necessary. Heavy dirty loads will require more detergent then your gently worn clothing. I also use two different detergents. For my jeans, dirty work clothes, towels and cleaning rags I use Xtra. For whites and better clothes I use Tide. Of course, the Tide is only purchased when I can get it on sale and use a coupon. The Xtra is also purchased in bulk when it goes on sale.

Obviously, using hot water costs more than cold water. It also can cut the life of your garments. I wash dirty work clothes, whites, towels and cleaning rags in hot, everything else is done up in cold. Check the care tag in your clothing to see what the manufacturer recommends.

To hang or not
I absolutely love to use my clothesline! If weather permits, my clothesline is full on laundry days. Not running the dryer is definitely a good way to save money. I also have several wooden drying racks I am able to use in the house when I am unable to hang outside. Not drying also helps extend the life of your garment. Maybe I should clarify here that I do use my dryer even when I'm not using it. Clear as mud? I put the items in the dryer for about 4 minutes to take the wrinkles out before I hang them. Make sure to give them a good shake before hanging. Items that will be going on a hanger anyway are dried that way. If you want a bit more softness to your clothes/towels, simply pop them in the dryer for a couple of minutes after they are dried to fluff them up. For the items you do need to dry, remove them promptly when they are finished to reduce ironing (saving you both time and money).

Multi-use towels
Do you dry off with your bath towel and discard it? Tsk tsk tsk if you do. Around here, I do laundry twice a week, bath towels get refreshed twice a week. Papa Bear and I have nice hooks in the bathroom to hang our towels to dry after we shower. I mean really, I get out of the shower nice and clean. Now, our washcloths are definitely a one time use thing....{shudder} that's just gross to me to think of using it again.

Wash it?
Do you even need to wash that garment? The slacks I put on to wear for two hours on Sunday are definitely not dirty. They get hung right back up. The sweater I wear with another shirt under it when I don't do anything to get dirty or sweat is not dirty, it gets put back away to wear again. The jeans I didn't even leave my house in all day are not dirty. They get folded and put back on the shelf. You are able to save gobs of money by not even running the washer and dryer.

Garment care
Always read the care instructions for your clothing. Taking care of your items insures they will have a longer life, meaning you will spend less money needing to replace them.

By implementing even a few of these tips, you will be able to save some of your hard earned money. Now, scoot scoot scoot off to your laundry room and enjoy your savings!


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