Now as a Mum, there are some jobs around the house I loathe and some I really quite enjoy. The main one is LAUNDRY. Yes I love it – I could do it all day! I love the smell of washing powder in the morning, I love sorting, I love loading them in the machine and adding the soap, I don’t love how my front load washing machine takes three hours to wash, but you can’t have it all.
Here are some great ideas on how to save money in the laundry!
Buy in Bulk
Washing powder is a wonderful item to buy in bulk – it never goes off and you can always use it! One downfall is that it can be quite expensive from the supermarket. If you have the cash to spare, try buying you powder in bulk. Great places to try include your local Hardware store – they quite often have large 18 – 25kg boxes that are cheap as chips – buy two years worth of washing powder for the cost of a few months worth!
Make Your Own at Home
Another great idea is to make your own at home. Unfortunately with the new chemical laws in Australia, Borax is now notoriously hard to buy at your supermarket, but you can buy it online or sometimes you local Pool shop or Stockfeed or Rural supplier will have it.
Soapnuts are also a great way to save HEAPS on your washing. Soapnuts are little dried berries that when added to water, have a small amount of sud. You pop a couple into a small calico bag or sock, and they gently wash your clothes. If you buy a 1kg bag of Soapnuts, they will last you an entire YEAR. Think of the huge amount of savings!
Hot or Cold
Okay we all know that hot water costs more, in fact for every wash on hot, it is costing you about 35c!. BUT, remember you need to buy detergents that are suitable to be used in cold water. My tip, use cold for day to day washing, if something is particularly dirty (ie kids food mess), then pop it on warm.
Only do FULL Loads
Having a couple of sorting baskets in your laundry for whites, colours, darks, towels and bedding saves you time. Only put on full loads in your machine, it saves water – and washing! If you need just a couple of items done desperately, rinse them in the shower when you have your nightly wash and hang them out on an air dryer.
I adore the smell of most commercial fabric softeners – but did you know that you can get exactly the same amount of softness from white vinegar? Pop 1/2 cup into the fabric softener cup of your washing machine and check out the softness for yourself. It is significantly cheaper than fabric softener, the clothes come out soft, and also dry faster. It also leaves your machine clean and you don’t get the build up either and it is also great for people with allergies as the vinegar also helps the clothes release any excess detergent that are left in them, but it still leaves the lovely clean smell of the detergent (NOT VINEGAR!). If you miss the beautiful smell of a commercial fabric softener, add a couple of drops of essential oils to your washing. I particularly love Eucalyptus Oil or Tea Tree Oil. Not only do they smell clean and fresh, they are also natural antibacterial agents.
Most washing powders come with a scoop or cup to measure the amount of powder. But did you know you will get just as good a clean using half or even a third of the amount! Plus your less likely to lose so much colour for your brights. Try using half and check out the results!
Hang Your Washing Outside
I’ve been very guilty of using the dryer when I just can’t be bothered to hang out the washing but it does cost a fortune. In fact the average dryer load costs $2.08c to run! Hanging your darks (such as work clothing and school uniforms) under cover or on an air dryer will keep them looking better for longer as the sun can bleach out the colour. For items like sheets and whites, hang them out in the sun. The sun can actually make them stay white for longer and is a great natural stain remover – especially for nappies!
Cut Your Ironing in Half
Ironing is not fun! In fact I rarely do it at all. But a nifty trick I have learned is to pop a sheet of aluminium foil (shiny side UP) under your ironing board cover. It reflects the heat of the iron so that it effectively irons both sides at once! Some ironing covers now come with foil built in!
What tips and tricks do you have to help save money in the laundry?