Ever wonder if there is a way to save time and money on laundry?
Well, there is, there are quite a few ways honestly and each of these can be done whether you are a single person or a family of 10+. There are so many options here that you can try out different ones to work out a system that will work best for you.
We have lived in situations where we haven’t had the use of a washing machine (mostly when we were renovating our kitchen for what seemed years!) and times where we had a washing machine but we were also trying to save on money where we could. There are a number of situations and scenarios for why you want to save time and/or money on laundry so I came up with these 10 helpful tips to get you started.
There are so many ways in which you can save time and money on laundry from bulk buying detergent to eco cycles but I wanted to give you some tips you can start using straight away without having to change your washing machine or even the detergent you use.
1. Wash Full Loads Only
We are lucky as we are only washing for 2 people and we don’t have to have certain clothes ready for work etc. We can be pretty flexible with our clothes so nothing has to be washed and dried ready for the next day. One thing I make sure I do is make sure my washing machine is full (to fit the guidelines of my machine capacity) to make the most of the water and detergent being used.
I never wash anything on its own or even a half full machine as this is a waste of water, my time doing it and detergent (though you should only use half for half load anyway).
2. Wash Textures Together
I was always taught to wash colours together, whites only wash and darks wash etc but I recently learnt that washing textures together also works well. Surely you have washed a nice blouse with a pair of joggers and thought the texture of the blouse feels different?
Well that is because the material make up of each garment are different and actually require different styles of washing. It is also very common for the heavier fabric to soak up the water and soap drying out the lighter fabrics and causing them not to wash as well as they could. It can also cause clothes to bobble and the material to shrink or be pulled out of shape.
Doing your laundry this was may help you get bundles and loads done quicker and at a better rate and help save money without having to wait around to get a complete colour block to wash.
3. Wash Colours Together
As many of my clothes are made up of the same type of fabrics I tend to wash by colours.
You might be thinking ‘well I only have one pink top and the rest of my clothes are green and blue’ you can get around this by washing the item on its own for the first wash and then you can incorportate it into another colour scheme wash. Though I would always recommend washing clothes of a similar colour together.
A way to make this work better in the long run is to bunch up your colours so you are wearing the majority of one colour during the week and then you have a block colour to wash at the end of the week. For example try and wear primarily black and green through one week and then you can do a full load of each colour at the end of the week.
Or if you feel comfortable and the fabrics aren’t too different you can combine the colours to make a full wash.
4. Wear Clothes More Than Once
We don’t own many clothes and our wardrobe is pretty slimline so we don’t struggle with having so much to wash it gets out of control. But something we do is wear items more than once in a week period, as we work from home and don’t often do anything too heavy or dirty we can use the same t-shirt for another day and get away with wearing trousers for 3-4 days.
You don’t have to wear the garments 2 days straight, especially if you are going to work or want to change up what you wear. You can simply hang up the item back into your wardrobe and turn the hanger the other way. That way you know you have already worn it that week and it can be worn again before washing.
5. Dry Naturally
We don’t own a dryer at all, we once did and found it made our clothes shrink, bobble and found it was a waste. We gave it away and decided to stick to naturally drying our clothes.
I grew up learning how to look after things in the house and often did the washing with my mum so I found ways to get the washing done when it was needed.
A dryer is great if you have a large family, little time or live in a place where the cold weather seems to linger. But personally even when it is winter we choose to air dry our clothes.
A airer is a great tool to use in the house during winter or for items such as underwear and bras (if you don’t want your neighbours looking at your undergarments). We use a folding airer that slots into a small gap in our bathroom when we aren’t using it. It is great for fitting on a full load of washing.
We ususally place th airer in our bathroom, leave the window open and will close the door in the winter months.
6. Borrow A Dryer
My parents and my sisters have dryers which is super helpful if we struggle to get any of our washing really nice and dry. Look at sharing a dryer with a family member, pop round with your washing and dry it while you see them and enjoy a cup of tea.
It sounds like it is a lot of hassle but we see my parents atleast once a week and often find we stay for dinner so it is a perfect time for us to take some washing and get it dry.
This is a great idea if you have anything thick and heavy like bedding, blankets and towels.
7. Use Less Detergent
There are numberous articles and studies that show that you don’t need as much detergent as you might think. I don’t use the full amount it recommends on the packaging. Studoes have shown that the overuse of detergent can be harmful to both your clothing and your machine.
In terms of your clothing the detergent can often create stains and marks on your clothes that will not wash out. These are caused by nuggets of detergent trapped in the washing process and then stain your clothes as they haven’t diluted properly during the process.
This can also save you a lot of money on your weekly shopping bill and help cut down the amount of clothes you go through due to unexplained stains arising.
8. Use Powder Detergent
Capsules are easy and great to use, I get it but are they cheaper really? Especially if we start to follow tip 7? If you start cutting back on the amount of detergent you use, it would actually go further meaning you are getting more washes for your money!
But this is hard to cut a capsule in 2 and save the other for later. Powder can be a little more difficult to use and it doesn’t always go from the draw but you can work around that.
When you set the machine going simply use a little warm water into the draw to help push the detergent into the system so none gets left behind and your machine stays nice and clean.
I love this method and it was something I learnt from my mother in law as she always had trouble with ther detergent staying in the draw. It takes a little extra time but can also save you plenty of money in the long run in both buying washing powder and buying a new washing machine.
9. Wash By Hand
Something I have really learnt to do well is wash by hand. As we like to travel quite a lot I learnt nifty skills on how to clean clothes and underwear on the go. The best way I found was to rinse things out while showering and soaking things in sinks if they were really dirty.
If you have something that is delicate, has a slight stain or is a lonely colour looking at washing it by hand or on a quick rinse cycle. That way you can save electricity and water on using a rinse and spin cycle or hand washing over using a full wash for one item.
10. Wash On A Shorter Cycle
Another trick my mother in law taught me was to wash the less dirty items on a shorter cycle and a quick rinse instead. As the items are only light items that have been worn once or twice, don’t have any stains and just need to be refreshed (armpit smells don’t always leave with sprays) these can be put on a shorter wash.
That way you can use less detergent, less water as it won’t need as many cycles and less electricity as it will be on for a shorter period. I ended up doing this with pretty much most of our washing to save time and money on laundry.
You can alter the settings on your machine to cooler settings, fewer spins per cycle and the main setting itself. I often change mine to be cooler temperatures and fewer spins to make it more economical and better for my clothes in the end. I also have a setting on my machine I love which is ‘mixed fabrics’ which is great as everything comes out just as it went in and washed great!