Hi guys! Have you ever really thought about how expensive it is to do laundry? Especially if you have a somewhat intricate routine. I mean there could be pre-treat stain remover, detergent, bleach or bleach alternative, detergent booster, fabric softener, scent beads, wool balls, dryer sheets, and let’s not forget that it’s also important to routinely clean the washing machine itself. It’s kind of a lot when you think about it. In fact, if you write it down, you’re probably see that you’re spending about $70 to repurchase everything you need to do your laundry. But, friends, I bring you good news. There is a way to bring the recurring costs down. Here are some simple laundry swaps that I use to keep everything clean and save some money at the same time.
Let’s actually start with the dryer.
I used to religiously use dryer sheets when drying every load. But I was able to completely eliminate the need to keep repurchasing them by making one $7 swap – a one-time purchase of wool dryer balls. Over time, I noticed the chemicals from the dryer sheets started to leave a film on my lint trap. I figured that same film was getting left on my clothes and eventually rubbing off on my skin, so I decided to make a change. I purchased these wool dryer balls two years ago also partly because I’d heard that they could help me run my dryer for less time to get my clothes dry and were more environmentally friendly. Apparently, the wool balls create extra ‘pockets’ in your laundry as they roll about the dryer during a cycle which creates more paths for air to flow through and dry the load faster. I’ve also heard that they can make your laundry softer and help eliminate wrinkles – same thing that dryer sheets are supposed to do. Now, I can’t necessarily say that my clothes feel softer, but the wool balls do help my linens dry faster. Those normally would tangle upon each other and anything in the middle would still be damp at the end of the cycle. However, the wool balls help keep the tangling from happening. From my experience, they do also help to eliminate wrinkles.
On to the washer…
Instead of purchasing a 5-count washing machine cleaner for $10 to maintain my washing machine, I buy a large box of box of baking soda and distilled white vinegar. I add 2 cups of baking soda to the washing machine drum, fill the detergent dispenser with the vinegar, and the run the longest, hottest cycle or the cleaning cycle since my washer has that setting (making sure ONLY baking soda is in the drum, not your laundry). This way, I’m able to get about 12 washing machine cleanings – without the added chemicals – for less than $7 total if purchasing a half gallon of vinegar and the 3.5 pound bag of baking soda. I clean my washer with these two products about every 6 weeks. (I’ve also recently noticed that I can get my baking soda in a bulk 13.5 pound bag from a warehouse store for about 55% less than I’ve been spending for multiple 3.5 pound bags at Target. So, that brings the maintenance cost down even more. Purchasing a gallon of distilled white vinegar and a 13.5 pound bag of baking soda will conservatively yield about 30 cleanings for about $10 – very budget-friendly. In comparison, the standard 5-count prepackaged washing machine cleaner would cost $60 to clean my machine the same number of times.)
For my laundry products themselves, I’ve found that I can stretch my dollar further when I purchase them in bulk. My company offers discounts for memberships at warehouse stores. So, I have a BJ’s Wholesale membership and a Sam’s Club membership that I share with my family, and I only buy my laundry products, as well as other bulk items and paper goods, from one of those stores.
Though I don’t think it’s a necessity, if you want to add a little extra something to your laundry, purchase scent beads from a warehouse store as well. My favorites are the Downy Fresh Protect with Febreze Odor Defense and the Snuggle Scent Shakes. They both leave my laundry smelling great. Snuggle has always been priced less than Downy, and I’ve noticed the price of the Downy scent beads has gone up a bit over the last year while Snuggle has stayed the same. So, I’m normally reaching for Snuggle to save on recurring costs. I don’t use them all the time, but they do add a nice, long-lasting scent to my laundry. Even if I’m pulling something out of my closet a few months after washing, it stills smells fresh. They’re great for linens as well and for the same reason.
Another simple swap I made is with my detergent booster. I was a faithful Oxi Clean user for years. It worked OK. It was better than using detergent alone, especially if there was a stain to get out, but it didn’t “wow” me. It was good but not great. So, I switched to Borax. Borax, on the other hand, is amazing! And for a few good reasons. For one, it cleans MUCH better than Oxi Clean. My whites became much brighter after I made the switch. I add a little Borax to every load. Also, about 10 pounds of Oxi Clean at a warehouse store costs about $18 right now. Borax isn’t sold in bulk where I live, so I buy it from Target or Walmart instead. For an apples-to-apples comparison to the bulk 10 pounds of Oxi Clean, 10 pounds of Borax is less than $12.
So, there you have it! These are a few of the ways I’m able to keep my laundry costs down while still having clean great-smelling laundry and a clean washing machine and they’re all budget-friendly.
Are there any other budget-friendly tips that you use when it comes to your laundry? Let us know in the comments!
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