When money gets tight I like to start thinking of ways I can spend less on our normal every day activities. Here’s a few ideas I thought I’d share about laundry.
For almost a year now I’ve been making my own laundry detergent. There are plenty of recipes out there but the one I use is:
1- cup of Super Washing Soda (Soda Ash or Sodium Carbonate- not the same thing as Baking Soda)
1/2 – cup of Borax
1/2 – cup of Sodium Percarbonate (Soda Ash + Hydrogen Peroxide = Sodium Percarbonate)
1 – bar of Fels Naptha grated.
I mix it all together in the food processor that I grate the Fels Naptha in, then I put it into canning Jars or little tubs (like yogurt, butter, sour cream, etc.). Then I use a coffee scoop and each load only gets 1 scoop (around a heaping tablespoon full).
For softener I just use white vinegar. If you normally use a fabric softener it’s a good idea to run vinegar through the softener slot every now and then to clean out the hose it travels through, it’ll keep it from clogging up. If you use vinegar in your wash as long as you don’t pass the max line on the little slot or use more than a 1/4 cup of vinegar you won’t smell it in the clothes when you pull them out.
I also put vinegar (fill to the max line) in the bleach slot for every load I do; in addition to softening clothes it also helps break up oily stains and it also helps with the odor you may sometimes smell in your clothes if you live in an area with really high sulfur levels in your water or if your water is really hard.
Instead of dryer sheets you can use a few different things. One thing is something called wool dryer balls. Wool dryer balls are tennis sized to softball sized wool balls that can be hand-made or bought and you throw four to six of them in a load to dry and what they do is separate the clothes and are supposed to help dry them faster by fluffing the load. You can add essential oils to the balls to give your clothes a slight scent. They are also said to help with static as well.
Another dryer sheet alternative is to take fabric softener and dilute it at a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio with water, then take some large kitchen sponges, ones without the scrubby side, and cut them into quarters. Then drop them in your softener and water mix(in a tub with a lid) and let them soak. With each dryer load you’ll squeeze a sponge out and throw it in with your wet clothes. It will help with your static, will soften your clothes, and will add a scent. When your clothes are dry just put the sponge back in the tub to wait to be used next time. I found a med. sized plastic tub in the cleaning section of the store that had a snap on lid, but you could easily use a large butter tub or similar sized tub from other food items you may use.
A third option is to skip the dryer all together and hang dry your clothes. It may seem like a thing of the past, but if you are tight on money you’d be glad to know that you can save loads (no pun intended… ok, maybe it was) of money by using your dryer less. Did you know using your dryer a few times a week will use up more electricity than your refrigerator which runs 24/7/365 (if you don’t believe me consult the God Goo = the all-knowing Goggle, you may be surprised). If you give your clothes a good shake when you pull them off the line you’ll get rid of any bugs that may stop to investigate the new things in the yard. Also birds will usually stay away, but if you are worried get some of those spinning yard decorations, birds don’t like them so it’ll keep them away. Lastly you may be worried about a little bit of dew getting on your clothes if you hang them in the early morning or the late afternoon or if you accidentally forget to get them off the line before you go to bed, a little dew won’t hurt anything, in fact it may help soften your clothes.
If you choose to hang your laundry you can upcycle some baby clothes to make clothes pin bags. If you don’t have kids, or have given all the baby and toddler clothes away then try Goodwill or other thrift stores and see the selection they may have. Little button up shirts and dresses work best, but I’m sure you could come up with some creative ideas with other types of clothes. If all else fails you can google it and find fun ideas online.
Do you have any money-saving laundry ideas that you’d like to share? Please add them if so!