Submitted by Rachel Keller
Whether you are a family of two or a household of ten, laundry is a never-ending chore, unless you have an abundance of clothes, you probably wash on a regular basis. In our family of seven, laundry is nearly a daily chore, and when we miss a couple days, we have extra loads to do. To help lessen the load and save on laundry costs, we try to follow these simple techniques.
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1. If the clothes aren’t dirty, wear them again. My husband and boys wear undershirts so they can get another wear out of Sunday shirts. Jeans and sweaters can also be worn more than once if they don’t look dirty or smell unclean.
2. I tell my children to let me know right away if they spill something on their clothes. The sooner you try to remove a stain, the easier it is to get it out. (By the way, immediate action and cold water usually remove blood stains.)
3. Reuse your towels. After all, you’re clean when you dry off with your towel, so why not use it for several days. Have a different color towel or a separate hook for each family member. Hang the damp towel and it should be dry for your shower the next day.
4. Wash full loads. You’re using energy whether the load is small or large, so fill it up. Be careful not to stuff the machine, however, as that won’t get the clothes clean.
5. Try washing on a shorter cycle to save energy. You can fill the machine with water and detergent and let the load soak for several minutes before agitating. By doing this, your clothes should get clean on a shorter cycle.
6. Use cold water as much as possible to save money. I find that cold water gets our clothes clean.
7. Use minimal amount of detergent. You don’t have to fill up that little cup that comes on top of the detergent bottle. If you have very soft water, you actually need less detergent. Don’t be concerned about whether or not you see suds. In fact, if you see suds, you probably have too much detergent in your machine. You can tell if you are using the correct amount of detergent by checking to see if your laundry is clean. Very dirty laundry may need more detergent.
8. Occasionally, run the laundry empty. Add a little vinegar to the wash to keep your machine clean and working well.
(Editor's Note: No need to buy expensive machine cleaners!)
9. Try making your own detergent. It’s easy, costs so much less, and lasts much longer. In my next column, I will share my favorite way to make laundry detergent. It’s simple and doesn’t involve heating any ingredients.
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Also read: More Ways to Save Money on Laundry
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Copyright © 2013 by Rachel Keller. All rights reserved.