- Use less soap. Detergent makers want as much of your money as they can get. One way of accomplishing this goal is to advise you to use much more of their product than is necessary. For a large load, 1/2 cup is usually plenty. Too much detergent (often the advised amount) can actually leave your clothes less clean and cause them unnecessary wear and tear.
- Use cold water whenever possible. Unless your clothes are seriously soiled, cold water works just fine.
- A little soaking goes a long way. For particularly dirty laundry or tough stains, instead of using hot water, soak the load for a couple of hours before washing. (Follow the instruction on your washing machine to load, add detergent, and fill as usual, but stop the cycle before it starts agitation.)
- The sooner you treat a stain, the easier it will be to get out. Whatever your preferred method of stain-fighting, do it as soon as possible. Set-in stains are very difficult to get out.
- For organic stains, such as blood, do not use hot water. Rinse immediately with cold water and wash as soon as possible. If you can't wash the item right away, soak it in a bucket of cold water and a sprinkle of soap until you can.
- For particularly potent items (think day-old, soaked-in-sweat soccer socks), before washing, soak for at least one hour in a bucket with either a capful of bleach or 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar.
- If you want to use fabric softener, go with dryer sheets instead of liquid softener. They're almost always much less expensive (and easier to lug home from the supermarket).
- Line-dry your clothes whenever weather permits. Do your washing in the morning to allow for drying during the sun's most intense hours. My laundry often dries in under two hours this way. If you're like me and don't like the slightly stiff feel your clothes get drying in the sun, just pop them in the dryer for 5-10 minutes afterwards, along with a clean, damp (not wet) rag, and a dryer sheet (if desired).
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Money-Saving Laundry Tips: Quick Tips for Saving Your Cash and Your Clothes
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