A trick I’ve learned after doing laundry for almost twenty years? (I know, I know, I started doing laundry when I was, like, five… tee hee) Never go by how much the manufacture label tells you to use! Think about it: they WANT you to use large amounts, so that you go through it faster, so you have to run out and buy more of their product. SO, are YOU using too much laundry detergent???
I always use just a bare minimum amount. To illustrate, picture the cap of most (liquid) detergent bottles: it’s about two to three inches in diameter, right? I fill it up to no more than half an inch, and that’s on heavy, dirty loads. Usually I just fill it up enough to cover the bottom of the cap. My clothes still come out smelling April fresh, and are seemingly clean. I also just toss the cap in with the wash, to make sure I get every last drop out of that (scant) cup of detergent. (This also assures that no messy goo builds up and drips down the side of the bottle — blech!!)
The more I’ve read about this, the more I realize that the Maytag man would agree with using LESS detergent than the recommended amount. Ditto with liquid fabric softeners. They create a nasty build-up in your washer, which makes them run less efficiently — that can create costly repair bills, or -gulp!- decrease the overall life of your machine.
And dryer sheets? Cut them in half, or thirds if you feel adventurous, and reuse them! For instance, did you know you can run a dryer sheet through your hair during the winter time, to cut down on that pesky static-cling hair? (And THAT’S my fashion tip for the day.)
This principle also applies to those all-in-one laundry kits (think: Purex). Even though they’ll tell you one sheet is good for one use through the washer and then the dryer, I have cut those in half before and they work just FINE. I’ve even heard rumors of cutting them in to THREE strips. Now that’s daring! ;o)
Finally, if you want to get super-frugal, you can create your OWN detergent. This is certainly above and beyond my means of frugality. (Not because I’m opposed to saving money this way, I’m just too darn lazy.) However, you can Google “recipes” for liquid or powder detergents. I keep reading that this can save you TONS of moolah, and your clothes will be just as April fresh as using store bought detergent. I’m not even going to place links for laundry detergent recipes — there are so many; if you’re interested, you just have to find the one that works for YOU.
On that note, I better go run another load of laundry! In the meantime, if you have any fabulous laundry tips and tricks, please share them with your fellow frugalistas here. Happy laundering!
Check out my favorite tips on beating the laundry blahs, too!Keep on saving! :o)
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