How to Save Money Doing Laundry

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How to Save Money Doing Laundry

Rachael Weiner · Aug 16, 2009

When you move into an apartment, chances are doing laundry doesn’t top your list of expenses. Compared to rent and utilities, laundry is a small expense-but one that can add up if you don’t keep track of how much you’re spending. With a little planning, you can save money and time doing laundry. Here are some tips and ideas to consider.

Make a Laundry Schedule

The easiest way to save money on laundry is to not wash every week. Save your roll of quarters for times when you have a good load or two of clothing in need of cleaning. Two weeks is typically a decent amount of time to allow laundry to accumulate. In cases of spills or stains on a single garment, your best bet is to spot clean or hand wash. There’s no point in spending a dollar or more for a wash cycle when you’re only cleaning a single garment.

Hang Items to Dry

Drying clothes in a machine is convenient, but not necessary. Buy a drying rack and then hang your garments to air dry. If you have access to a clothesline, use some clothespins and hang your garments outside. You’ll save money and won’t have to worry about items shrinking. Air drying is a great way to conserve energy, too.

Know When to Combine Loads

You obviously don’t want to throw a brand new black top in the wash with your load of whites, but there are exceptions to washing whites and colors separately. If the fabric of a dark colored garment appears to be prewashed or not prone to bleeding, you can proceed with washing it with your light colored loads. As a general rule, it’s best to wash darks separately the first couple of times. After that you may be able to get away with combining colors you would have normally washed separately. It also makes sense to wash bed linens and towels in the same load as socks and undergarments, as both are generally washed in warm or hot water and do not require a delicate cycle.

Combine Your Laundry with a Roommate’s or Friend’s

If you have a roommate, consider combining your laundry to save money. If you only have a couple of items in need of wash, ask your roomate if you can add them in with your roommate’s load.

If you live alone, consider making laundry dates with a friend. Not only is it cost effective to combine your laundry, sitting in a laundromat with a friend makes better use of the waiting time.

Find the Most Affordable Laundromat

What’s most convenient may not be the most economical. Some places may charge $1.25 to wash, others may charge $1.75. Try out several places to find the best deal. 50 cents may not seem like much, but when it comes to saving money, every little bit counts.

Doing laundry doesn’t have to be a costly chore. Make the effort to cut costs and you can enjoy clean clothes and keep your quarters in the bank.

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Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.

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