Posted on 16th Aug 2013
Washing your clothes is an essential – yet frequently expensive – business.
There are, however, some wise and sensible alternatives to keeping the costs down but still keeping your pants and socks looking beautifully clean and smelling rhapsodically fresh.
Hand-washing saves a great deal of money as it uses no electricity and considerably less water than a machine wash. It also allows you to focus more effort on clothes that are particularly dirty so there is less chance of having to re-wash. It's a very environmentally friendly thing to do, and can also quite therapeutic.
Use Less Detergent
Unless you've just been on a SAS training weekend, you don't need to chuck in half the bottle of detergent with your weekly wash. Detergent is expensive, and using too much of it can lead to skin irritation and other skin problems.
Unless you live in a tropical rainforest, a few hours in direct contact with flesh should not be enough to condemn a t-shirt to the wash basket. With a few obvious exceptions, re-wearing clothes does not make you a slob, and it could save you a significant amount of money.
Don't put the washing machine on when you've got a wardrobe full of clean clothes just because that one shirt you want to wear is dirty. Seriously, you'd look just as good in the clean stuff. Washing just one or two items is a waste of water, electricity and hard-earned cash.
Maybe a cheaper detergent won't clean your clothes as well as your current detergent - but maybe it will. You haven’t sworn an allegiance to a particular brand and nobody will think any worse of your for trying out a different one, so experiment with different types of washing powders and softeners.
Time-consuming? Yes. Money-saving? Definitely. The internet is littered with recipes for homemade detergent. So try them out. Like hand washing, it could save you a lot of money, and be quite therapeutic.
Energy Efficient Washing Machine
You go to the shop to buy a washing machine. You see two that you like. One's £100 cheaper but the other will cost £5 in electricity cost per usage. Which one do you buy? I think we all know the answer.
Give the act of washing clothes the attention it deserves. Acts of casual stupidity, forgetting to put detergent in and the like, cost money, especially when done frequently.
No Extra Rinse
Don't press buttons on your washing machine just because they're there. Extra rinse uses more water and therefore costs money. Unless you have sensitive skin, it's usually completely unnecessary and chomps through electricity like it’s going out of fashion.
"If it's not dirty wash at thirty" may have been drummed into all of heads to the point of monotony, but it still worth remembering. In fact, except in cases that the industry delicately refers to as "exceptional soiling" even cooler washes work too.
No Tumble Dryer
Tumble Driers use a lot of electricity. Drying clothes outside uses none, gives them that clean outdoor freshness, and it makes them smell nicer.
Repair, Don't Replace
If your washing machine does break down, it's best not to rush out a buy a new one straight away. It could be significantly cheaper to get it repaired. It may be cheaper to buy a new one, but if it isn't the potential saving could amount to hundreds of pounds.
Holidays. Nights out with friends. Music. Sport. These are the things you want to be spending money on - not washing clothes. So if you follow a few of these simple tips you might suddenly find you have a bit more money for the finer things in life. Not much, but maybe just enough to make all the difference.
Can you think of any other great ways to save money washing your clothes? Share your cash-savvy tips in the comments.
Alex McDonald is an enthusiastic newcomer to the world of blogging, and one that has recently taken an increased interest in controlling household expenditure. For repairs of household items, he recommends Ransom Spares.
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