Save Money Washing Your Gonchies



I’m sure I’m not the only one who wishes they could snap their fingers and have the house magically clean itself. I don’t really mind doing chores I just hate how much time it takes and how expensive it can be. Especially laundry.

Unless you wear disposable underwear in which case you’re spending a small fortune already, laundry is a necessity. A friend of mine recently made a comment about how she loves having ”free laundry” at her house. No she doesn’t have to put money into the machine anymore to make it turn on, but she now has to pay a water bill and use power to operate her machines. Even after I brought these points up she still saw it as ‘free’…

Here are a few ways to save some serious dough on everyday laundry loads:

  • Use cold water, it’ll still get your clothes clean I promise! I only use hot-hot-hot water for my work scrubs- I need as much germ-killing power as possible when I come home with multiple peoples blood and saliva splattered all over me.
  • Line dry when the weather is nice. And yes, you can still use your outdoor line for some winter days!
  • Energy efficient appliances will go a long way. Our washer has a water level sensor so we don’t have to pick a load size. It senses how much water to pour in when the machine starts. Our dryer has a similar sensor only staying on until the clothes dry rather than setting it on a timer for something like 45 mins. This saves water and power. Not to mention newer models are more energy efficient, period. I honestly think one of the best ‘investments’ one can make for their house is energy efficient appliances but it doesn’t have to have every bell and whistle. When we went out looking for ours we were immediately shown the $2000.00+ pairs that woke me up in the morning and made me breakfast in bed. I explained that I had a husband to do that for me and was really only interested in a pair that would wash and dry my clothes in a reasonable time, for a reasonable price and not set me back a boatload of money. We found and energy efficient pair for less than $800.00.
  • Look for the lines! Only use the recommend amount of laundry soap. When doing a load of laundry do not fill the liquid soap to the very top and pour it in! Have you ever actually looked inside the measuring top and see the recommend markings (which usually vary from 1-4)? They’re usually so impossible to see people don’t bother looking for them and pour way more in than they need. You end up spending way more money than needed. Liquid laundry soap is so concentrated it takes very little to effectively wash your clothes.
  • DIY your own detergent if you feel so inclined. My time is worth so much more than the effort required I personally couldn’t be bothered but kudos to those that do. Conveniences like Tide were invented for a reason. I shop the sales instead.
  • Only run the machines when you have a full load, yes you save water by doing a small load (especially if you have a sensor machine) but you need to run the power twice.
  • Run your machines on off-peak hours (when power rates are likely lower). For us it’s between 6pm and 6am which works fine since I usually don’t get around to laundry until baby has gone to bed or I get home from work.

Have I missed any tips for laundry that you do which I haven’t mentioned? Am I the only one who thinks the word ‘panties’ is sort of creepy?

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  1. It always amazes me how much they can cost. I remember when we were shopping we were shown ones that basically did everything but make us breakfast. We found a scratch and dent sale and got a pair for around $600. The scratches were on the sides so we can’t even see them!

  2. I sell appliances for a living. All you say is correct. I will add that using too much soap in the new energy saving washing machines is not only expensive, but can also be harmful to the machine (excess bubbles work their way into the seals and bearings), and I don’t need to tell you how costly repairs can be. I recommend to my customers that a drop of soap the size of a quarter is plenty for an average size load of laundry. (2 to 4 tablespoons).

    • Good to know. I’ve heard that you only need about 2 tablespoons of soap per load from many people. I know I tend to “over do it”, so I’ll be trying to use less. We wash in cold too. I think it makes the colors of your clothes stay brighter.

  3. W is so bad with wasting water and electricity when washing clothes. He’ll throw one pair of pants in there and put the setting on extra large!

    • That would drive me nuts. Laundry is my domain. I only get hubby to do laundry when I really need him to (post c/section sort of thing) I have a certain way I like it to be done 🙂 My hubby is bad for turning the shower on well before he actually gets in, that drives me nuts but he’s worth it 😉

  4. I have been hand washing lately as I don’t want to hire a maid and prefer to keep the washing machine money for house work, but it actually uses more water than a machine. With a machine and normally clean clothes, detergent is actually not a must, or you can use half the recommended doses, your clothes will be clean.

    • That’s where I am with hand washing my dishes! I’m using more water, more frequently, than when our dishwasher was working. I’d only turn the dishwasher on like ever 2 days vs 2-3 sink-fulls of water everyday.

  5. Haha, I had another friend who was freaked out by the word panties. It doesn’t weird me out, but growing up, we called them “chonies”. =)

  6. Using cold water is a big one for us. We also got two fairly new energy efficient washer/dryers with our new place so we shall see how that affects our bill!

  7. Actually, you can probably use even less detergent than the lines and still come out just fine. I’ve seen it recommended where you run the following test: Use your normal amount of detergent in a typical load of clothes. Wash it and dry it. Then, put it back in the washer and run it again without any detergent. In many cases, you’ll still see soap suds. This means that you’re putting so much in that there’s still soap left in the clothes after a wash, and that you can cut back.

    • Honestly, with modern day washing machines you can probably cut out the soap pretty much all together since they work via water agitation. It’s more of a freshener. Just go spot/stain removal before turning the machine on.

  8. My washing machine also has a sensor for the load size helps save water plus makes it easier to start a load.

    P.S. I don’t think the word panties is creepy, but maybe it’s a generational thing. That’s what I grew up calling them.

    • haha I think my hate comes from watching too many CSI/ law and order type of shows, they always use the word panties when talking about poor rape victims. I now use underoos.

  9. That’s sweet that your W/D have sensors like that! I have a cheap apartment stack set. The ones in the laundry room have sensors, which is kind of annoying because the “time” they display is not actually when they will be finished. That said, at least the clothes are dry when they come out, unlike when they come from my own thing.
    One of my friends in school lived in a house where they had to pay all the utilities AND the W/D were still coin op. They hated it!

  10. I think energy efficient machines are the way to go too. They save water and electricity, 2 birds with one stone. 🙂

  11. Our water bill was the highest it’s been this month, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s because of my obsessive laundering leading up until the baby arrives! 🙂 Rugs, sheets… basically anything made of fabric is being washed.

    I will have to try using cold water more often. That’s a really good idea. I’ve never heard of off-peak hours. Does that apply in the US also? If so, I’m totally gonna do that! Thanks for the tips.

  12. My wife and I both do laundry, but only when we have full loads. Our machines are not energy efficient, which irritates me, but they still work well. I will go energy saver once they die. I only use cold water and hot when it is absolutely necessary.

  13. Great tips! I’m working to remember the cold water trick, and I like to hang-dry things when the weather permits.

  14. Outside of my underwear I pretty much use as little detergent as possible. In the end it is the agitating that does most of the cleaning. My wife and I wash everything in cold water and both our moms think we are nuts for doing it.

    Also, I didn’t know some areas had different electric rates for different times during the day… learn something new every day!

  15. Making your own detergent is actually very easy. Easier than baking a cake or making dinner! You just throw together a few ingredients and stir. I haven’t bought laundry detergent since September 2012, and have enough to last probably until the end of the month until I make more. I started doing it because I noticed how whenever I washed my towels with baking soda and vinegar, they smelled so fresh.

  16. K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! says:

    I keep telling my husband that he uses way too much laundry detergent but he’s only content when he sees lots of suds…
    Can I get you to talk some sense into him?!

    • You should do a load of laundry with no soap and see if they get clean just to prove him wrong!

  17. Panties is a gross word…it gives me the willies.

    These are all great tips and we use most of them, especially the line drying part. One of the things I’ve found really useful is to use far less detergent than recommended. Unless clothing is heavily soiled, hardly any detergent is required to get the clothing clean. I want to learn to DIY my own laundry detergent. I make my own cleaning products and once I got the hang of it, it became super easy and convenient – I’m wondering if laundry soap is the same.

  18. We always wash with cold water and we try to only do a load or 2 a week. I’m not sure how well this will go with the new baby though.

  19. Since we are on time of use we wash on the weekends or after 7pm at night in cold water. We hang our clothes to dry as it costs us far more to use the dryer. So far it’s helped keep the costs down. We spend around $344 every couple months for water and electricity.

  20. Christine Weadick says:

    I go for most of what you said. I replaced both washer and dryer in 2009. I went online with Sears and compared machines, what I got was energy efficient, does what I need it to do and on sale. I picked out what I wanted and then called to arrange delivery. They do not match but you would never know to glance at them. Look a little closer and you might notice but I don’t care so why pay for something that’s not important. The washer is a top load and the dryer is gas…. I love my gas dryer, cheaper to operate, and easier on the clothes. The dryer has a sensor which is always in use with the dryer and I manually set the water levels. I do use warm water to do laundry but that is more because the lines run through an unheated crawl space and I don’t want to have to pay if the lines freeze on me. Even on warm the water is still cooler than body temp so clearly it’s not very warm at all by the time the water gets that far.

    • Ours happens to be a matching paid but if they weren’t I wouldn’t care in the slightest! In your case, using hot/warm water probably makes sense. Better to have a slightly higher bill than a broken pipe!

  21. I have a front loading washer and it saves quite a bit on the water bill. I also try to wash full loads when I can.

  22. I’m far too lazy to ever try the home made detergent (though I have definitely done the vinegar thing for other household cleaning)!

    Unfortunately our ancient washing machine does not run on cold cycle (not sure why but when set to cold it still uses hot water). Ah well.


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