We all want to save money on laundry, right?

When you are living on a tight budget like my family is you have to find ways to save $$ in every department! Here are some ideas and recipes that anyone can do to save money on laundry:

1. Try to buy clothes that don’t have to be dry cleaned.

2. Remove and hang up your clothes that do need to be dry cleaned as soon as you get home to help keep them in good shape, and to prolong another trip to the cleaners.

3. Search out a discount dry cleaner. There are many $1.50-$2.50 cleaners who are just as good as the more expensive chains.

4. If you are able, put up a clothes line and hang your clothes out to dry when you can.

5. Do all of your laundry in one day. If you are using the dryer, it will stay warm between loads and keep your overall heating cost down.

6. Wash all but the most soiled clothes in cold water, followed with a cold rinse.

7. Use a little less than the recommended amount of detergent for each load. Your clothes will come out just as clean.

8. A little maintenance for your washing machine will add years to its life. To unclog hoses and clean out all of the build up, fill the machine with hot water and pour in a gallon of distilled white vinegar. Be sure to allow it to run through an entire cycle.

9. If you use dryer sheets, tear them in half before throwing them in. They will work just as well.

10. Save the dryer sheets after they’ve been used. They make great dusting cloths for TV’s and computer screens. The anti-static properties will also help to repel more dust from attracting to them.

11. Press dress suits with a damp cloth between the clothing and the iron. Unless dirty, you only need to send suits to the dry cleaners twice a year to preserve the fibers.

12. Spray ties with fabric protector to avoid frequent dry-cleaning.

13. Wear you clothes a couple times before you wash them. Unless they are soiled they don’t need to be cleaned after every wear.

14. Make your own laundry detergent.

15. Run the washer through a second spin cycle. It will get more of the water out and cut down on drying time. It’s cheaper to do this than running the dryer longer.

16. If you absolutely must use dryer sheets, try making your own! Pour liquid fabric softener into a clean spray bottle, and spray 4-6 times onto a designated rag. Put into your dryer with clothes and tumble as usual. Wash the rag every once in a while to remove buildup. A small refill carton of concentrated softener lasts about 1 1/2 years.

17. Use white vinegar in your laundry’s rinse cycle instead of fabric softener. About 1/4 or 1/2 cup will do a good job of keeping things soft and static free with no “smell”. Not only is this cheaper than dryer sheets or liquid softeners, it’s also toxin free!

18. For front loading washing machines, use half of the recommended liquid detergent. It will work just as well and save you twice as much!

19. A front loading washer typically uses 1/3 to 2/3 less water. Try to get energy star appliances also. They will save on your overall energy bill. You don’t have to buy them new either. If you are in the market for a new washer or dryer, look in your local classifieds, or on Craigslist, there are usually lots to choose from.

20. Purchase Dryer Balls: Supposedly they cut down on drying time, saving energy and money! I haven’t used these yet, but I’d like to try them out. Anybody out there have any comments about these?

If anyone has any more suggestions for how to save money on laundry, feel free to add to the list!