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Don’t wash money down the drain! Doing laundry is one of those universal projects that is on everyone’s to-do list. Here are some tips for saving money and getting cleaner clothes. What more could you ask!

Tip 1.
Try to wait until you have a full load before running your washer or dryer.

Tip 2.
The clothes dryer is one of the most energy hungry home appliances. To improve the energy efficiency of your dryer, frequently clean out the lint trap, and once or twice a year, unplug the dryer, remove the front lower panel, and vacuum out the cavity beneath the lint trap. It is amazing how much lint escapes from that trap into the dryer cavity. Not only does this lint buildup cause your dryer to need longer to dry clothes, it has also been known to cause fires.

Tip 3.
Wash in cold water whenever possible. You do not need to wash with hot water unless you are trying to sterilize your laundry. Always set your rinse on the cold water setting. This saves the energy necessary to heat the water. Washing in cold water can save the typical family over $120 a year!

Tip 4.
Plain white vinegar is a good substitute for fabric softener. Environmentally safe and nonalergenic, just add ½ to ¾ cup as you would a liquid softener.

Tip 5.
If you use softener sheets, a half sheet works as well as a whole one. Keep an empty tissue box near your dryer for used softener sheets; use these for dusting furniture.

Tip 6.
Using ½ to ¾ the recommended amount of laundry detergent will get clothes just as clean and leave less soap buildup.

Tip 7.
Many garments labeled "Dry Clean Only" can be safely hand washed using mild soap like Woolite and cold water.

Tip 8.
When washing dark clothes for the first time use cold water and put 1 tablespoon of salt in the water. The salt helps set the color. To brighten dark clothes after they have been washed several times, repeat the procedure.

Article by Naomi Knudsen
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359 Posts
Those are some terrific tips. I never use my dryer, except in winter. I love the smell of line dried clothes.. I had never thought about using vinegar for clothes softening, but as I understand it, it is really good to use for removing sweat, grime, etc. I will have to try it for softener.

33,846 Posts
Great tips Sara - thanks for sharing them!
So many of them have become habit after years of trying to scale back, but I've got to get better at washing in cold....
I also had no idea about the salt trick!!
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