You may not have given it much thought, but you may be overspending on laundry. 

Laundry detergent, pre-treaters, stain removers, whiteners, and other laundry products can be really expensive.

Following these tips, your clothes will get just as clean – but you’ll be able to save significant money over time.

9 simple and effective ways to save money on laundry. Have clean clothes, save money in the process.

Use Less Laundry Detergent

Homemade laundry detergent recipe, Cheap Recipe Blog

As far as laundry detergent goes, most people use too much. In fact, you could do your next load of laundry without using any detergent at all. There is probably enough soap saturated into the fabric of your clothes to clean an entire load.

I use J.R. Watkins Natural Laundry Detergent. One box lasts me 13 months. You only need a small amount – a tablespoon or so – to clean an entire load of laundry. All in all, I spend $13.00 a year on laundry, not including water/utility costs. I typically do two loads of laundry a week.

Consider using half of the amount of laundry detergent you usually use, and see if you are happy with the results. Or switch to a detergent that you can use less of, like J.R. Watkins Natural Laundry Detergent.

This tip can help you save $47.45 annually if you do one load of laundry a day. 

Wash Clothes In Cold Water

Wash your clothes in cold water instead of warm or hot.

Your clothes will get just as clean, cold water is better on fabrics so your clothes will last longer, and you’ll save money too.

Use Vinegar

White vinegar is an inexpensive product and laundry powerhouse. It can be used to:

  • Whiten clothes
  • Soften clothes
  • Keep dark clothes dark

How to use? Just add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the wash cycle’s final rinse.

Vinegar can also be used to fight underarm odor/discoloration in clothing. Fill a spray bottle with half distilled water and half white vinegar. Spray this solution on soiled underarms, allow to sit for about 10 minutes, and proceed with washing.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent For 2 Cents A Load!

How to make homemade laundry detergent at home

If you’re looking to save money on laundry, here’s another option: make your own detergent at home. The best part? Using this recipe, you’ll pay just 2 cents a load!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bar of soap (I use Dove unscented, but whatever you prefer is fine)
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 4 cups + 3 gallons of water
  • Essential oils, optional (lavender or lemon work well)


  • Cheese grater
  • Medium-sized pot
  • Long mixing spoon
  • Large 3-gallon+ bucket with lid


  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large (preferably covered) pot. Meanwhile, grate bar of soap into small curls. Once water is at a rapid boil, add soap curls and stir until mostly dissolved.
  2. Once soap is dissolved, pour the boiled soap mixture, washing soda, and Borax into a large bucket. Stir in 3 gallons of water. You can also add in about 30 drops of your favorite essential oil, if desired.
  3. Cover bucket and allow to sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours, stir detergent. At this point, it is ready to use. 

Use 3/4 to 1 cup of detergent for a large load of laundry; less if your load is smaller. Store detergent in the bucket or pour it into used (clean) detergent bottles for convenience.

Make your own laundry detergent at home: This lasts ONE YEAR for me! Save major money by making your own detergent at home.

This tip will help you save approximately $65.70 a year if you do one load of laundry a day.

Stop Using Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are not always necessary, and they contain a lot of chemicals that may eventually end up on your skin and into your body.

I stopped using dryer sheets several years ago and I haven’t missed them at all. On occasion, I will throw in some wool dryer balls to help reduce static. But generally, I don’t use anything.

This tip will help you save approximately $10.95 a year if you do one load of laundry a day.

Air Dry Your Laundry

Save money by drying your clothes and laundry on the clothesline! Get more money-saving laundry tips by clicking through.

It’s free to air-dry your laundry – and your clothes will smell so much fresher too!

If you don’t have a clothesline, consider purchasing an indoor drying rack.

Or, you can do like me and hang your laundry over chair backs and shower rods.

Wear Your Clothes More Than Once

In a world that is obsessed with cleanliness, this may be a difficult one for many people.

But unless your clothing has stains or odors, you probably don’t need to wash it every time.

How I save money on clothes: Click through for tips to get great clothes on a budget

Refresh Your Clothes In The Freezer

Need to refresh an article of clothing but don’t want to wash or dry clean it? Try throwing it in your freezer overnight.

This helps freshen fabrics and remove odors.

The jury is out on whether this actually makes fabrics cleaner, but I swear by it after wearing a dry-clean only sweater that needs a little refreshing between washes.

Clean Your Washing Machine

Money-saving uses for baking soda. Keep your house clean and save money! Click through for ideas.

Your laundry is only as clean as the machine it is washed in.

So when’s the last time you cleaned your washer?

Here’s a simple 4-step method for cleaning a washing machine:

  • Wipe out the machine with a microfiber cloth sprayed with white vinegar. This will help clean out any buildup and get the machine ready for the cleaning wash.
  • Start the machine on a regular cycle using hot water. Add 2 cups of white vinegar to the water.
  • Once the cycle is complete, run it again (regular cycle + hot water), this time adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water. 
  • Once the cycle is complete, do a final wipe down of the interior.

Clean Your House & Save Money!

Avoid buying expensive cleaning products and try these ideas instead:

39+ uses for baking soda (from cleaning to deodorizing to skin care)

5 money-saving uses for borax

Less toxic dishwasher detergent