There aren’t many tips that save money, time, stress, and your clothes! The less laundry you do, the less water you use, and the less power you use to run the washing machine and dryer. These tips come from MP (Mr. Pennies) in his bachelor days.
As a bachelor MP thought doing laundry was a huge waste of time and found several ways to spend as little time as possible washing clothes. Before I get to the money-saving part I have to share how I first became aware of his unusual methods.
Deciding he wanted to do laundry only once a month, MP bought enough underwear, socks, and other clothes to last a month before he had to do laundry. He had a 2 bedroom apartment and one bedroom was the designated dirty laundry room. Imagine my face when I first viewed the 4-foot tall white mountain of underwear and socks. There was a another mountain in the room made up of shirts and pants. Unbelievable. We had a lovely date at the laundromat that day.
MP took up an entire row of washing machines followed by an entire row of dryers. Since most of the machines finished close to the same time, there was very little waiting around time. Yes, it was very efficient. It was here that MP confided to me that his favorite perfume was White Shoulders because it smelled so much like bleach. Apparently he loved the smell of bleach. So all in all it was a very romantic evening and I learned he wanted me to smell like bleach. I was thinking of bringing a thermos of wine for the next laundry day we might spend together. I’m happy to report that I did not join him in this romantic laundry time again. We somehow managed to do our laundry separately until we were married.
We’ve been happily married for 35 years and have had a lot of laundry from our family of 6. I do the laundry because I actually enjoy doing laundry. However I don’t wear White Shoulders; I just use bleach to clean the toilets and everyone is happy. (By the way, bleach is a lot cheaper for cleaning toilets than toilet bowl cleaners.)
Here are some laundry saving tips I learned from MP:
1. If you take your shower at night before bedtime you can wait twice as long to wash the sheets.
2. You don’t need to wash bath towels after every use if you hang them up so they can dry without getting mildewed. MP uses a towel for 3-5 days before putting it in the laundry. He says it has only touched his clean body, so it’s not really dirty. Make sure it doesn’t brush up against the toilet when you are drying off. I use a towel twice before tossing it in the laundry. Give this a try–even if you use a towel just twice you have cut your towel laundry in half!
3. Change your job clothes right away when you get home. That way you can wear your older clothes around the house and you don’t have to worry about spilling spaghetti sauce on your good shirt. If you hang up the job clothes right away you might be able to get another wearing from the outfit. or at least part of it. before you have to wash them. Kids can do this too, changing from their school clothes to play clothes when they get home. Be sure to keep the play clothes and home clothes hung on a chair or hook to be worn more than one night until they are actually dirty.
4. Keep your really old clothes and shoes for doing dirty work. Mowing the grass puts grass stains on MP’s old tennis shoes. That’s ok because they live in the garage and are the designated lawn-mowing shoes. Old pants, sweatshirts, and jackets that are frayed and stained are great for working in the yard or on the car. Wash them when they get too dirty & keep them for the next messy job. He hangs them in the basement when they are not dirty enough to wash yet, but too dirty to go in the regular clothes closet. Those old tennis shoes are great for when we decide to go wading in the creek or go canoeing too!
Lest you think that MP is a dirty, greasy mess, I should tell you that he values a clean basement and garage. He vacuums those areas several times a year to keep it all in good order. He takes a daily shower and I’d like to add that he cleans up nicely. 😉
The bottom line:
Washing laundry less often saves you in many ways. Not only will you save on detergent, water, gas, and electricity, but your clothes will last longer too. Washing machines are hard on the fabrics. Your washing machine and dryer should last a little longer as well. Perhaps the best benefit is that you will gain a little more time in your week. And when everyone takes their shower the night before, getting the family off to school and work in the morning is less stressful. We could all use a little bit of that!
How about you? Do you have any tricks to do less laundry?
Click on labels below this post for more ideas to save on laundry. Be sure to click on the label “laundry basket” to see how I replaced the laundry basket to save money and make it more convenient.