Money Saving Monday: Clean Clothes for Less Cash

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Money Saving Monday focuses on the most basic household-chore there is: laundry.
We've found ways you can save money and actually make it fun!

The tricks of saving involve cold water, warm care for your machines and a homemade solution.

First, before you open up your washing machine, pay a visit to your local supermarket and pick up washing soda, soap, borax and maybe some sweet scent to add.

Those are the ingredients you'll need to make your own laundry soap.  It can be much cheaper than paying for name-brand detergents. (check to make sure it will work with a High Efficiency washer, if applicable).

Then, when you're ready to start the process, use cold water.  Energy departments estimate up to 90 percent of the cost of doing laundry comes from firing up your water heater for hot water.   Experts say cold water is just as effective as hot water.

If you have some stains to wash out, use a stain remover on fabrics before you run your load.  That starin remover doesn't have to something expensive, just try lemon juice or white vinegar.

Run "full" loads to save money by using your washer less often, using less water and conserving energy.

Afterwards, there are ways to save money in drying your laudry.

First, check out your filter and remove any lint.  The filter helps keep your machine running efficiently.  You save money from not having to run it as long and it cuts down on the risk of having a fire.

If you can, skip your dryer altogether and use Mother Nature.

Line-drying your clothes outside can save you $85 a year, which is about how much it costs you to run a clothes dryer.  Line drying also preserves your clothes.  If you're concerned the clothes will be stiff, use a half-cup of white vinegar to removes residue and keep clothes soft.  It will disappear as the clothes dry.

These tricks also allow you to avoid toxic fumes or chemicals.  And here are a few more:

Make a date to do laundry once a week.  Knock out large loads and you won't feel like you're doing it all the time.

Make a game out of folding it.  Time yourself on how long it takes you, compete against yourself the next time and reward yourself if you win.

Apply the 'smell test' and do less laundry.  If you wore the article once, and it doesn't smell, hang it back up.

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