What I’m about to put forward is probably going to get some eye rolls from more than a few readers. For those courageous souls that stick with me and read through I promise to give you a legit reason why you can do laundry less often and for less money. Besides there is nothing quite as satisfying as looking back and knowing your parents were wrong when they told you to do your laundry.
First thing is first, I think we can all agree that washing your clothes wears them out faster. What I’m getting at here is that we should all wear our clothes more than once, even three to five times or more, before putting them through a laundry cycle. Obviously, you should still use your best judgment. If you got really sweaty in your clothes or dropped a plate of spaghetti on your clothes you should probably take care of that. By doing laundry less often you actually extend the life of your clothes. One of the most damaging things you can do to your clothes is put them through a dryer on high heat. The combination of heat and friction works the fabrics lose and wears the clothes out. Where do you think all of that lint comes from? That is your clothes falling apart with each cycle.
Besides just refraining from washing your clothes excessively you can also realize incredible efficiencies by washing your clothes with cold water and line/hang drying your clothes. It is important to realize that washing your clothes with warm water takes a lot of energy to heat the water which translates into wasted energy. However, it is nothing compared to the energy you waste by air blasting your clothes on high heat in your dryer. Why use all of that energy when the sun and air will do all of the work for you at no cost to your pocket-book or the environment? My wife and I typically hang-dry 50% or more of the clothes we wash outside on a line or over various pieces of furniture and fixtures in the house.
At the end of the day, doing less laundry means less time wasted, fewer resources spent, and no reduction of happiness. If you think I’m off my rocker, please checkout this article by Whitson Gordon for a deeper dive on what I’m talking about.
Another important factor to consider in this choir of clothes washing is the type of laundry detergent you use. For most people, I imagine, they use one the big Consumer Packaged Goods companies’ pre-made perfume added detergents that cost many multiples of what they ought to cost because they need to pay all their employees and run marketing in order to convince you that choosing their product makes you a better Mom, Dad, person, etc. As I pointed out in my blog post Men Clean Floors Too there are a number of efficiencies by creating and using a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) option. Laundry detergent is no exception. The DIY recipe I use for our powdered laundry detergent is a 2:2:1 ratio of Borax Powder:All Natural Washing Soda:Pure Soap Flakes . I have been adding two tablespoons of powder to the washing machine before the cycle starts, but have heard that for ease loads one tablespoon is enough. Click the links below or above to order on Amazon.
I purchased the 1 Gallon size containers because of the incredibly attractive price point while balancing practicality. The purchase of these ingredients cost me ~$75 up front but will literally last me about seven years of washing laundry – I’m not joking. Comparing that to the $30 per month people typically spend on laundry detergent that is a savings of about $2,500 over the next 7 years. The first photo below was taken when I initially mixed the recipe and the second photo below is after two months of use.
As you can see it will take me years to get through all of the cleaning agents.
One burning question still remains, does this DIY laundry detergent really work? Well I am happy to report that not only does it work, but it is one of the best detergents I have ever used. How do I know? Well we tested it with my wife’s barn clothes! If you have ever had the pleasure of knowing someone who rides horses you know that going to the barn is a messy business. On any given day my wife goes to the barn she gets some combination of dirt, horse manure, and sweat ground and rubbed into her riding gear. She once asked me to smell her vest she wears to protect herself while she rides, let’s just say I will never forget that smell. Well this detergent has been washing her barn clothes the past two months and keeps them coming out smelling fresh and looking clean. Whats more, it does it with minimal impact to the environment because it doesn’t require nearly the level of processing and treatment that typically goes along with liquid detergents and branded/scented products. So, we can rest easy knowing we are saving the environment, saving money, and looking and feeling clean all the while.
NOTE: In this blog post I am reviewing products sold by Amazon as part of an affiliate marketing program (i.e. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases). That said, I am a user of the products and wouldn’t be putting a review up if felt it wasn’t worth it to my audience and I wasn’t happy with it myself.
This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.