Laundry is one of those unavoidable chores. Since it is a regular household chore, finding ways to save money cleaning clothes will definitely contribute to cutting costs. There are ways to save on the cleaning products, as well as cutting costs on your energy usage. Here are my best money saving tips on laundry:
1. Wash most of your clothing in cold water, rather than using warm or hot water. After we started doing this, our monthly utility bill went down. If you use cold water, it costs less because the water heater will use that much less energy heating more water. The one thing I still use hot water for is when I wash cloth diapers. That is a sanitary issue, so I will not use exclusively cold water on those. Everything else gets washed in cold water.
2. Make your own laundry detergent. I have been making my own for quite a while now. It contains less chemicals than store bought laundry detergent, and it is also quite a bit less expensive. I posted my laundry detergent recipe when I first started this blog, it can be found at http://thethriftyhousewifeblog.blogspot.com/2009_09_01_archive.html . There is also a website that has a variety of laundry detergent recipes, it is www.tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/ .
3. Vinegar can be used as a natural fabric softener. It can be easily done if you put it in a Downy ball. I personally still like to use my regular fabric softener. If you prefer to do that, stock up when there are good sales and clip coupons. You can also buy the store brand of fabric softener as well, it is usually priced substantially cheaper than the name brands.
4. Homemade stain remover costs less than buying it. I have a recipe posted, you can find it at www.thethriftyhousewifeblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/homemade-laundry-stain-remover.html . Or you could buy stain remover in bulk from a place like Sam's Club.
5. Line dry your clothing. It costs less because it uses no energy from the dryer. We have cold winters where I am from, and I have allergies (I don't want pollen sticking to my clothes), so I personally don't line dry, but I would if I could.
The best thing you can do to cut costs is to find ways to reduce your energy usage. Switching to homemade detergent, or finding a detergent that costs less is the next best way to save.