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7 Frugal Laundry Tips (that Work with Sensitive Skin)

Need frugal laundry tips that actually work with sensitive skin? Here’s how our family has cut laundry costs.

This post was written by me as a paid partner of Purex® Laundry Detergent. However, all opinions are 100% my own.

You’ve probably read other frugal laundry tips articles that center around making your own detergent.

basket of Purex detergents on top of a white washing machine, text overlay "frugal laundry tips for families with sensitive skin"

Not this one.

I used to talk about doing that as well. That is, until we had our son 7 years ago. Even after those precious infant months, we realized his skin was very sensitive and we’ve been vigilant about ingredients– even the kind that can be found in homemade recipes.

Instead, we’ve figured out lots of other ways to save money doing laundry for the whole family – whether we need to be tough on stains or gentle on skin.

And I’m about to share snippets from our money-saving laundry system with you.

Frugal Laundry Tips

Ready to tackle your laundry costs?

These frugal laundry tips give you strategies ranging from changing the way you do laundry all the way to changing the products you use.

For best results, change your routine using one tip at a time. When that becomes the “new normal” for how you do laundry, come back and add in a new tip to your routine.

This way, you’ll layer in your savings.

1. Use Less Water Per Load

Since moving to the desert three years ago, our water bill has more than doubled (from $35/month to over $80/month). You can bet that made us start to pay attention to ways to decrease our water use.

Saving water saves us money, and it will save you money, too.

The biggest way we cut down on water used during laundry was to pay attention to water levels we actually need, instead of only using the largest load setting each time.

Depending on your machine type, sorting loads by types that may need more water and types that need less water can potentially decrease water usage.

2. Get Affordable Detergents that Still do the Job

Quality detergent doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

That’s why we love Purex® Laundry Detergent in our household. It offers a dependable clean at a great price for all of our laundry needs.  

I was happy to find Purex® Free & Clear detergent to be a great, affordable option. Purex® Free & Clear detergent is gentle on skin and hypoallergenic at a bargain price.

Outside of sensitive skin, Purex® Mountain Breeze® Liquid Laundry Detergent also solved another one of our problems. We live in the desert with hard water, and our clothes become dingy from built up mineral deposits. Purex® Mountain Breeze® detergent’s whitening powers and lasting freshness have helped brighten our clothes from the harsh desert water and given them a fresh smelling boost.

Purex® Mountain Breeze® detergent offers a dependable clean at an affordable price. So, it’s a win-win – the clean you need at the price you want (me, too!).

3. Look at Your Washer’s Manual

Some washers offer dual temperatures, where it starts by cleaning in hot or warm temperatures, but rinses in cold, saving on energy costs.

Can’t find your washer’s manual, or did you chuck it years ago (I totally get that)?

You can find your manual here, for free.

4. Time Your Laundry Loads to Your Electricity Plan Cycle

How to save money doing laundry all starts with WHEN we do our laundry, which we used to not think about at all.

Does your plan charge more money during peak usage times? Or, does it offer free nights and weekends?

You want to build a new laundry routine that includes doing the laundry during the time when it's least expensive (according to your electricity plan).

5. Size Your Soap Just Right

Most laundry detergent caps have numbers on them indicating a level of soap to use for smaller and bigger loads or more soiled loads and cleaner loads.

Take a minute to read your detergent’s bottle and familiarize yourself with the directions – you could stretch more loads out of your bottle of detergent.

6. Stop Buying Dry-Clean Only Clothing

I don’t think we’ve purchased a single piece of dry-clean-only clothing for over two decades now.

Because as soon as you do, you’re adding a big cost to your overall laundry bill.

Even if you don’t take your clothes to be dry cleaned, and instead use one of those at-home dry-clean products, you’re still adding substantial costs (not to mention, time) to your laundry routine.

No thank you.

7. Consider Buying HE Machines

HE, or High-Energy washers, not only save on energy costs, but they use much less water. That’s double savings!

However, they can cost a good bit to buy upfront.

Here’s a hack to get an energy-efficient machine at a lower cost: Buy it from a scratch’n’dent store. That’s where we bought our last washer and dryer.

When we purchased our home 12 years ago, we were thrilled it included the washer and dryer from the previous owners which survived for a little over two years.

As each appliance broke in our household (costing too much to repair versus to replace), we replaced it with an energy efficient model from a scratch’n’dent store that cost 30%-40% less because it happened to have some dents on it.

Not a deal-breaker for us!

You can calculate your current machine’s annual energy usage here, and determine if it’s right for you to upgrade.

My husband, son, and I generate enough dirty laundry to run about 4 loads of laundry per week (that’s 208 loads/year). And I know we’ve made a dent in our monthly costs by making these changes.

How much could you save off of your home’s laundry bill? And when you’re finished auditing your laundry costs, go ahead and check out the Frugal Year Challenge for ideas on what spending category to audit next. Who knows how much money you could be saving your household six months from now.

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Amanda L Grossman

Personal Finance Writer and CEO at Frugal Confessions, LLC
Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 13 years, her money work has helped people with how to save money and how to manage money. She's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Real Simple Magazine, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here or on LinkedIn.

Captain FI

Friday 23rd of June 2023

I've found using a cold cycle and actually, using LESS amounts of detergent to be super helpful. From a lot of the washer maintenance videos I have seen (yes that's a niche and there are washer machine influencers on tik tok lol) they all recommend using the minimum amount of soap so as to not clog up the machine with residue

Amanda L Grossman

Saturday 24th of June 2023

WOW, I had no idea there are washer machine influencers! Haha - that's awesome:). Thanks so much for sharing how using less detergent (or the right amount, instead of too much) helps the machine long-term.