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Do you get frustrated with how much money it costs to clean clothes at the laundromat?
Are you looking for some simple, common sense tips to help you save money washing clothes and drying them?
No longer do you have to let the laundromat take a big chunk out of your paycheck each week.
In this post, I share with you the best tips on how to save money on the laundromat that will make your laundry budget a bit more manageable.
Table of Contents
15 Tips For How To Save Money At The Laundromat
#1. Always Buy Your Own Detergent, Fabric Softener, and Dryer Sheets
The best way to save money on laundry is to stop buying the detergent at the laundromat.
This also includes no longer buying the fabric softener, dryer sheets, stain remover, or anything else they sell.
I know that convenience is one of the top reasons that you may choose to buy laundry products at your local laundromat.
However, the problem with this is you don’t get a lot of bang for your buck.
These types of products are usually on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of quality and size, and on the upper end of price.
This means that you might end up spending way more on laundry detergent and other products than you normally would.
One of the best ways to save money is to make sure that you always buy your own laundry goods elsewhere.
Shopping at a discount store like Walmart or Target, or even a warehouse club will get you the best prices on these items.
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If you are in a pinch, you can consider buying from your grocery store, but most times it is more expensive here.
Finally, try to avoid the use of the detergent pods.
While they are convenient, they are more expensive than the liquid or powder versions.
#2. Use The Recommended Amount
One of the biggest wastes of your money is not using the correct amount of laundry detergent.
Most people fill the cup halfway, thinking this is the right amount to use.
In many cases, especially if the washing machine is as high efficiency one, this is more laundry detergent than needed.
While your clothes will come out looking clean, chances are they are still filled with soap.
You can verify this if the dryer lint trap gets full after a drying cycle.
Another issue using too much laundry detergent causes is more wear and tear on the washing machine itself.
This can mean the appliance breaks and needs service.
You might wonder why this is an issue for you since it’s not your own washer.
The reason is because the laundromat will pass these costs to you, making you spend more money at the laundromat.
The same holds true for liquid fabric softener too.
Make sure you read the label and only use the recommended amount.
By using less detergent, you will have your money, your clothes, and your laundry products last longer.
#3. Use Store Brand Detergent
Another way you waste money is by purchasing name brand laundry detergent.
In many cases, you are paying a premium because it is a name brand.
According to Good Housekeeping, you can get your clothing clean using Costco brand detergent, which is cheaper than most other brands.
So before you spend the extra money on detergent, consider buying a lower priced store brand version.
#4. Do Without Some Products
Do you really need to use fabric softeners?
Chances are you don’t.
To lower your costs, stop using some products.
Another option is to skip dryer sheets and instead use dryer balls.
These balls can be used hundreds of times, saving you a lot of money over the long run.
#5. Wait Until You Have A Full Load
Part of the convenience of having a washing machine at home is being able to wash clothes whenever the need arises.
However, when you need to go to the laundromat to clean your clothes, every load of dirty clothes costs money.
You don’t want to pay several dollars just to wash a few shirts or a pair of pants.
While it requires some strategy on your end, make sure that you always have enough clothes to do a full load without wasting money on a partial load.
This will guarantee that you have enough clean clothes until you need to go back to the laundromat again to take care of those next few loads.
Granted there will be times when you have to wash a small load, but if you can limit these, you can save money.
#6. Hand Wash Small Loads At Home
So what do you do when you have a few t shirts you need washed but don’t want to spend the money?
Consider hand washing these smaller loads at home.
This will save you both the trip to the laundromat and the money you would otherwise spend on that piece of clothing.
The only catch to this is specialty items like bedding.
Washing these items require a large washing machine just for one item.
In this case, you will have spend money at the laundromat to clean these items.
#7. Wash Your Clothes With Cold Water
It costs money to heat water, so every time you select warm water or hot water to wash your clothes, you are increasing the bills of the laundromat.
And as stated before, they will be passing these higher costs onto you eventually.
So try to wash as many of your clothes in cold water to save some money.
#8. Skip The Dryer And Use Line Drying Instead
If you have the space, you can always line dry right at home so that you aren’t spending money on the clothes dryer either.
And if you don’t have a clothes line, you can still hang dry your clothes at home.
Simply buy a drying rack to hang your clothes on.
It will increase the drying time, but if you don’t have to spend the extra money, it will significantly reduce your weekly laundry bill.
Plus in the winter, you can add a little humidity back into the dry air in your house, reducing the static electricity that builds up in very dry air.
Finally, by not using the clothes dryer, your clothes will last longer since they aren’t subject to the high heat that breaks the fibers down faster.
#9. Shake Out Your Clothes
After you wash your clothes, do you just throw them into the dryer?
If so, this is a huge way you waste money.
When your clothes are bunched up in balls, it will take a lot longer to dry them.
And, sometimes there are other items, like a sock or pair of underwear in the ball, that will never dry.
Instead, shake out each piece of clothing before putting them in the dryer.
This will ensure everything dries evenly and faster.
#10. Stop The Dryer Early
Another great tip to spend less money is to stop the dryer early.
Many times your clothes are dry before the cycle is complete.
This is especially true if you don’t have full loads to wash.
When you stop it early, you can then throw in another load, and take advantage of drying two loads for the price of one.
#11. Wear Clothes Multiple Times
The last thing you want to do is to wear clothing that has serious stains on it or smells.
However, many people may wear certain pieces of clothing once, only to throw them into the dirty clothes hamper when they are still pretty clean.
Rather than wearing clothes for an hour or so and throwing them in the hamper, wear clothes several times until they begin to get dirty to the point where they need to be washed.
This will help you save money by extending the time between laundromat trips.
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It will also make it so that you’re not washing the color or wearing down the material with each wash and dry cycle your clothing goes through.
#12. Shop Around
Spend some time to see if there are other laundromats around your area.
If you find some, check out their prices.
They might have a lower cost to run the machines, have a customer loyalty program, or offer other discounts.
The catch here is you don’t want to spend more time doing laundry just to save a few dollars.
For example, it doesn’t make sense to spend all day going to another laundromat just save $0.50.
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Your time is valuable, so you have to find the right balance between your time and your money.
#13. Check The Laundry Machines
It’s a good practice to walk around the unused washing machines and dryers to see if people left any spare change around.
You might want to even try to push the coin return button to see if you get lucky.
While you won’t always find money laying around, you might get a free load every few trips.
Over time, this can add up.
#14. Ask About A Customer Loyalty Program
Joining a rewards program that will allow you to get discounts and other rewards for spending money at the laundromat is a great way to lower your laundry costs.
Most laundromats offer this but not all.
However, if it does, this can be a great way to discover how to save money at the laundromat when you get free washing or drying cycles after a certain number of purchases made on your customer loyalty cards.
#15. Use The Free Time Spent Waiting To Make Money
This isn’t necessarily a way to save money at the laundromat, but it can help you save money in the long run.
Laundry can take hours at a time to do, and if you’re going to be sitting at the laundromat waiting for your loads to get done, why not make some money while you’re at it?
If you have your phone on you, look for small things like surveys and other activities that you can do to make some extra cash.
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Some laundromats may have free Wi-Fi, so you won’t have to use your data to make this a reality.
If you have multiple loads to do and nowhere you have to be, you might even want to bring your laptop.
Doing a little freelance work here and there while you’re listening to the calming sounds of your laundromat can help you make back the money you paid to do laundry and more.
Use your time productively and you can save a great deal along the way!
There are 15 ways for how to save money at the laundromat.
The reality is the cost of things are continuing to increase, and this includes laundry costs.
The more things you can do to save money, the more money you will have to pay your monthly bills or build your savings.
So figure out the tips here that make the most sense for you, and start using them to save money at the laundromat.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.