Strapped for cash? Here’s some savings that come out in the wash

Looking for savings? Check the laundry.

Looking for savings? Check the laundry. Photo: Getty

With the rising cost of living, every cent makes a difference, and you can save by making some simple changes to one of your most basic chores – the laundry.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows over the 12 months to March, the consumer price index rose 7 per cent, with Australians left to feel the pinch of the rising cost of everything from groceries to utilities.

But if you’re looking for an easy money-saver, you could stand to save more than $500 just by adjusting your laundry habits, consumer advocacy group Choice has found.

Read on to find the top tips for saving while doing your laundry.

Ditch the extras

Choice director of reviews and testing Matthew Steen said your first step to saving on your washing should be leaving fabric softener in the rearview mirror.

Fabric softeners might make your clothes and towels smell nice, but they leave behind a chemical residue that can irritate sensitive skin and reduce the moisture absorbency of your towels.

“If fluffy towels are important to you, put them in the dryer for 10 minutes. The warm air will soften them, or just give them a hard flick when they come out of the washing machine, which will take out some of the stiffness,” Mr Steen said.

Laundry beads and in-wash scent boosters should likewise be left at the shops if you want to save.

“Our experts have calculated that [laundry beads] may add a whopping $372 to your annual shopping bill,” Mr Steen said.

Convenience costs more

Laundry detergent pods could save you a precious few seconds of effort; instead of having to measure out the correct amount of laundry liquid for a load, you can just throw a pod into the washing machine and be done with it.

But the benefits stop there.

Laundry detergent pods are usually more expensive than regular liquid detergent.

“Detergent pods are more expensive per wash than liquid or powder, and don’t perform as well according to our tests,” Mr Steen said.

“So by using liquid over pods, you’ll not only save money but get a better wash.”

Go easy on the detergent

Choice research found a third of the recommended amount of laundry detergent is still enough to effectively clean your clothes.

Using this much less will also make your bottle of detergent last three times longer, leaving more money in your pocket.

“By using less detergent you’re helping the environment as well. You’ll be using less packaging and less detergent will end up in our waterways,” Mr Steen said.

“Overdosing on detergent can also cause a ‘scrud’ build-up in your washing machine which, over time, can decrease your washing performance.”

Pay attention to price tags

On price tags in most supermarkets and large grocery stores in Australia, unit prices are typically displayed in smaller text under the price of a product.

These show how much the product costs using a standard unit of measurement, such as grams or millilitres.

Unit prices can make a big difference in savings by letting shoppers more accurately compare the price of products, and are available for laundry products such as liquid detergents.

Topics: CHOICE
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