How to Save Money at the Laundromat


The average American family will typically do 8-10 loads of washing every week, making laundry a costly monthly expense.

It will cost you $2 to wash a load of laundry at the laundromat, with an additional $2 fee to use the drier, costing you $4 per load of washing every time you visit.

That’s an eye-watering average cost of $1,664 a year. Want to know how to save money at the laundromat? We’ve got you covered.

How to Save Money at the Laundromat

How to save money at the laundromat

Luckily, there are things you can do to get cheaper laundry at the laundromat. Here are the 10 best tricks to slash your laundry bill.

Only wash full loads

It may sound obvious, but lots of people don’t wait until they have a full load of washing before taking a trip to the laundromat.

Washing a partial load will cost you the same as a full load as it uses the same amount of energy.

Get more for your money by washing as many clothes as possible in one load.

Not only will you benefit from cheaper laundry, you’ll also be doing your bit to save the planet too.

Only wash clothes that are dirty

If your clothes aren’t actually dirty, you can save money by wearing them again before washing them.

Items of clothing such as jeans and jackets take up a lot of space in the machine, so by wearing them more than once you are reducing the number of loads you do on a monthly basis.

Sometimes, certain items are only worn for a short period of time such as a coat to go to the grocery store.

Unless you spill something on it, there’s no reason why it needs to go in the laundry basket every time you put it on.

Don’t over-dry clothes

The longer your clothes are in the drier at the laundromat, the more dollars it will cost you.

Items such as jeans and coats will take a lot longer to dry.

For these items, stopping the dryer when they are no longer soaking wet will allow you to take them home to hang dry completely.

You’ll be surprised at how this simple tip can reduce your laundry bill over a few weeks.

Check the drier at your local laundromat to see if it has a quick-dry or partial dry option.

It’s also important to check that the lint trap is clean before using it.

Not only will this prevent fires, a clean lint will also dry your clothes faster, saving you money.

Take your own detergent

If you always buy your detergent at the laundromat, you’ll be paying extra for the convenience.

A much more cost-effective way to do your laundry at the laundromat is to take your own detergent.

Only buy the detergent there as a last resort if you forget your own.

A top tip is to keep your detergent in the trunk of your car so it’s always there when you need it.

You can also shop around for a cheaper unbranded detergent to save yourself even more money.

Cheaper products often clean your clothes just as well as expensive ones. Buying your detergent at a discount store or buying in bulk is another way to reduce the cost of cleaning your laundry.

Measure your detergent

Are you guilty of just throwing in a load of detergent with your clothes without actually measuring out the correct amount?

Most products will have a measuring guide on the back that tells you how much you should use for the amount of clothes you are washing.

You can also adjust the amount of detergent you use on each load depending on how dirty your clothes are.

If your clothes aren’t that dirty, use less detergent and save yourself some money. 

Find the cheapest laundromat in your area

Many cities have several laundromats for you to choose from.

Take some time to visit the ones in your area to find out how much they charge for their services.

Most laundromats will also list their services and fees on their website.

It might be worth using one that’s slightly further away if you want a cheaper laundry bill.

Even if one saves you a quarter per load, that quarter will soon turn into several dollars over the months and years. 

Make the most of loyalty cards

Whilst doing your research on laundromats in your area, don’t forget to ask whether they run a loyalty scheme. If so, sign up immediately.

By using your loyalty card every time you visit the laundromat, you will save money.

Ditch the dryer sheets and fabric softener

If you’re wondering how to save money at the laundromat, consider ditching the dryer sheets and fabric softener.

People have differing opinions about whether clothes need these products.

Several households don’t use them and haven’t noticed a difference in how their clothes turn out.

Some people even argue that fabric softeners can damage your garments and leave stains.  

Skip the dryer

Particularly during the spring and summer months, skip the dryer and take your clothes home to air dry instead.

Nothing beats that clean, fresh smell of laundry that has been drying outside in the sun.

Air dried clothes also reduces static.

Using a dryer can cause wear and tear to garments over time, meaning you’ll have to replace them sooner if you always use a dryer. 

If you don’t have space for a clothesline outside you can purchase indoor clothes-drying racks where you can hang your laundry to dry.

Heated airers have become extremely popular in recent years because of their low running costs.

They are also much kinder to your garments than using a dryer.

Remember to keep clothes separated to improve air circulation and allow them to dry faster.

Hand wash small loads at home

Another effective way to save money on your laundry costs is to skip the laundromat for smaller loads and hand wash them at home.

Give it a go with these simple steps:

  • Fill your basin or washtub with warm water.
  • Add your laundry detergent.
  • Place your items under the water and leave to soak for up to 30 minutes.
  • Rinse your clothes in cold water until the detergent has gone.
  • Remove any excess water by pressing them against the side of the basin or washtub.
  • Hang outside or inside to air dry.

If you aren’t overly keen on washing your items by hand, start with smaller garments such as underwear and t-shirts and save bigger items for the laundromat.

Is it cheaper to do laundry at home or the laundromat?

Whether it’s cheaper to do your laundry at home or the laundromat will depend on several factors such as how much washing you do and the cost of the laundromat that you use.

Washers and dryers are expensive appliances. Lots of people decide not to spend their hard-earned cash on these items and use the laundromat instead.

Repairing these household appliances can also be expensive, which is another reason why some families decide not to have them in their homes.

If an appliance breaks at the laundromat, you don’t have to worry about finding the money to replace it.

If you have a washer and dryer at home, it will take several years to recoup the cost of buying them.

However, large families that do several loads every day may find it more convenient and better value for money in the long-term than using a laundromat.

How to make your trips to the laundromat more efficient

Sort your laundry at home: get organized by separating your clothes into different colored laundry bags for whites and darks before you leave home.

This is a massive time-saving and is much less stressful than trying to sort it out at the laundromat.

Check the washer and dryer before using: check whether any detergent residue has been left behind by the previous user.

Giving the appliance a quick wipe down will protect your clothes and stop you from wasting money on items that need to be washed again.

Use laundry apps: laundry apps are a great way to find laundromats in your area.

Some of them even have handy tips on how to wash your clothes in the most efficient way.

You can even use laundry time so you can do your weekly errands while your clothes are washing and get back just in time for your cycle to finish.

Start saving money at the laundromat today

Individually, these tips will save you a few cents or dollars, however, collectively they could make a big difference to the cost of your monthly laundry bill.For more creative ways to save money on everything from your grocery bill to your wedding, explore our informative blog.

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