Boost Your Laundry and Your Wallet With These 4 Swap Out’s
When I got married, I recreated the way we approached household chores, just the way I learned to do them in my mama’s house. Her way was the only way I knew. I bought the same cleaners and detergents, had a specific day I did laundry, and could often hear her instructions in my head.
It reminds me of the Jewish Fable of the young bride.
And it goes a little something like this….
There was a young bride who was making her first big dinner for her new groom. She fixed all of his favorites, roast with brown gravy, potatoes and baby carrots. When the meal was complete the bride placed the meal under a beautiful new silver cloche, a wedding present.
She approached the table and presented the meal to her husband. He uncovered the dish and took a deep cleansing breath of the heavenly smells coming from the plate and complimented his sweet wife on all of her hard work. As he cut into the meat he couldn’t help but notice that the ends of the roast had been removed, his favorite part.
Trying to remove any disappointment from his voice, the groom carefully asked his young bride why the ends were already removed from the meat. Her reply was simply that it was the way her mama had always prepared their roast.
When the bride next spoke to her mother, she asked about why they were to remove the ends of the roast before it went into the oven, wondering if perhaps she had made a mistake. Her mom laughed and admitted that the only way she could fit their roast in the baking pan, was to remove the ends of the roast before putting it into the pan.
The young bride from the fable imitated her mother in fear, that by making a change, her roast would not turn out as good. We do this in our homes every day without even realizing it. Whether we imitate what marketers tell us through commercials that we must imitate or we do what we have always done in fear of change; there are other alternatives.
When I first got married, I went to the store and bought the same brand of detergent that my mom used in her laundry room. It was a classic case of imitation without understanding. I didn’t know why I needed that brand. I didn’t know that there were other, much better laundry solutions available for me and our family. I only knew that it was what we always used and I was afraid to branch out in fear that I would make a mistake.
The business of doing laundry is a billion dollar a year industry. With the average American household doing roughly 8-10 loads of laundry a week, we spend a lot of money on detergents, dryer sheets, and other “tools” that are supposed to get our clothes clean and smelling fresh.
What you may not know, is that many of those cleaners we are paying the big bucks for, have added perfumes, chemicals, and colorants that have lulled us into a false sense of cleanliness. The truth of the matter is we are really just paying more for all of those “extras” and they could actually be harming us in the long run.
Today I am going to rock your world. I am going to tell you about 4 things that you can replace in your laundry room that will save you hundreds of dollars each year AND increase the cleanliness of your clothes and your family’s health.
No more imitation without understanding will be happening in our laundry rooms.
For a cheaper, healthier solution to your laundry needs; take a look at these swap outs.
Swap Out #1: Color Catching sheets for A box of Salt
Bleeding laundry can truly be a big, gigantic headache, but do you really need to buy specially made sheets to protect yourself? The answer, no. In your pantry, right now, you probably already hold the solution to keeping your colors from bleeding in the wash. Salt. It is the ultimate preservative and it can help you preserve your laundry as well. Add about ½ cup of salt to cold water and soak any new, brightly colored clothes prior to washing them, for about 15 minutes. Once the clothes have soaked add them to the washer with like colors and add in 1 Tbsp. salt to the load. This will help the clothes keep their brightness from spreading to other items around them.
I know what you are saying. Vinegar?? Really? Yes, really. Vinegar makes a great fabric softener. It removes residual laundry detergent, and add softness back to the clothes. I recommend adding about ¼ cup to the rinse cycle of your washer. There are a couple key benefits to using vinegar in place of your fabric softener:
- It is super cheap! To the best of my calculations standard white vinegar comes out to 0.05 cents a load. The brand fabric softener that I had used for years was costing about 0.39 cents a load.
- It is hypo allergenic. Using vinegar as an alternative to fabric softener is an excellent idea for anyone who struggles with allergies or sensitive skin.
- Vinegar may help lengthen the life of your washer. Vinegar is excellent at removing scale or minerals left from your water. It also breaks down detergent suds that may have been left in the lines of your washer. Having scale and suds build up in the washer causes the washer to have to work harder. A little vinegar in each load can really help the efficiency of the washer.
Swap Out #3: Dryer Sheets For Wool Balls
You haven’t lived until you have been in the middle of a job interview only to realize that you have a pair of underwear stuck to your pants thanks to static cling. The alternative to this debacle is to use some sort of dryer sheet or bar to help combat the static that builds up while washing your clothes. There for a while, I stopped using any sort of dryer sheet and was simply using a ball of aluminum foil. This was effective at keeping my panties off my dress pants, but just barely. Recently our family made the switch to using wool dryer balls. I cannot tell you how much I love these things. The wool dryer balls decrease dry time, softens the fabric, reduces static and all without chemicals. To give our clothes a fresh clean scent, I add a few drops of essential oils to the balls before putting them into the dryer with the clothes. Because they are gaining in popularity, these dryer balls are readily available through a number of sources. I purchased mine through my local Norwex dealer, however they can also be found through Amazon.
Swap Out #4: Store Bought Detergent for a DIY Detergent
This final swap out is where my whole laundry philosophy began. It was in the moment that I realized I could make my own detergent to clean my clothes for a fraction of the cost for a standard bottle of detergent. You can read the full story of my conversion here. Making your own detergent is incredibly easy, very efficient, and super cheap. Once you have done it once you will wonder why you hadn’t tried it sooner.
These four swap outs will transform how you approach your laundry each week. Knowing that you are saving money and providing a healthier alternative for your family may also give you a little pep in your step as you next approach laundry day .
If you are currently using any of these solutions, I would love to hear from you. How are they working for you? Let us know!