Monday, June 22, 2015

Frugal Laundry

Laundry soap…we all have our go-to brand.

What does Proctor & Gamble want you to do?

Use more Tide.

People with frugal brains have known for quite some time that the amount of laundry detergent recommended for use is more than is needed.

Thus, the non-frugal believe what they are told.

They overuse.

They buy more.

Then, along comes a “miracle” detergent that promises to be as powerful as whatever you’re using except that you only need half as much.

What’s the scam?

They promise you savings. There are none.

If using half as much Tide will work as well as the suggested amount, then creating an “ultra” version allows the company to put the same product in a smaller bottle and charge you more because you believe the product is more powerful.

Sure, it may be a different color (likely) and have a stronger scent (likely), but underneath it, it’s the same damn soap.

So riddle me this: do we need soap at all?

The answer is sometimes.

I’ve written before that I rinse and line dry my bath towels because they are not dirty, therefore they do not need to be washed in soap.

Let’s talk about underwear. As I’ve said before, unless a person has bad hygiene, there really is no reason to use a lot of soap washing them.

Use less soap.

Much of our laundry is worn not dirty.

Yes, items like bed sheets should receive the full dose of detergent because we perspire when we sleep. We “exfoliate” when we sleep. We give off skin oils as well.

That said, the soap companies have inculcated us into believing that their product can get out the grime in our laundry.

Do you get that they are implying—in effect—that we are slovenly pigs?

I used to use Tide, Cheer, or Surf depending on which was pennies cheaper. Then, I moved to Foca—a Mexican product—that works as well for half the cost.

Now, I am using half as much Foca and my laundry is just fine.

I am not ready to start making my own laundry detergent from Zote—which is a great product by the way—but I did make my own fabric softener.

It works well, smells good, and is dirt cheap.

I ran across a great website called Living On A Dime. The site has a wealth if thought provoking material.

The following is a quote from one of their posts:

“By cutting back on the amount of laundry you do, you can save quite a bit on detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener and hot water.

Here are a few ways to help you cut back:

Have the kids wear the same pair of pajamas every night. Before you get upset and say there is no way you would allow them to do that think about this: You bathe your kids before they go to bed so their pajamas go on a clean body. How dirty could those pajamas get while they are sleeping? Most people don’t change their sheets more than once a week. What is the difference between sleeping on the same sheets and sleeping in the same pajamas?

Assign each person his or her own towel to use a minimum of two to three times instead of just once. In the case of young children let them use the same towel. Up to a certain age most people toss their little ones all in the bath together so if they can share the same bath water they can share the same towel.

When you get home from church or someplace where you didn’t wear the outfit all day, change out of your good clothes and hang them up to wear again.

If it doesn’t look dirty and doesn’t stink, don’t wash it. We usually use jeans for a week at our house.

Don’t be lazy. So often we get undressed and, instead of putting our clothes away, we throw them on the floor in a heap. We don’t want to iron, fold or even hang them up, so we just throw them in the wash. This makes more work later because we still have to iron, fold and hang them on wash day, but we also use more detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener, hot water and time.”

I’ve written before about being mindful, but saving money on laundry detergent should not be solely product based, but also based on our habits and areas where we really haven’t thought things through.

Food for thought.

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