How to Reduce Laundry

Reducing the amount of laundry you wash can help lower your utility bills, make your clothes last longer and stay brighter, save time, and help the environment. You can do less laundry by using strategies to wash your clothing and linens less often and by reducing the amount of items that you need to wash on a regular basis.


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    Wait to run your washing machine until you have a full load of laundry. It requires a similar amount of energy to wash a small to medium sized load as a larger load, and multiple small loads create more work for you than a single full load.
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    Reuse towels.
    • Hang towels on towel bars or hooks immediately after use.
    • Put your towels in the dryer briefly after each use to keep them feeling fresh and fluffy while reducing laundry.
    • Wash towels once a week.
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    Wear clothes more than once before washing.
    • Check clothes for stains or dirt before throwing them in the laundry basket. If you did not perform any strenuous activities and the clothes are not dirty, wear them again before washing. This will extend the life of your clothes as well as reduce laundry as the fibers will gradually break down through repeated washing and drying.
    • Hang up clothes immediately after you take them off if you can wear them again. Certain items of clothing, especially outer layers such as cardigans, sweaters or suit jackets may not get very dirty, but you may need to wash or dry clean them frequently because they become wrinkly.
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    Spot clean stains as soon as you notice them. Use a detergent stick if you are on the go, or you can choose to use a little bit of liquid detergent to remove the stain before it sets. Gently rub in the detergent, rinse with warm water, and pat the material dry.
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    Shower before bed. Washing before you sleep will reduce the amount of dirt and oils that you leave on your sheets. This will allow you to wash your sheets and bed linens less frequently.
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    Wear an apron while performing housework or cooking. An apron can protect your clothing from dirt, cleaning products and kitchen messes. Wash 1 to 2 times per week depending on how soiled the apron becomes.
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    Change out of dress clothes once you get home to reduce laundry and dry-cleaning. For example, if you have certain outfits that you designate as "church clothes," wear a formal outfit to church and change into a casual outfit once you get home. Since you will only be wearing your formal outfits for a few hours at a time, you can wash them much less frequently.


  • Cut down on the amount of dry-cleaning you need to do by hand-washing certain types of dry-clean items at home. Unlined clothes made from natural fibers such as cotton, silk or linen are most likely to respond well to hand-washing. Make sure to check for colorfastness by wetting a portion of the fabric and watching to see if the dye bleeds when you blot it with a paper towel or white hand-towel.


  • Do not use cold water to rinse out detergent when spot cleaning as this can cause the stain to set into the fabric.

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Categories: Laundry