Tip #1: I have started using half the amount of laundry detergent with good results. I find that adding too many clothes causes the problem. I tried one detergent that I had to use less and less of since it just foamed too much. It was Kirkland from Costco. I had to rinse cycle two and three times. I switched to tide and now I use Purex. Both are good and work with less as long as I don't overload the washer. Once in awhile I clean my washer. I run an empty load with some sani-gel bathroom cleaner. We had really hard water and scum builds up in the machine. I don't think that I use so much that I am damaging my machine, hoses etc. A better idea is to throw in some washing soda to soften the water every other wash or so.
Tip: #2: More is often too much. Using more than the recommended washing powder or liquid does not clean the clothes better. My sister thinks it does, she also stuffs her washing machine so full it's ridculous. Her clothes come out of the wash with a grey tinge, feel powdery and smell of washing powder. If I or Mum get hold of any of her clothes, she passes them down to my kids, we whip them into the wash and after the first wash with minimal detergent the grey, powder and smell washes out.
Tip #3: I have saved all my old dryer sheets (you could cut up a towel) and I let them soak in a mixture of 1/2 liquid fabric softener and 1/2 water in an old diaper wipes box. Squeeze them out really well, reserving any liquid left over to use again and let them dry. I make up a really big batch of dryer sheets at a time and then just dump them, still wet, in another old diaper wipes box. They dry eventually and the top ones dry first so I always have a never ending supply. I called the Snuggle company and asked for a liquid fabric softener coupon since I loved their dryer sheets so much and had never tried their liquid. They sent me a coupon that was BIGIF and so I got two bottles that will last me for years!
Tip #4: I also reuse my old dryer sheets, by soaking them in liquid fabric softener.
Tip #5: I have used half a dryer sheet for a long time. I haven't found any difference. If the load is fairly small, I will re-use it on another load and that has worked fine too.
Tip #6: The idea to use 1/2 sheet is great, but guess what?? I cut my whole box of sheets in QUARTERS before I use them, and the clothes always smell wonderful! I also put the used sheets in my 'underwear drawer', or stuff them in smelly old sneakers. They do work for awhile, and what a way to save!
Tip #7: Unless your clothes are really really dirty, a little detergent goes a long way. It is mostly the water that cleans. If you overload the washer with too many clothes then I find that it doesn't get too clean. Also suds are not any indicator that a laundry detergent is working. The chemical companies add in stuff to make the suds come out. We have hard water and sometimes I don't see any suds at all in my dark wash.
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