top of page

Money Saving Laundry Hack for Students

Hack For Budget Conscious Students: How to Do Your Laundry While Saving Money

Most students are on a strict budget, right? Do you want to stretch your budget while keeping your clothes fresh and clean? Read on for our money saving hack to doing laundry on a budget.

Student smelling clean towel fresh from dryer

We've compiled our best hack for students to help you master the money saving art of frugal laundry without compromising on cleanliness or quality.

Clean white laundry room

Savvy Students Hack: Saving Money by Making Your Own Laundry Detergent

Do you know how to make your own detergent at home for a fraction of the cost of store-bought brands? Not only is it cost effective, but it’s also environmentally friendly and an budget friendly alternative to washing powder, tabs or laundry sheets. You'll need to buy a few simple ingredients like soap, washing soda and borax, all of which are readily available in most supermarkets.

Follow a trusted recipe, mix them together and voila! Your very own detergent.

Not only is making your own detergent saving you money, but this hack also eliminates excess packaging and waste, helping students to create a greener planet. And if you really like the smell of fresh clean laundry, you can customize the scent with essential oils.

Natural AND Money Saving Laundry Products for Students

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

Instead of spending money on expensive and non-ecologically-friendly fabric softeners and deodorizers, try two household products which are budget-friendly, natural and very versatile: vinegar and baking soda. These products are my go-to hack for everything, and a great money saving arsenal for students on a budget.

How to Remove Stubborn Stains

Bottle of household baking soda for cleaning purposes

For really stubborn stains: add half a cup of baking soda (which is bicarbonate of soda if you are a Brit!) into your washing machine.

You can add it into the washing machine drawer in the prewash section, or straight into the drum with your laundry.

Baking soda is great for getting ridding of spills or stains, it helps restore and whiten white items, and freshens clothes that smell, like your gym kit, for example!

An Alternative to Fabric Softener

A litre bottle of white household vinegar

For a natural fabric softener: add half a cup of white vinegar to the drawer when it hits the rinse cycle. You can also add it to the softener drawer at the beginning of the wash cycle.

Using household vinegar has a few benefits:

  • it's cheap! And definitely cheaper than fabric softener!

  • it helps to remove limescale from the washing machine - which in turn helps the machine to work efficiently.

  • it doesn't build up a layer on your clothes, or affect the absorbency of towels.

A hand adding laundry detergent into a washing machine drawer

You can also use this same combination (bicarb and vinegar) to clear clogged sink drains, polish chrome taps, and deep-clean shower heads. So this combo is a win-win for the entire household!

Washing in Cold Water

Embrace the cold to save money

You don't always need hot water to get clean clothes. Most of the time, cold water does the job just as effectively and can save you a lot of money on your energy bill.

Washing your clothes in cooler temperature water can reduce your energy consumption by up to 90% compared to hot water!

Modern detergents are specially formulated to work well in cold water, so you don't have to worry about compromising the cleanliness of your clothes. Cold water is also gentler on fabrics, so your clothes will last longer.

As a general rule, use cold water for:

  • items that are delicate (underwear, silk, wool)

  • items that are likely to shrink, and

  • dark or bright colours.

When Should You Wash with Hot Temperatures?

When it comes to conquering the laundry game, knowing when to turn up the heat is crucial. Reserve the power of hot temperatures for heavyweight champions like bed linen and towels.

Why? Well, it's all about achieving the ultimate hygienic clean.

Piles of freshly laundered white bed linens

Bedding, where we spend a considerable amount of our time, deserves the highest level of treatment to banish any hidden germs and allergens.

And towels, the things we use to rub off any lingering dirt after a cleansing shower, need an extra dash of hot water to get rid of any unwanted guests!

"Hot for a hygienic hug"

A basket of freshly folded towels


And an extra tip: if you have dark or brightly coloured clothes, turn them inside out before washing to protect the colours from fading.


A foldable clothes drying rack with laundry hanging on it

Air-Drying Your Clothes

Skip the tumble dryer and save money

While using a tumble dryer may be the quickest and most convenient way to wrap up getting your laundry done, if you have one available, it is also expensive AND can damage your clothes.

Instead, opt for the most cost-effective method - air drying.

It may take a little longer, but this is the best money saving laundry hack for students and you will save a considerable amount on your budget.

Invest in a folding drying rack like the one above (linked) to hang out your clothes. As well as saving money, it's a gentler option for your clothes.

Top tip: Make sure you space the clothes out to let air circulate well in between each item.

White clothes hanging from an air drying clothes rack

And if you do need to use the dryer, try putting a clean dry towel in with the wet load as well as a couple of clean tennis or EcoEgg dryer balls. These will help absorb moisture faster and speed up the drying process by up to 28%!

Multi-load Efficiency

Maximising your machine

As using the washer (and dryer) uses up a significant amount of your budget, maximise the capacity of your washing machine, and don't just wash a few items at a time. Running a machine with a full load will reduce the number of cycles you have to run, saving overall budget-wise.

However, be careful not to overfill the machine as this will lead to less effective cleaning and more wear and tear on your clothes. Finding the sweet spot of a full but not overfilled load is the key to saving money but still ensuring clean clothes.

Top Tip: if you don't have enough clothes to justify running a machine, ask your house mates if they have whites to wash, and share the load AND the cost.

Treating Small Stains

Fight stains early and save your clothes

Spray bottle of stain remover for clothes

Stains are inevitable, especially if you're a busy student. Instead of rushing out to replace stained clothes, equip yourself with stain removal skills. The sooner you treat a stain, the better your chances of removing it completely.

Keep a stain remover stick or spray in your laundry area and treat spills and stains immediately. It's a small investment that can save you from having to replace expensive clothes. If you don't have stain remover to hand, put some dishwashing liquid in a bowl with hot water, and pour some over the stain and scrub gently. Then put the item in the wash rapidly to avoid the stain setting.

Bottom line:

With these ingenious money-saving tips and other laundry hacks, you can effortlessly manage your laundry budget while ensuring your clothes stay clean, fresh and long-lasting throughout your time at university.

Your bank account will appreciate the extra padding, and your wardrobe will thank you for its extended life.


If you need more help or guidance on how to navigate the transition from high school to university, check out our social media and the rest of our website. There you will find useful blogs, resources, and tips on how to help students survive and thrive on campus.

We are also active on LinkedIn! Help spread the word and tell your friends about us!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page