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How to Hand Wash Clothes

Savvy Tip: Save Money by Hand Washing Your Clothes

This How Do You Save post comes from SwissMelis who is studying abroad in Switzerland. In order to deal with the unexpectedly high cost of living, she decided to start hand washing her clothes. So far, she finds it to be a really effective and simple saving trick! Read on for tips on how to do it yourself.

Hello my frugal friends,

As an American studying in Geneva, Switzerland, I am struggling to survive. The sticker shock I experienced here was worse than any city I've ever travelled to. ie. ONE school book costs more than an entire class at Penn State. Not kidding. So what does that have to say about the cost of rent, food and leisure? . . . let's not even talk about it.

One thing that I've turned to in order to cut down the cost of living is hand washing anything I can. This includes undies, bras, shirts and workout clothes. (I leave jeans, sheets and towels to the expert . . . the machine)


Its really, really easy! I use my sink and fill it up with warm water, add the detergent and clothes and let the garments soak for about five minutes. I massage the clothes around a bit, rub out any stains, and voila! Hang dry.

The other option is to take your clothes into the shower with you. Squirt some shampoo on your head and while you're at it, add some to your clothes because shampoo works just as well! This is great for multitaskers!

Not only is this WAY better for the lifespan of my clothes, but its free! (besides the cost of detergent) It also fills my room with nice fresh smells.

To read about or spill similar savvy revelations, post in my How Do You Save group.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 5 years
There used to be a time when most outer clothing was only spot cleaned. I like this idea to save money and resources. Just pointing out though that you should compare the price per oz of your shampoo to your laundry detergent, since I don't think that shampoo is cheaper.
sincerelyrenee sincerelyrenee 5 years
I studied abroad in Europe for a semester too, so I completely understand the sticker shock! One thing that also worked for me was walking everywhere -- that way you can discover the city and save money on public transportation (or the dreaded taxi/cab fares). Also, preparing my own meals and drinking at home before I went out at night, versus buying snacks and drinks out on the town saved me a lot! Hope you enjoy your time in Switzerland!
runswimmerrun runswimmerrun 5 years
Great idea! I do this when I can't get to a laundromat (late night), or I only need a few things cleaned for the next day. Maybe I should try to incorporate it more when I can!
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