Money laundering

Money Laundering Tips

Not THAT kind of money laundering! Apologies to anyone looking to stash away illegal funds, this is the wrong blog. Here, we are talking about saving money on laundry bills, and extending the life span of our fabulous clothes.

Money down the drain
Good clothes cost money and incorrect laundry will destroy them. Or at the very least shorten their lifespan. Before I buy clothes, I check the label and make sure there is a washable sign. Avoid the toxic dry cleaning like the devil.

Dry cleaning
Having said that, occasionally it is unavoidable. Certain items like lined jackets and heavy wool coats need to visit the evil dry cleaner now and then. I minimise those visits by using a clothes brush on a daily basis. Once a month I hang jackets in a steamy shower room and allow the steam to do its magic. If you have the space airing coats in the sunshine turned inside out will refresh all, but the most jaded clothes.

But a good clothes brush and get into the old fashioned habit of using it on a daily basis.

Seek out  a good clothes brush and get into the old fashioned habit of using it on a daily basis.


Most natural fabrics, (including silk) can be washed with success, despite what the labels say. I wash most things turned inside out using eco friendly or organic detergent. Harsh Chemical detergents, virtually ‘eat’ the fibres of our lovely clothes and they never look the same.

Eco friendly detergent
Makes good financial sense. Although more expensive than normal detergents, you only need to use half the recommended amount to get good results. Most of the time it’s the agitation in the washing machine that gets clothes clean, rather than the detergent itself. Plus they don’t destroy the environment, choking marine life quite as much. Anyone suffering from eczema or general skin sensitivities, would do well to switch to Eco friendly detergent for the sake of their health.

Low temperatures
Check the labels, but I wash most things 30 or 40 degrees. The only items we wash using boiling hot water is white linen bedsheets and dish cloths.

Net bags
These are a life saver people! Delicate items, wool jumpers, Lingerie, or anything that’s supposed to be handwash only, I machine wash everything Inside a net bag, life is too short for handwashing. If you don’t have net  bags, a pillow case will do just as well.

Washing denim regularly in cool water turned inside out seems to make jeans softer and more pleasant to wear. I love the texture of old jeans and don’t mind a little colour loss!

I machine wash, cool water, short cycle in a net bag. As soon as the machine finishes, silk items, especially shirts, should hang  in the shower room where they dry *almost* with no creases. Quick cool iron and we are divine for work.

These fabrics can take being washed in higher temperatures, but no need to beat the life out of them. Ecover detergent is a good option for general washing and helps retain the softness and tactile feel of good cotton. For specific stain removal, pre treat with a topical stain removal powder. This will irritate the fibre to a certain degree, so only use sparingly as required.

See specialist post here and always dry flat.

Eucalan is a gift from the gods for anything really delicate that's supposed to be hand washing only. (UK readers can buy it here) there is no need to rinse or scrub.

Eucalan is a gift from the gods for anything really delicate that’s supposed to be hand washing only. (UK readers can buy it here)

Handwash special
The product Eucalan is a gift from the gods for anything really delicate that’s supposed to be hand washing only. (UK readers can buy it here) there is no need to scrub or rinse. Simply soak for 15 minutes, gently squeeze out water and allow to dry naturally. I must admit I place my clothes in a net bag, and give them a quick spin inthe washing machine at 600 or so.

Air Dry
Avoid using clothes dryers, if at all practical. We have an electric heated rail (Would love to hang things out in the sun, but I live in a small London flat, so drying outdoors is not really an option) that seems to work for most things and only uses a fraction of the energy/cost, a dryer does. So more money savings on utility bills.

Skip expensive softener
I never use clothes softeners, a major cost cutter/money saver tip. Since we don’t use harsh detergents there is no need for extra chemical products, like softeners. If you add a couple of drops of pure essential lemon oil in the washing machine detergent compartment, clothes will smell amazing without the use of chemicals.

How much money do you spend a year on detergent? Is that a lot of money down the drain?

This is a scheduled post, but will be back soon.

More wardrobe maintenance posts:
Cashmere care washing & storing
cashmere knitwear care

perfect handbags
How to look immaculate
Immaculate clothes
Lady Sarahs wardrobe
Well edited wardrobe

Wardrobe maintenance
Rescuing a black box Hermes kelly bag

© Ladysarahinlondon

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7 thoughts on “Wardrobe maintenance: Money Laundering tips

  1. couldashouldawoulda9

    I don’t use softeners either. Needless of my friends makes some organic chemical free homemade detergent that I have not gotten around to making but that’s popular in some circles. Yes to net bags. I also air clothes from dry cleaners before I hang back in closet. In Asia my family insist on boiling linens to make sure the waters hit and there’s a new hand gadget that washes clothes the old way and you manually turn for energy saving and to control the battering most clothes go thru in the machine. Don’t know if it’s available here. While I don’t partake in the gizmo it’s good to know options. Ps I am thinking I need to keep track of my finances bc I have no clue about the laundry budget.

    1. lady sarah in london Post author

      I added the costs of monthly detergents + softener in my shopping basket, multiplied by 12 to get an annual figure. I added to that the cost of dry cleaning and it was shocking! Truly!

  2. mina

    another amazing wardrobe maintenance post! I love this series and who doesn’t need money laundering tips? 🙂

  3. pgshore

    Thank you for yet another fabulous post on wardrobe maintenance. I own good-quality clothes, and I want to keep them looking their best for many years. Bless you for the Laundry Care Symbols chart. Some of them are obvious, but others have always left me scratching my head. Yes, a thousand times over, to Euclan. Especially for hand-knits. I never use fabric softener, but I do use dryerballs like these when drying towels and bedding:–Reduces/dp/B00PG9X3B8/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1425763001&sr=8-8&keywords=nellie%27s+pvc-free+dryer+balls ; everything comes out soft and fluffy.

    1. lady sarah in london Post author

      Thank you pgshore! It was your sugestion I believe, that led me to Eucalan. It’s not widely available in England, but tracked it down and my delicate clothes will now live to see another day. 🙂 I am always on the lookout for gentle or organic products.


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