American Housewife Sherry Morris
When shopping for a new washing machine, consider a high energy efficient front loading model. It uses much less water and detergent. Plus it's fun to look through the window and watch the clothes swishing around in the bubbles.
A front loading washing machine does not have a center agitator like the traditional top loading models, so there isn't anything for your clothes to rub against, causing them to wear out and pill. I've noticed a huge difference in my fleece sweatshirts and sweatpants. They last much longer and do not pill at all, even the cheap stuff.
If you do buy a front loading washer, do yourself a huge favor and buy the platform that goes underneath or have a platform built to raise it up. We didn't and I struggled, sitting on the floor, wrestling to get the wet towels and jeans out. Mr. Morris finally built me a platform out of 2 x 10's and plywood. What a lifestyle change. Laundry is once again effortless.
Don't buy the detergent specially made for front loading high efficiency washing machines. Buy the regular kind, but only use half of the amount in the measuring lid. There are the same quantity of loads in each container, so you get more for your money buying regular detergent vs. high efficiency.
I just read this tip in Woman's Day magazine: Cut your dryer fabric softener sheets in half. I am happy to report it works! One half of the fabric softener sheet softens the clothes, but I need to use a whole one for the towels. I'm anxious to see if half will also eliminate static cling in the winter. I purchased a generic brand of fabric softener sheets at Costco, a package of two 200 sheet boxes, and I think by cutting them in half, this will last me over a year, for a family of four. I'm so tickled with the tip that I subscribed to Woman's Day.
I make my own stain remover. In a spray bottle, I mix equal parts water and laundry detergent. I shake it up before each use.
I've discovered that most of my laundry comes clean using the quick wash cycle. It saves time, water and electricity. I still use the regular wash cycle for heavily soiled items.
I wash my hand wash only items in the machine on delicate cycle, making sure I don't put bras in with them, as they might cause snags on delicate materials. (The bras get washed in a zip lingerie bag with like colors in the regular laundry and I hang them to dry.)
I like draping sweaters over my dining room chairs to dry.
Please clean your lint traps after each use. My hunky firefighter husband says clothes dryer fires are the #2 cause of household fires. The lint builds up and ignites. The #1 cause of household fires is food left unattended on the stove. Usually someone puts a pot on then falls asleep on the couch.