While laundry may not be a big expense relative to other household bills, it can add up if you wash your clothes frequently. This is especially true for apartment dwellers and other who rely on coin-operated machines. And then there is the environmental impact of detergents, water, and electricity, and gas.

While laundry will always be a chore, following eco-friendly practices can save you money and help the environment. Here are five things to try that will save money in the long run.

Try These Tips

Use as washboard. If you don't want the wear and tear that comes from using a washing machine, hand washing is an option. Invest in a good quality washboard that you can use in your sink or bathtub to wash items that require an extra-gentle touch.

Skip the extras. Get rid of any expensive add-on products, like fabric softeners, sheets or fragrances. If you're on a budget, there's no need to add them to your washing routine. And, many of these items can irritate your skin.

Go homemade. Making your own laundry detergent can save money. This is doubly true if you're environmentally conscious and use organic detergents and soaps. There are plenty of recipes online you can use, like the ones at Care2.

Hang it up. In countries outside the USA people still hang their laundry to dry. Natural drying adds a refreshing scent of fresh air and flowers. Hang clothing outside if it's a nice day, or inside if necessary. Even indoors during the winter, your clothes will dry just fine.

Wear an undershirt. Cut down on the number of loads you do in the first place. Invest in some high-quality undershirts, so that you don't need to wash your clothing as often. This will increase the lifespan of your clothing while saving you time, money, and energy in the process.