Last year we moved from a house into a condominium and, for the first time in many years, I am sharing a laundry facility. The machines here are very new and really quite wonderful but they require high efficiency detergent. Using any other detergent will void the warranty.
High efficiency detergent is expensive!
I'm sure we can eventually find space in our apartment for a washer and dryer but, aside from the cost of detergent and the inconvenience of trekking up and down stairs and along hallways, there are some merits to our shared laundry. The cost of running and maintaining our laundry equipment is already covered by our monthly strata fees. If we buy my own machines, we'll be responsible for those expenses. Also the laundry room is in the basement of the building so, if there is a leak, the water damage can be contained within a limited space. The same cannot be said of our second floor apartment. Our insurance costs would increase to reflect the greater risk.
For now, we'll make do with the machines downstairs, despite the need for expensive detergent.
If you have a washing machine that doesn't require high efficiency detergent, you may want to try this recipe for homemade laundry detergent. I found it on Pinterest and, even with our higher Canadian prices, it still works out to cost $5.00 or less per gallon. At 1/2 cup per load, that's a pretty good bargain.
It's worth a try, right? Hope it works for you.