When you switch from hot or warm water to cold water, you reduce the energy needed for heating the water. ENERGY STAR estimates that almost 90% of the energy used when washing clothes goes to heating water.
Use concentrated detergent formulas with reduced packaging and less volume. If you use detergent in a plastic bottle, recycle or reuse the bottle.
Sounds easy enough, but by simply reducing the number of loads you wash each week, you can significantly save water, energy and money. But, be careful not to overload the machine, which can make it harder to get clothes clean. Most front-load models wash best if the drum is 3/4 full with clothes.
Towels get cleaner if washed on their own. Washing towels separately from light-weight items also reduces dry time. Plus, it has the added benefit of not transferring towel lint to other items.
Use oxygen bleach instead of chlorine bleach. Oxygen bleach is essentially hydrogen peroxide and is better for the environment because it naturally degrades into oxygen and water. If every U.S. household replaced just one 64–ounce bottle of chlorine bleach with non-chlorine bleach, we could prevent 11.6 million pounds of chlorine from entering our environment.
Got dingy whites? Try lemon juice. Soak whites in a basin filled with very hot water and a generous amount of lemon juice overnight. Remove from the basin and wash as usual the next day. Another option is to add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of lemon juice to the washer during the rinse cycle.
If you use the dryer, clean the lint trap before starting your dry cycle. Dryer lint buildup can restrict airflow and cause poor dryer performance. With a dirty lint trap, your clothes will take longer to dry—and use more energy.
*Based on the energy savings calculator developed by the U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE provided for estimating purposes only. Actual energy savings may vary based on use and other factors.