Wash Your Laundry in Cold Water
Water heater 
Clothes washer 
Weekly loads of laundry 

First-year cold water savings:
** Chart and Working Together numbers show cold water wash savings only.
More yearly savings with an ENERGY STAR® washer:

With Hot Cold Only

show me how this is calculated

Laundry

Washing laundry

To reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes:

  • Use less water
  • Use cooler water

About 75% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water.

  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible. Hot water is only needed for greasy or heavily soiled items.
  • Always rinse in cold water.
  • Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
  • To reduce drying time, choose higher spin speeds if available.

Power fiction & facts

Fiction: Clothes don't get as clean if washed in cold water.

Fact: Laundry detergent manufacturers have developed products formulated specifically to get clothes just as clean when washed in cold water.

Drying laundry

  • Air-dry clothes on clotheslines outdoors or use drying racks.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
  • Don't over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
  • Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
  • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material. Plastic vents may collapse and cause blockages. Dryer venting dangers

Purchasing new laundry equipment

Look for the ENERGY STAR® label.

  • ENERGY STAR clothes washers clean clothes using 40% less energy than standard washers. Most full-sized ENERGY STAR washers use 18 to 25 gallons of water per load, compared to the 40 gallons used by a standard machine.
  • ENERGY STAR models also spin the clothes more effectively, resulting in less drying time.
  • Consider switching from electric to natural gas when replacing your water heater or clothes dryer.

For more information

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