Did you know that laundry detergent manufacturers have developed products formulated specifically to get clothes just as clean when washed in cold water? To reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes:

  • Use less water.
  • Use cooler 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.


  • 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. 

Purchasing new laundry equipment

Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when buying washers and dryers.

  • ENERGY STAR® 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.