Green Your Washing Machine

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), heating the water in your clothes washer accounts for 90% of the energy used when doing laundry.

As the DOE explains:

There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes: Use less water and use cooler water. Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, the warm- or cold-water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Wait until you have a full load before doing laundry.
  • Avoid the super-hot Sanitary Cycle, which significantly increases energy use.
  • Activate the high-spin/extended-spin option to reduce any remaining water, which will decrease dryer time.
  • Front-loading washers use airtight seals to prevent water from leaking while the machine is in use. When the machine is not in use, this seal can trap moisture in the machine and lead to mold formation. Leave the door ajar for an hour or two after use to allow moisture to evaporate. Safety alert: Make sure children do not climb into the machine while the door is open.
  • Buy an ENERGY STAR-rated machine. (More on this tomorrow…)

For Your Organic Bookshelf: Laundry: The Home Comforts Book of Caring for Clothes and Linens

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  • Bill  August 31, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    This is something I heard as well and I’ve completely shut off the hot water going into my washing machine. Now no one can even be tempted to use it! Saves hundreds of dollars every year that is for sure.

  • wash boy  January 10, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Wow its so nice to know that your washing its inconvenient to use.

  • Zach Smith  March 30, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I have been using cold water cycle for my laundry all my life and I haven’t had problems removing the stains and tough mess out. The important thing is to pre-treat the stains first. Even kitchen ingredients can get the job done. Mix lemon juice with a bit of baking soda and then treat the stained areas with it before dumping it in your washer. It will surely make your washing work a lot easier and a lot more economical.

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