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How to Conserve Energy When Doing Laundry

Doing the laundry uses a lot of water and energy. Here’s how to wash your clothes with a clean conscience.


  • Step 1: Get a green machine If your washer is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with an energy-efficient one. Energy-efficient models use half the water and about 35% less energy per load.
  • TIP: Look for washing machines marked with the Energy Star logo.
  • Step 2: Buy eco-friendly detergent Buy eco-friendly laundry detergent. You can even make your own—recipes are readily available online.
  • Step 3: Only wash full loads Don’t do laundry until you have a full load.
  • Step 4: Wash in cold water Unless you’re washing baby clothes, wash in cold water. Ninety percent of the energy used in washing clothes comes from heating the water.
  • TIP: At the very least, use cold water for the final rinse, which uses almost half the 50 gallons needed to do a load of wash.
  • Step 5: Line dry Line dry as much of your laundry as often as possible.
  • Step 6: Clean the filter When you do use the dryer, clean the lint filter every time so it runs efficiently.
  • TIP: Check clothes in the dryer often so you don’t run it longer than you need to.
  • Step 7: Wash at off hours In the summer, do laundry in the early morning or late at night, when energy demand is lowest.
  • FACT: The average American family does eight loads of laundry a week.

You Will Need

  • 1 Eco-friendly laundry detergent
  • 1 A laundry line
  • 1 An energy-efficient washing machine

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