- Wash one large load instead of two medium loads (though don’t overload your machine). Check your machine’s manual for load capacity in pounds, then weigh out a few loads of laundry to get a sense of how much laundry your machine can handle.
- Adjust water level to the lowest practical setting.
- Use the shortest cycle needed.
- Avoid using too much detergent to eliminate the need for extra rinse, it’s also better for your clothes.
- Wash and rinse temperatures have a dramatic impact on overall energy use; a hot water wash with warm rinse costs 5 to 10 times more than a cold wash and rinse.
- Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. A setting of 120 F is adequate for most home needs. By reducing your hot water temperature, you will save energy with either hot or warm wash cycles.
- The temperature of the rinse water does not affect cleaning, so always set the washing machine on cold water rinse.
- Pre-soak, especially dirty clothes–by pre-soaking heavily soiled clothes, a cooler wash temperature may be fine.
- Experiment with different laundry detergents to find one that works well with cooler water.
Next: 10 tips for drying