Simple, Effective Laundry Tips for Saving Energy (and Money)

I love the drying line that runs from my back porch to a pully on a tree. I finds them to be the most convenient way to hang-dry clothes, and believe that there is no better deodorizer and whitener than the sun. I’ve been looking for other ways to save energy while doing laundry, too, and so I investigated. Are top-loaders really better? What is the simplest energy-saving tip that also makes the most difference? Find out, here:

The two best and most remarkable tips for saving energy (and money) when doing laundry are to 1) wash your clothes in cold water, and 2) hang-dry your clothes (costs nothing in electrical usage or carbon use).
Up to 90 percent of the energy needed to wash clothes is attributed to heating water, so using cold water is the biggest energy saving action you can take when washing clothes. You also save $60 a year for an average family.

Eight Energy Saving Tips for the Washing Machine
1. Wash full loads only (but donít overload) to save water, time, and energy.
2. Weigh a load of clothes once to get an idea of what 15 pounds looks and feels like. When buying, size your washer and dryer for equivalent load sizes.
3. Use cold water.
4. Adjust water level to the lowest practical setting.
5. Use the shortest cycle needed.
6. Avoid using too much detergent to eliminate the need for extra rinse.
7. Pre-soak especially dirty clothes.
8. Use a front-loading washer to reduce water use and drying time.

Top-Loaders or Front-Loaders?
Top-loading washers use from 30 to 60 gallons of water and 300 to 500 watt-hours per load (not including water heating up).

Front-loading (horizontal axis) washers use about 200 watt-hours per load for the longest possible load. The water well pump requires an additional 33 watt-hours to pump the 25 gallons (with extra rinse) needed by the machine. If you have municipal water, youíll save on water and sewer costs. The front loaderís action is gentler, reducing wear and tear on clothes, and it spins much more water out of the clothes, allowing for shorter drying time.

Clothes washers are rated for efficiency using the Modified Energy Factor (MEF), a figure that considers washer capacity, electrical energy used, water heating energy required, and how dry the clothes are when they come out of the washer. The higher the MEF, the more efficient the washer is. When buying new, look for a Modified Energy Factor of 1.42 or higher.

Hang Dry Your Clothes
Hang dry your clothes instead of using the dryer and save 700 pounds of C02 a year.

Top Energy Saving Hints for the Dryer
Drying Hints.

Adapted from The Home Energy Diet by Paul Scheckel (New Society Publishers, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Paul Scheckel. Reprinted by permission of New Society Publishers.
Adapted from The Home Energy Diet by Paul Scheckel (New Society Publishers, 2005).


Patricia H.
Patricia H.6 years ago

thanks for sharing

Stella Gamboni
Stella Gamboni6 years ago

I line dry my clothes, when possible, but still have to tumble them (no heat) in the dryer to get the stiffness out.

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago


Mark Tarrant
Past Member 6 years ago

Ahhh breathe that fresh air and enjoy it on your clothes as well, if you are fortunate in having clean air.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W6 years ago

thank you

Kathryn Hosfeld
Kathryn Hosfeld7 years ago

I hang dry all my clothes - nothing beats the fresh smell. My kids grew up "bringing the clothes in off the line' and my daughter (now out on her own) hangs her clothes to dry. I`m lucky to have an outdoor clothesline and an unfinished basement where I`ve strung lines for use in the winter or those times when the weather won`t co-operate. For those without these options, check out www.hangittodry for possible solutions or ideas. Once you start air drying and see and "smell" the benefits you won't want to stop.

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley7 years ago


mr Crowley
mr Crowley8 years ago


michele s.
Past Member 9 years ago

great tips, thank you, I dont own a dryer,dont need one living in PR, although you would be suprised how many people do have them here.

Peter Billington
Peter B9 years ago

thanks for tips.