Washing Clothes

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Person choosing a cycle on a front loading washing machine.

Laundry is seemingly never ending, so it’s no surprise that doing laundry is the fourth highest use of water in most homes. And since most washing machines use hot water, saving water also saves energy.

Choosing an efficient washing machine

Newer washing machines can be very efficient, so if your washer was made before 2003 or doesn’t have an EnergyStar label, it may be time to replace it.

When picking out a new washing machine, look for:

  • EnergyStar certified washing machines to know that the product is independently tested to perform well and save energy and water. Use EnergyStar’s product finder tools or lists of most efficient appliances.
  • EnergyStar rates appliances for their energy efficiency. Energy efficient washing machines use less water since using less hot water also uses less energy.
  • Look for a low Integrated Water Factor (IWF) number. IWF is the amount of water used to wash each cubic foot of laundry. The lower the IWF, the more efficient the washing machine is.
  • Consider a front-loading washing machine. If it works for the space in your home, front loading machines are almost always more efficient than top-loading.

How else can I save?

  • Wash full loads. Washing machines use about the same amount of energy for small as large loads, so you can save by washing full loads.
  • Air dry your clothing. Air drying clothes not only saves energy, but also is easier on your clothes and can help them last longer .