Everyday Household Laundry Tips for Saving Money and Home Energy

Home Energy November 07, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

 Reviewed and Revised on 11/06/2013



The following tips can help you save energy and money each time you do laundry, irrespective of whether you have one the newer energy efficient machine or an older one.

  • Do your laundry correctly the first time, so that you don’t have to re-wash it.
  • Position your washing machine as close as possible to the hot water heater to avoid heat loss from long pipe runs. Insulate both hot and cold water pipes coming into your laundry and other areas to reduce heat loss and heat gains.
  • Pretreat or presoak stains and heavy soils before washing.
  • Launder full loads, but make sure the washer isn’t overloaded. The washer’s water level should match the load size.

Clothes in washing machine
Clothes in washing machine
  • Whenever possible, wash loads in cold water. Rinse "all" loads in cold water.
  • Make sure that your laundry detergent is compatible with your washer. Because high-efficiency (HE) washers are designed to save water and energy, ensure your laundry detergent is compatible by checking the detergent bottle for the HE symbol. Using traditional laundry detergents in an HE washer can result in lower cleaning performance and a sudsy mess.
  • To lessen drying time, use a higher spin speed for items such as towels and sweatshirts. It takes less energy to spin water out of fabrics than to dry the water out.
  • Use your dryer’s moisture sensor to avoid over drying.
  • Do not overload the dryer.

Clothes in dryer
  • If you can, dry loads one after another to take advantage of a dryer that is already heated.
  • Be certain to clean the lint filters after drying each load, and make certain the dryer exhaust vent is clear of obstructions.
  • Select a high speed spin option or extended spin option to remove more water from the clothing prior to drying.
  • Consider drying clothing on a clothes line outside on warm, dry days.

Clothes on clothes line
Clothes hanging on clothes line


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.