10 Steps to a Greener Laundry Room
Stay cold. Wash your laundry with cold water; hot water heating accounts for about 90% of the energy your washing machine uses. Switching to cold water can save the average household $40 per year.
Wait for a full load. Washing only full loads can save more than 3,400 gallons of water per year.
Use the moisture sensor in your dryer. Using the “more dry/less dry” feature of your dryer will automatically turn the machine off when your clothes are dry – which avoids over-drying and wasted energy. In fact, a dryer operating an extra 15 minutes per load can cost you up to $34 per year.
Clean your lint trap. Cleaning out the lint trap in your dryer before every load can save you up to $34 per year.
Marathon your laundry. Dry your clothes in back-to-back loads so that the dryer doesn’t have to fully reheat every time you turn on the dryer.
Separate your loads. Don’t just separate your laundry by color, separate by weight as well. Having heavier items (like jeans) and lighter items (like t-shirts and underwear) in separate loads allows for more even drying and allows for shorter drying time on the lightweight loads (thus saving time and energy).
Don’t overuse the detergent. Doing so makes your washer have to work harder to get your clothes clean (which uses more energy).
Line dry some of your clothes. Purchase a drying rack and skip the dryer all together! Electric dryers use almost 1,000 kwh of electricity per year, on average, which costs about $120 per year in electricity and emits over 1,500 pounds of CO2 annually.
Wear clothes more than once. One way to save water and electricity is to wear items of clothing (particularly heavier items like jeans and sweatshirts) more than once before washing them; if they’re not dirty, skip the wash!
Avoid ironing where possible. Ironing also uses electricity; reduce the need to iron your clothes by shaking clothes out before placing them in the dryer or on the drying rack and folding or hanging them up as soon as they’ve finished drying.
Learn how to make your own laundry detergent.