Washing clothes takes up a big chunk of energy and water used by the average home each month. But it doesn’t have to take up as big a chunk as you may think. Here are three tips for saving energy, water and money when you do your laundry.
1. Wash Only Full Loads of Laundry
Clothes washing machines consume about 21.7 percent of water usage in an average home, which amounts to about 13,000 gallons of water a year. However, a home that washes only full loads saves an average of 3,400 gallons of water a year, or more than 25 percent. To save money on your monthly water bill, make sure to wash only full loads of clothes. Just follow these simple steps:
- Check your owner’s manual for the capacity of your washing machine. Most range from 6 to 18 pounds.
- Weigh yourself, then weigh yourself with a load of laundry and take the difference in order to measure the weight of the laundry and see if it’s a full load.
- If you have a full load, choose the highest water level on your machine.
2. Wash Using Cold Water
Only 10 to 15 percent of the energy used to wash clothes is consumed by a washing machine’s motor. The other 85 to 90 percent is spent heating water. Unless your clothes are really soiled, wash with cold water to start saving money on your monthly electric bills.
3. Consider Upgrading to Machines with Auto Water-Level Controls
If you have an ENERGY STAR–rated washing machine with auto water-level controls, you don’t necessarily need to wash with full loads all the time to save energy and water. Such energy-efficient machines will do a good job of taking the guesswork out of laundry.
GreenYour website, “Wash a Full Load of Laundry.”