Energy Saving Washer Tips

Temperatures

The best energy strategy for clothes washers is a machine that offers multiple choices of wash and rinse cycles.

With pre-soaking and cold- or warm- water detergents, most clothes will be cleaned sufficiently, and cold-water washing can be used in many cases. Badly stained clothes may need a stain stick as well as a hot water wash cycle to get them clean. Depending on your personal experiences, you may have to try different combinations of detergents and cycles until you are pleased with the results. If your settings permit, always use cold-water rinses as they do the job adequately.

Reduce Water Temperature
A water heater temperature setting of 120°F is suitable for the needs of most homes. The only possible exception might be for dishwashing, however most dishwashers have a booster heater. This reduced hot water temperature setting on your water heater will not only save energy with your washing machine but also will reduce the energy used for everything else that uses hot water.

Water Level

If your washer has a load size control, be sure to use it as the energy use varies directly with the amount of heated water used. Some later models do this automatically. The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates clothes washers use 35 to 40 gallons of water for a complete load.

Use Full Washer Loads

Washing with full loads in the machine uses less energy per pound of laundry. Your washer's instruction book will indicate the machine's design capacity. Try weighing a few loads until you have the feel for what is a full load. Even with controls that sense the load size, more energy will be used per pound for undersized loads than with a full load.