Washing Clothes in Cold Water


Cost –  None, cost is similar to regular laundry detergent

Savings –  $63-84 / year[1]  [2]

Installation Time  None

Materials/Tools Needed –  Cold water laundry detergent

Maintenance –  None

         There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes—use less water and use cooler water.  Unless you're dealing with oily stains or heavily-soiled clothes, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes.

Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load's energy use in half.  About 90% of energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water.



á       Wash full loads.  Even if the washer allows variable sized loads to save water, the energy used for small loads is equivalent.

á       DonŐt over-wash.  Extended run times cause wear and tear on fabrics and arenŐt necessary with improved detergents.

á       Clothes washed in cold water last longer and colors stay brighter.

á       If your washer is more than 10 years old, consider buying a newer ENERGY STAR washer for much greater efficiencies in water and energy.

á       Hot water is better for killing bacteria in items like diapers and underwear.

á      For an estimate of savings, use the calculator at: http://www.laundrylist.org/en/line-drying/calculator

1.     http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=CW

2.  http://www.epa.gov/greenhomes/Basement.htm