Skip to content

Clothes washers

Tips for using your washing machine efficiently

Wash in cold water

Around 80% of a clothes washer's energy use goes towards heating the water. Washing clothes in cold water is a simple way to reduce a washing machine's energy use. Simply select your machine's cold wash option and be sure to use a detergent that's formulated for washing in cold.

In addition to saving energy, washing in cold water is also easier on fabrics and can help your clothes last longer.

Run full loads of laundry

To maximize efficiency, fill your washer to its full capacity, which is about three-quarters full. Underfilling can lead to wasted energy. If you must run a smaller load, select the "light" or "express" wash setting. You'll save time, water, energy – and money. If you have items that are very soiled, pre-soak them to avoid having to wash them twice in the washer, which uses more energy.

Be mindful not to overfill the machine because overfilling can cause your washer to work harder and prevent your clothes from getting properly cleaned.

Use less detergent

Adding too much detergent to a wash load is wasteful, can cause skin irritation, and can leave behind residue in your clothes and a build-up in your washer.

If you have a high-efficiency machine, make sure you're using a detergent formulated for it, and stick to the recommended amounts (which can be much lower than you expect). Your clothes will come out cleaner and you'll spend less money at the store.

Laundry detergent strips are a more eco-friendly and sustainable choice compared to traditional detergents. They come in recyclable cardboard sleeves so use much less plastic than traditional detergent packaging and do just as good of a job as liquid laundry soaps do.

Choose the "high-speed" or "extended spin"

The high speed or extended spin option at the end of the wash cycle helps to remove moisture from your wash load, which will help cut back on drying time.

Clean your washer regularly

About once a month, clean your washer's drum by running a hot cycle once with the cleaning solution and then again to rinse. This can help prevent mildew from growing and keeps your clothes fresh.

What to look for when purchasing a new clothes washer

When shopping for a new clothes washer, look for ENERGY STAR®-certified models. These have been tested to meet the highest standards for energy efficiency and reliability. They use about 25% less energy and 33% less water than regular washers.

Plus, an ENERGY STAR front-loading machine can cut water use by nearly 40% and electricity use up to 65% compared to a conventional top-loader.

Laundry room with a washer, dryer and decor.

Shop for a new washer

Browse energy-efficient washers from multiple major retailers, all in one place. Compare prices, efficiency ratings, reviews and more.

Visit the Power Smart Shop

Enter to win our Clean Energy Contest

Now until April 23, enter to win an iPad Pro and more great prizes.