Laundry Best Practices and Energy Saving Tips:
Wash in cold water: About 90% of the energy consumed for washing clothes is due to heating the water. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half for washing one load. Using the cold cycle reduces energy use even more.
Fill it up: Clothes washers use relatively the same amount of energy regardless of the size of the laundry load, so run full loads whenever possible. For small loads, use the appropriate water-level setting.
Avoid the sanitary cycle: This super hot cycle, available on some models, increases energy use significantly; use it only when absolutely necessary.
Activate the high spin speed option: If your clothes washer has spin options, choose a high spin speed or the extended spin option to reduce the amount of remaining moisture in your clothes after washing. This decreases the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes.
Use a drying rack or hang clothes outside when possible: Air-drying clothes (indoors or outdoors) helps them last longer and saves energy. If air-drying laundry indoors, monitor indoor humidity closely to prevent mold and mildew problems.
Leave the door open after use: Front-loading washers use airtight seals to make sure no moisture leaks while the machine is in use. However, when the machine is not in use, this seal can trap moisture in the machine. Be sure to leave the door ajar for an hour or two after use to allow any of the remaining moisture inside the machine to evaporate. Caution: Make sure small children do not climb into the machine while the door is open.
Always use HE (High Efficiency) detergent with Front-loading washers: Using regular detergent in a front-loading washer will create too many suds in the machine. This leads to decreased washing and rinsing performance. Over time it can lead to mechanical problems, and foul odors.
Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
Clean the dryer lint filter after every load to improve air circulation.
Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.
Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks. Air-drying is recommended by clothing manufacturers for some fabrics.
Source Material: US Dept. of Energy