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A Basket Full of Laundry Tips

When you do your laundry, are you also cleaning out your wallet unnecessarily?

Washing and drying laundry uses a lot of energy and water. But there are easy steps you can take to make laundry day more energy- and water-efficient. And if itís time for a new washer and dryer, read on to learn what to look for.

Washing tips

  • Run full loads to save energy.
  • Adjust the water level to match your load if your washer has that option. Some new front-loaders automatically adjust to the size of the load.
  • Wash and rinse in cold whenever possible.
Drying tips
  • Donít over dry your clothes. Use the moisture sensor, if your dryer has one, which automatically turns off the dryer when clothes are dry. Your clothes might feel a tiny bit damp, but thatís so you can hang them up immediately and reduce the need for ironing (which saves even more energy).
  • Donít overload or under load the dryer. Air needs to circulate through the laundry freely. If you overload, youíll have to run the dryer longer. Under load, and youíre not only wasting energy, but the moisture sensor will not work properly.
  • Clean the lint filter after every use. Dirty filters will make your dryer work harder to dry the laundry.
  • Check the outside dryer exhaust vent to make sure itís not clogged with lint.
  • Dry with solar power Ė hang clothes outside to dry during nice weather.
Shopping tips
  • When itís time to buy a new clothes washer, remember that a high-efficiency washer will pay for itself in water and energy savings. Most are front-loaders. Compared to traditional machines, front-loaders use about 30 Ė 40% less water and 50% less energy. They extract more water from your laundry during the spin cycle, which reduces dryer time.
  • Look for an ENERGY STARģ washer. Dryers are not ENERGY STAR-qualified because they all use similar amounts of energy. But you can compare usage costs by checking the yellow Energy Guide label.
  • Choose the size that fits your needs. For a two-person household, an extra-large capacity washer may waste energy and water.
  • Look for a washer that has water or load-size adjustments (some front-load machines do this automatically).