Using a washer and dryer can consume a significant amount of energy. Here are tips for saving energy when doing your laundry - without running out of clean pants to wear!

Energy-Saving Tip 1: Wash only full loads of clothes

Washing full loads can help save you money as well as reducing your energy consumption. Full loads can mean fewer loads!

  • Fill, but don't overfill!
    • Running larger loads can save up to 12,870 litres of water annually. However, avoid overfilling your washer. Overloading can reduce efficiency or even damage it. And an overloaded washing machine won't clean your clothes was well.
  • Do fewer loads of laundry or choose shorter cycles.
    • Choosing only one or two days a week to do your laundry is a great way to save energy. Opt for the weekend when peak times typically level out.
    • Wash items less often. It's easy to toss clothing in the laundry even if it doesn't really need to be washed. Think twice about whether those pants could be worn again before washing, or if that towel could last one more shower. 

Energy-Saving Tip 2: Wash clothes with cold water

    • Hot water is unnecessary when washing clothes, bedding and towels, unless those items are significantly dirty. 
    • Hot water damages fabrics faster and uses considerably more energy than cold water.
    • If you must use hot, be sure to use the cold rinse option to reduce the amount of hot water used during the wash cycle.

Five ways to save energy when doing your laundry

Presoak heavily soiled clothes

A hike through one of the many gorgeous parks in the province is fun, but what about those dirty clothes? Soak them in cool water before putting them in the washing machine to avoid double washing, which wastes energy.

(Household hot water usage can represent almost 20 percent of your energy bill. View these SaveEnergyNB  articles for more ways to use less hot water at home.)

Energy-Saving Tip 3: Ditch the dryer and hang clothes to dry

Dryers are great if you're in a rush but not a necessity if you've got the time to spare.

In the last 15 to 20 years, dryer efficiency has made leaps and bounds. There are plenty of energy efficient units on the market with intelligent features like moisture detectors, recycled air circulation, and effective air tumble dry settings. If you're upgrading your dryer, consider an Energy Star certified model.

  • Hang clothes to dry year-round
    • Summer breezes don't need to blow for you to use your clothesline. If the weather is clear, why not take advantage of mother nature's free dryer all year long?
    • Dry racks for in-home use are inexpensive, easy to source, and are great for increasing the lifespan of your delicate or dress clothing.

Energy-Saving Tip 4: Use less detergent

  • Putting too much soap in your washing load can redistribute dirt and irritate the skin.
  • The appropriate amount for a high-efficiency washer is around two teaspoons.
  • If your home's water is hard, add a little more detergent. Otherwise, less is best!

Energy-Saving Tip 5: Keep your washer and dryer in good working order

How to clean your dryer

      • Clean out your dryer lint trap after every use. Doing this reduces the chance of fire and improves its efficiency.
      • Periodically remove the lint trap to fully clean, vacuuming lint and debris.
      • Every year, clean the drum and ducting system. Doing this ensures that there is no dangerous buildup in the exhaust system.

How to clean your washer

      • From time to time clean the exterior of your washer and the washer drum with soapy water or a designated clothes washer cleaner. Doing this helps prevent mildew from growing and keeps your clothes fresh.
      • To do this, run a short, low volume hot cycle, once with the cleaning solution and then again to rinse.
      • Make sure your washer is ringing out most of the water from your clothes. If when you take them out, they are still heavy and wet, there may be something wrong with your washer’s spin cycle and maintenance could be required.

Look for energy-saving appliances.

Do you need a new washing machine or dryer? Choose an energy efficient model. These models use roughly 25% less energy than their traditional counterparts and up to 33% less water.

Look for a model with a front loader and extra-large capacity. Front loader washers use less water combined with a tumbling motion to clean clothing, instead of the aggressive agitators that traditional clothes washers have.


What are five steps you can take to conserve energy when you do your laundry?

      • Fill your washer to its highest capacity for peak efficiency.
      • Use cold water to wash your clothing.
      • Hang clothing to dry as much as possible.
      • Use less detergent.
      • Keep your washer and dryer in good working order.

How can I make my washing machine more efficient?

      • Soak items before washing if heavily soiled.
      • Use cold water only.
      • Use the high-speed or extended spin cycle options.

Can you use a washing machine with just cold water?

Absolutely. Laundry detergents are formulated to work with cold water so using hot or warm water isn't necessary. Using cold water is better for the longevity of your clothing and consumes less energy.