Rule No. 1 when it comes to washing your clothes: Wash only when dirty.
You will save time, energy and money by washing clothes only when they actually need it.
While you may hang your clothes to dry, there are ways to save by using a washing machine.
Use cold water
Heating water for a load of laundry consumes 90 percent of the total energy required to wash that load.
Hot water breaks down fabric faster than cold water does. Washing synthetic fabrics — polyester, acrylic and blends — in cold may shed fewer plastic microfibers. A typical load can shed 700,000 of these tiny plastic fibers, which enter our waterways and all levels of the ocean food chain.
Clothes washed in cold last longer. You’ll repair and replace them less often and thus buy fewer clothes.
Avoid the delicate cycle
A recent study found that the delicate cycle can release an additional 800,000 plastic microfibers. The study revealed that the more water used, the more plastic microfibers released. The delicate cycle uses up to two times as much water as the regular cycle.
Wash full loads
Get your money’s worth and do full loads. Whether you wash two towels or a full load, your machine will use the same amount of energy to wash them.
According to the US Energy Information Association (EIA), clothes dryers account for 5 percent of total household energy consumed in the US, while washing machines account for only 0.5 percent of household energy, not including the energy to heat the water in warm or hot loads.
If you dry laundry in a dryer
Spin it right round, baby right round
Spin your clothes in the washing machine for a longer amount of time than the standard cycle lasts. Your machine may have a high spin cycle or other cycle that you can set it to for a longer spin. This will reduce the amount of time your dryer will have to run to dry your clothes.
Clean out the lint
Clean out the filter after drying each load. If the lint contains synthetic fibers, do not add it to the compost pile.
If you hang laundry to dry
Buy clothes less often
Dryers break down fibers. Hang your laundry up to dry and it will last much longer. Yes, hanging takes more time but I find it meditative.