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Clothes Washers: Use & Care

Use & Care

Tips for Saving Water & Energy:

Fill It Up: 

Only washing full loads can save over 3,400 gallons of water each year.1 For smaller loads, adjust settings to use less water.

Keep It Cool: 

Only use hot water for washing clothing with oil stains, if someone in your home has been ill, or for sanitizing diapers. Rinse all loads using cold water. Washing in cold water with cold-water detergent is gentler on your clothes, plus it helps preserve their color.

Size Matters: 

Buy the correct size machine for your needs. Keep in mind that it’s more efficient to wash your clothes in a couple of full loads as opposed to splitting them up into smaller loads.

Turn Down the Temp: 

Turn down your water heater thermostat to 120°F. This could allow you to save up to 20% on the cost of running your washing machine and also save on water heating in your home.2 

Protect Your Pipes: 

Insulate exposed hot water pipes to reduce heat loss.


If you’re thinking about making efficiency improvements, the Clothes Washer Overview is a great place to get acquainted with the basics and your options, before you buy or install a new washing machine in your home. Return to Laundry Appliances.

Buyer’s Guide

Before you shop for efficiency upgrades, visit the Clothes Washer Buyer’s Guide for easy facts and figures that can help you choose the best appliance for your home, needs and budget.

1 ENERGY STAR®. Top 10 Tips for Renters! Retrieved October 8, 2012, from http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.es_at_home_tips_renters10
2 Goorskey, Sarah, Wang, K., Smith, A. (2004). Home Energy Briefs: #6 Cleaning Appliances. Snowmass, CO: Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from http://www.rmi.org/rmi/pid217 (p. 2).

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

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