How to save money and energy while doing laundry

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Laundry isn't a chore that's going to disappear anytime soon and neither are the costs involved in doing it.

Consumer Reports says a few simple, eco-friendly changes and the right detergent could save you some money, water and lower your electricity bills.

"We do let a little bit accumulate so that we're not just wasting water, wasting energy," said Veronica Yanez.

When it comes to the laundry, Yanez does less to save more.

"And I also use an HE washer and dryer," she said.

Consumer Reports says using a high efficiency washer and dryer, like Yanez's, is one of the most impactful things you can do to reduce your energy bills.

"Front Load washers deliver when it comes to cleaning performance and they use the least amount of water and energy," said Keith Flamer of Consumer Reports.

Among the best and most eco-friendly from CR's tests: LG Washing Machine WM3400CW and matching LG Dryer DLE3400W, which cost about $800.

Other ways to save?

"Primarily, I use cold water. I do dry my clothing on a clothesline," said Yanez.

CR's tests have found laundry detergents have gotten much better at removing dirt and stains at lower water temperatures. Top in CR's testing are Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release and Persil Pro Clean Stain Fighter.

If you can't line dry, lower the amount of energy your dryer uses by increasing your washer's spin cycle.

"This reduces your dryer's workload by extracting more water from the clothes, which means less work for your dryer and less energy is wasted," said Flamer.
This may increase wrinkling, but CR said just untangle and shake your laundry out before tossing it in the dryer.

And to keep your dryer running as efficiently as possible, don't forget to clean the lint screen before every load.

Dryer sheets can leave a film on your dryer's filter and reduce airflow. They can also leave residue on your dryer's moisture sensors. Check your owner's manual on how to clean those sensors, or better yet, skip them altogether and reduce your waste.

For more information:
CR on Front Load Washers
CR on Top Load Washers
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