Washer & Dryer Tips

Your clothes washer and dryer are both significant investments, so it's important to keep them running at their fullest potential. To help you get the most out of each load of laundry and extend the lifetime of your machines as much as possible, we've prepared some washer tips and dryer tips that you can use at home. If you find these washer tips and dryer tips helpful, we strongly recommend you print them out and stick them up in your home near your washing machine and dryer, and share them with your friends and family via email or social media.

Washer Tips

Use Cold Water

When you use your washer, 90% of the energy goes into heating the water when you use hot water. Using cold water actually can do a really good job of cleaning on a regular basis unless you're trying to wash out oily stains. Simply switching to warm water instead of hot water can even save your energy use by about 50%, and using cold water cuts the energy usage even lower.

Always Fill to a Full Load

Your washing machine will use the same amount of energy regardless of whether it's a smaller or larger load, so always using full capacity ensures you make the most of the energy you're using up. It's important not to overload the washing machine though, as this can overstrain the machine.

Use High Efficiency (HE) Detergent

Regular detergent creates too many suds, negatively impacting the washer's ability to wash and rinse the laundry. Regular detergent can even lead to odors and mechanical problems. High Efficiency detergent, on the other hand, is exactly what front-loading washing machines are designed to use and will work more optimally.

Don't Use the Sanitary Cycle When Avoidable

The sanitary cycle is a super hot cycle available on some washers which can really use up a lot of electricity and should only be used when necessary.

Rinse Your Washing Machine on a Monthly Basis

To reduce the chance of harmful mold or mildew buildup, some manufacturers suggest using 1 cup of bleach during a normal cycle to rinse the machine on a monthly basis (don't load in any clothes, of course). Be sure to check your owner's manual before trying anything like this to make sure it's safe for your machine.

Keep the Door Open When You're Done

Another good way to prevent and reduce mold and mildew growth is to leave the door open after use so the machine can dry. Leaving the door open for one to two hours is generally a good idea to allow moisture to evaporate.

Use the High Spin Speed Option

If your washing machine has speed controls, selecting a high spin speed or extended speed setting can reduce the dampness of your clothes when they come out of the machine, which means they require less time to dry using your dryer.

Dryer Tips

Hang Clothes Outside or Use a Drying Rack

Whenever it's an option, air-drying your laundry is a simple way to not only avoid using energy but also helps keep clothes last longer.

Always Clean the Lint Filter

Not only is cleaning the lint filter an important safety measure to reduce the risk of fires, it also improves circulation and makes your dryer operate more efficiently when drying.

If You Use Dryer Sheets, Scrub the Lint Filter on a Regular Basis

Using dryer sheets can cause a film do built up on the filter, which reduces air flow and can affect the dryer motor performance. Using a basic toothbrush to scrub is a simple way to address this buildup.

Try the Moisture Sensor Option

New dryers often come with moisture sensors built in to automatically shut off the machine when clothes are dry. This helps save energy and reduce wear and tear on clothes by not extending the drying cycle beyond necessary length.

We hope these tips have helped, but if you're looking for more resources, you can check out the U.S. Department of Energy's laundry tips here: http://www.energysavers.gov/tips/laundry.cfm