Laundry

Cold Snap

90%

About 90% of the energy the washing machine uses goes towards heating the water. Washing in cold saves energy, saves your clothes and could help save the planet. More facts and sources

It's Simple! Check Your Garment Care Labels

Hot
Hot
Warm
Warm
Cold
Cold
Did you know?

4 Loads = .37 Acres

Wash 4 out of 5 loads of your laundry in cold water and you could cut out 864 pounds of CO2 emissions in a year. That’s equivalent to planting .37 acres of U.S. forest.

Imagine the impact if EVERYONE washed in cold water! More facts and sources

Good for Your Clothes

Check your garment care labels, and you’ll see that many clothes specify to wash them in cool or cold water. This is because cold water is gentler on your clothes, and can protect them from fading, shrinking or bleeding. With cold water you can wash larger, unsorted loads without fear of tie-dying everything you own.

Good for the Earth

About 90% of the energy used by the washing machine during laundry goes towards heating the water. Using cold water to wash some of your clothes eliminates this energy, making your clothes and the planet happy! Decreasing your carbon footprint can be as easy as switching to cool water.

Good for Your Wallet

Since cold water washing is better for the longevity of your clothes, you’ll save money not having to restock your favorite sweater every year. Cutting back on hot water can help decrease your energy bill, so you can beg your parents for money a little less.

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Don't Believe the Hype!

You might have heard that hot water washes best, but the times they are a-changing. Years ago, the composition of detergent was different than it is now. New detergent technology introduces enzymes to the scene that actually work better in cold water. There are even some stains (think: grass, makeup and blood) that should only be washed in cold water, as hot water could makes the stains permanent. Load size and amount of detergent can also play a role in how clean your clothes get!

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So, Watt’s The Cold Problem?

Using cold water saves energy and puts much less pressure on our electricity grids.

Price per load (electricity), based on water temperature
Wash/Rinse Setting Electrical Use kWh/load Cost per load Cost per year
Hot/Warm 4.5kWh 68¢ $265
Warm/Warm 3.5kWh 53¢ $206
Hot/Cold 2.8kWh 42¢ $165
Warm/Cold 1.9kWh 29¢ $112
Cold/Cold 0.3kWh $16
Table excludes the cost of water. Top-loading washer, based on electricity at 15¢/kWh, water heated electrically. Source
Washer

Brought to you courtesy of the following: American Cleaning InstituteThe Sustainability Consortium