Sort Laundry by Fabric, Not Color, to Save Energy & Money

Sort Laundry by Fabric, Not Color, to Save Energy & Money

Taryn Williford
Apr 5, 2011

We've been doing it all wrong. Putting whites in one basket and bright colors in another, wondering the entire time why our electricity bill keeps going up. The real way to conserve energy and save money when you're doing the laundry? Sort your clothes and linens by the type of fabric. It'll help cut the energy you use in the washer and dryer. Here's how.

Next to your central air or heat, your washer and dryer could be the most power-guzzling appliances in your home. So if you're down to cut your energy use (and pad your wallet in the process), get started on a fabric-sorting system today.

That's right. Empty your hamper and finish up all your laundry tonight. Tomorrow, you'll want to start tossing your dirty clothes in new bins: Super-light fabrics where you used to have whites and heavy fabrics (like towels) where the darks used to go.

Why? Well you'll conserve energy these two ways:

Wash Cold
Now that there's a little more variety in your laundry loads, you'll want to wash everything on the cold water setting. Considering that nearly 90 percent of the energy your washer uses goes towards heating the water, you're definitely getting a bang for your buck here.
Of course, you should still take caution not to wash a bright, new candy red shirt with your dress whites. Only wash together colorfast clothes that can mingle, even in cold water.

Dry Like With Like
That one load with your blue towels,your blue jeans and your thin blue t-shirt takes forever to dry, doesn't it? You might even have to run the dryer twice. It's because when you mix up your fabrics in each load like this, you're throwing away money.

Lighter items, like that t-shirt, dry much more quickly than heavier fabrics, like your towels and jeans. So when they're combined in the same load, that shirt is going to tumble long after it's dry. It also can extend the dry time of the bulkier items, wasting at least few bucks every month.

(Dryer image: Flickr member Byrdiegyrl licensed for use under Creative Commons, Bill image: Flickr member Chazz Layne licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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