Wash clothes in cold water to save money and preserve your clothing.
Why You Should Do It
90% of the energy your washing machine uses is for heating the water, so if you use cold water to wash your clothes, it can make a huge difference. If you use cold water, you will not only save money, but also make your clothes last longer and prevent color bleeding.
What It Costs
How to Do It
- Select “Add to My Challenge” and pledge to wash your clothing in cold water.
- Put a note on your washing machine to remind yourself (and others) to use cold for clothing.
- Congratulate yourself for saving energy and money and making a difference for Minnesota!
Make It a Family Activity
Have your family choose a special sticker, like a smiley face, to put on the washing machine near the cold setting, as a fun reminder for everyone that you are saving energy and money!
Make It a Group Activity
Get your office members, neighbors, or friends to pledge to wash at least every 4 out of 5 loads of laundry in cold water. Use the money that you saved to go out to a nice dinner together at the end of the month or year.
Cold water is not good for my clothes
This used to be correct, way back when washing machines were just getting their start. But now laundry detergents and the washers themselves are much higher quality, making it unnecessary to use hot water.
Using cold water will not get my clothes clean enough.
Again, huge advances have been made in laundry detergent and washing machine technology, so your clothes will still be squeaky clean if you use cold water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you telling me to wash my sheets and towels in cold water, too?
No, we recommend washing linens like towels and sheets in warm or hot water as a sanitary precaution and to kill dust mites.
I don’t do laundry very often. Can it really make a difference to use cold water?
Yes, every bit of savings and reduced energy use helps, especially when you are saving 90% of energy used for your washing machine when you use cold water.
The label says “wash in warm water.” Can I still use cold water?
It is up to you whether to follow the label or not, but cold water is always the safest for all clothes, especially delicates. Your clothes will not shrink or bleed in cold water, and if you air dry them after that will make your clothes last longer too.
If heating the water uses 90% of the energy, what is the other 10% for?
The only energy you will use to power your washing machine will be electricity to spin the motor.