How do using clean energy and cold washing clothes compare?


Living sustainably isn’t just about recycling your bottles and cans every week — it’s about making conscious choices every day to do better for ourselves and our planet. Luckily, there are a lot of different ways that we can work to incorporate healthy habits and green behaviors into our daily routines without adding too many extra items onto our seemingly never-ending to-do lists. And one of those habits is already at home waiting for you where you may not expect it: in your laundry room.

Let’s take a closer look at how changing up just one simple laundry habit can make a big difference for both your utility bills and the environment, and see how it compares to signing up for clean energy.

Going from hot to cold

When laundry day arrives, there are a lot of different things that you can do to minimize your environmental impact while still making sure your clothes come out smelling like lavender flowers (or whichever other fragrance suits your fancy!). From buying eco-friendly detergents to avoiding products with harmful plastic packaging, sustainable choices can come in many different forms. But there’s yet another way that you can make a big impact aside from which products you buy, and that’s by lowering the temperature of the water that you wash your clothes in.

Is it better to wash clothes in cold water?

Yes, we’re talking about washing your clothes on the cold water setting more often than the warm water setting. Because believe it or not this simple change, which you can make with just the flip of a switch on your washing machine, can make a big difference.

Impact of washing clothes in cold water

Don’t let the allure of warm water fool you — it’s not always better to wash your clothing in hot water. Hot water tends to be much harder on your clothing, someitmes even discoloring the dyes that give them their vibrancy. Washing your clothing in cold water instead helps preserve the quality of the fabrics, making them last longer. This means that your favorite t-shirt or skirt will last much longer and you won’t have to send it to the landfill when it falls apart.

And if that weren’t enough to convince you, the environmental and economic benefits of cold washing are staggering. According to some estimates, between 75% and 90% of the electricity you use to wash your clothes goes toward heating the water that goes into each load. Meaning you could cut down your electricity usage by up to 75% for each load just by switching to cold water.

Energy saving tips for the washing machine

Even if you don’t go cold for every single load of laundry you do, washing 4 out of every 5 loads in cold water can reduce your emissions by 864 pounds of CO2e, or 432 pounds of coal, every year. And if you combine that green habit with purchasing eco-friendly products, your impact can be even greater.

When cold washing doesn’t feel like enough, clean energy can help

If you’ve already gotten into the habit of setting your washing machine’s water temperature to cold instead of hot but want to reduce your carbon footprint even more, then we have a solution for you.

Using clean energy is not only financially accessible, with flexible plan options and usage reports that help you save energy (and money!), but it is significantly more impactful than washing your clothes in cold water. In fact, supporting clean energy for just one year can help you prevent around 8,000 pounds of coal from being burned into the atmosphere. Plus, making the switch to clean energy with Inspire takes less than five minutes, and your impact can last a lifetime.

When it comes to making the greatest amount of impact for the least amount of effort, using clean energy is the obvious choice. Learn more about signing up for clean energy with Inspire and how other green behaviors compare to using clean energy on our green behaviors blog.