What else should I look for when buying a clothes washer?
ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers are available in front-load and top-load models from brands including Blomberg, Asko, GE, Kenmore, LG, Samsung, Whirlpool and many more.
Think carefully about the size
ENERGY STAR certified models are also available in stackable, under-the-counter designs, and combination washer-dryer designs which fit in smaller spaces.
Save the most by choosing a model with a high Integrated Modified Energy Factor (IMEF) and a low Integrated Water Factor (IWF)
Integrated Modified Energy Factor (IMEF) is a measure of energy efficiency that considers the energy used by the washer during the cycle and while on standby, the energy used to heat the water, and the energy used to run the dryer. The higher the IMEF, the more energy efficient the clothes washer. Integrated Water Factor (IWF) measures water efficiency in gallons of water consumed per cubic foot of capacity. The lower the IWF, the more water efficient the clothes washer. Both IMEF and IWF are provided for each model listed in the ENERGY STAR Product Finder.
Most ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers do not have a central agitator.
Clothes washers that have earned the ENERGY STAR use next generation technology to cut energy consumption by 25% and water consumption by 33% compared to conventional washers.
ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers come in either front-load or redesigned top-load designs. Both configurations include technical innovations that help save substantial amounts of energy and water.
- Many have sensors to monitor incoming water temperature closely.
- They also rinse clothes with repeated high-pressure spraying instead of soaking them in a full tub of water.
- Front-loaders tumble clothes through a small amount of water instead of rubbing clothes against an agitator in a full tub. Advanced top loaders use sophisticated wash systems to flip or spin clothes through a reduced stream of water. Both designs dramatically reduce the amount of hot water used in the wash cycle, and the energy used to heat it.
- Efficient motors used in ENERGY STAR certified washers spin clothes two to three times faster during the spin cycle to extract more water. Less moisture in the clothes means less energy used by the dryer.
For both models, check to see if you need to use special detergent. Low-water washers use special low-suds detergent for best results. Ask your sales representative for recommendations on detergent use.
Save in So Many Ways!
Choosing an ENERGY STAR certified washer saves you enough money to pay for the dryer.
If you're not using an ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer, you're wasting 6 gallons of water every time you wash.
Washers with agitators pull and rub clothes to get them clean. Clothing damage can be seen in the amount of lint in your dryer.
In recent years, clothes washer technology has seen dramatic improvements in efficiency and functionality. Selecting an ENERGY STAR certified washer gets you all these premium features and functionality, with the following additional benefits:
- Get a shower of water savings.
New ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers use advanced technology to dramatically reduce water use. Full-sized washers that have earned the ENERGY STAR use 14 gallons of water per load, compared to the 20 gallons used by a standard machine.
- Long live your clothes.
Instead of twisting and pulling clothes around a turning agitator, front-load and advanced top-load clothes washers use sophisticated wash systems to gently flip and spin clothes through a reduced stream of water. This lengthens the life of often-washed items. Because they are so gentle, many models can safely clean silk, wool and other hand-washables.
- Take time out.
Without a bulky agitator, there is more usable space in the washer for laundry — especially larger items like comforters. More capacity means fewer loads of laundry each week. What will you do with your extra time?
- Save the environment.
More than 60% percent of U.S. electricity is generated by burning coal and natural gas, which releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change. ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers use less energy and help us reduce our impact on the environment. By reducing water consumption, they also put less strain on limited water resources. Learn more about other ways to save water with EPA's WaterSense.
Be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR when shopping for clothes washers
Current Specification Effective Date: February 5, 2018
Clothes washers originally earned the ENERGY STAR label in May, 1997. Clothes washers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are about 25% more efficient than non-certified models and are more efficient than models that simply meet the federal minimum standard for energy efficiency.
Only front and top loading clothes washers meeting the ENERGY STAR definitions for residential clothes washer and commercial clothes washer, with capacities greater than 1.6ft3 are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR certification. Combination all-in-one washer-dryers with air-only drying that meet the ENERGY STAR criteria for clothes washers and clothes dryers are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR certification.
- Always use HE (High Efficiency) detergent.
Front-loading clothes washers are designed to use HE detergent. Using regular detergent creates too much suds, which will affect the machine's washing and rinsing performance. Over time, it can lead to odors and mechanical problems.
- Fill it up.
Clothes washers use about the same amount of energy regardless of the size of the load, so run full loads whenever possible.
- Wash in cold water.
Water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Unless you're dealing with oily stains, washing in cold water will generally do a good job of cleaning.* Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half. Using the cold cycle reduces energy use even more.
- Use a drying rack or hang clothes outside.
Where and when possible, air-drying clothes instead of using a dryer not only saves energy, but also helps them last longer.
- Avoid the sanitary cycle.
This super hot cycle, available on some models, increases energy use significantly. Only use it when absolutely necessary.
- Activate the high spin speed option.
If your clothes washer has spin options, choose a high spin speed or the extended spin option to reduce the amount of remaining moisture in your clothes after washing. This decreases the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes.
- Leave the door open after use.
Front-loading washers use airtight seals to prevent water from leaking while the machine is in use. When the machine is not in use, this seal can trap moisture in the machine and lead to mold. Leave the door ajar for an hour or two after use to allow moisture to evaporate. Make sure children do not climb into the machine while the door is open.
- Rinse the washer every month.
Some manufacturers recommend rinsing the washer each month by running a normal cycle with 1 cup of bleach to help reduce the risk of mold or mildew buildup. Consult the product owner's manual before attempting.
* Consumers may wish to switch to hot water temporarily when members of their household are sick.