CONSUMER REPORTS (WSYR-TV) — Doing laundry isn’t a chore that’s going to disappear anytime soon, and neither are the costs involved in doing it. But as Consumer Reports explains, a few simple, eco-friendly changes (and the right detergent) in the laundry room can help lower your energy bills.

Consumer Reports says using a high-efficiency washer and dryer is one of the most important
things you can do in terms of reducing your energy bills.

Front-load washers deliver when it comes to cleaning performance, and they use the least
amount of water and energy. Among the best and most eco-friendly in CR’s tests is the LG WM3400CW. The matching dryer is the LG DLE3400W. They each cost about $800.

If you already own a high-efficiency washer and dryer and your set is working just fine, there are still ways to save. CR’s tests have found that laundry detergents have become much better at removing dirt and stains at lower water temperatures.

The top two detergents in CR’s tests are Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release and Persil Pro Clean Stain Fighter. Both can tackle tough stains and can also be used as a pretreat stain remover.

If you can’t line-dry, you can lower the amount of energy your dryer uses by increasing your washer’s spin cycle. It reduces your dryer’s workload by extracting more water from the clothes, which means less work for your dryer. It might increase wrinkling, but CR says don’t let that stop you. Instead, simply untangle and shake your laundry out before you toss it in the dryer.

And to keep your dryer running as efficiently as possible, don’t forget to clean the lint screen
before every load.

If you use dryer sheets, know that they can leave a film behind on your dryer’s filter that reduces airflow. They can also leave residue on your dryer’s moisture sensors. Check your owner’s manual on how to clean those sensors. Better yet, skip dryer sheets altogether and reduce your waste!