Save energy by washing clothes in warm water instead of hot. Up to 90% of the energy used to wash clothes is used to heat water. Always use a cold water rinse, the temperature of the rinse cycle does not affect the cleaning. Use the appropriate water level for the amount of clothes being washed.
Wash lightly soiled clothes on the delicate cycle. This will save energy, in addition to decreasing the wear and tear on the machine and your clothes.
Use non-phosphate laundry detergents. Liquid detergent is usually non-phosphate.
Use chlorine bleach only when necessary. Non-chlorine alternatives are readily available, as are bleaches made of borax. For another bleach alternative, try 1/2 cup white vinegar or baking soda per load.
Clean the lint trap of your clothes dryer between each load. This enables the dryer to operate more efficiently, taking less time to dry clothes and using less energy.
Dry only full loads. It requires more energy to dry 2 small loads than one large one. Dry clothes of similar weight together so that all of the clothes will be dry at about the same time.
Air drying clothes, on a clothesline or rack, will save all the energy involved in machine drying.