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Keep your cleaning routine clean

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

Save energy while you clean

You have the power to make a difference. Reducing energy use cuts greenhouse gas production, making the world a cleaner place for all of us. Learn easy, practical solutions for conserving energy while cleaning.

hand washing dishes

In the kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home — and one of the biggest energy users. Follow these simple tips to conserve energy while you clean the kitchen:

  • Use real dishes instead of paper plates. If you do use paper products, compost or recycle them!
  • Opt for refillable or concentrated dishwashing soaps
  • When washing dishes by hand, fill up a tub of soapy water rather than keeping the tap running.
  • Use your garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, use an indoor compost bin for leftovers and turn them into healthy nourishment for your backyard garden.
  • Don't bother wasting time rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Most modern dishwashers do the job for you. Use a product such as Cascade Complete ActionPacs so you can skip the pre-wash and save a ton of water.
  • Upgrade your outdated appliances to energy-efficient models, which can use 50 percent less energy than older varieties.

In the laundry room

With the average American household doing more than 400 loads of laundry each year, sustainable laundry practices can make a huge difference. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "If all U. S. households installed water-efficient appliances, the country would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion per year." Learn more tips to save energy in your laundry room:

  • High-efficiency washing machines use up to 50 percent less water than standard machines. Switching to a high-efficiency model saves money while reducing water and power usage.
  • Always clean your lint trap before drying your clothes.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water to save energy. By switching to coldwater washing and using Tide Coldwater you could save up to 80% of energy in every load and get a brilliant clean. ** Based on conversion from warm/cold to cold/cold cycles for all loads in a traditional top-loading washing machine with an electric water heater.
  • Run your washing machine only when you have a full load, and do it at night during off-peak energy demand hours.

In the bathroom

About 12 percent of the energy consumed in the average home is used to heat water. You can reduce your energy consumption dramatically just by lowering the water thermostat from 140 to 120 degrees F, which is still plenty hot for any cleaning (or bathing) you need to do. Here are a few more ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint while cleaning your bathroom:

  • Instead of keeping the tap running, fill up a bucket of warm water to use while you clean. Leaky faucets waste gallons of water every day, so repair them immediately.
  • Want to keep your bathroom smelling fresh? Open a box of baking soda and leave it under your sink to absorb odors. Also, sprinkle some in the bottom of your bathroom trashcans to keep away bad smells.

Expert Tip

Installing low-flow, aerating faucets throughout your home can save gallons of water each day, and every gallon adds up! If every faucet in the United States were switched to a faucet aerator, we could save 300 billion gallons of water each year.

More tips for conserving energy

6 Environmentally friendly products we love
Cut your energy bill with eco-friendly kitchen appliances
10 Simple ways to save energy in your home

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