Today’s Small Step: Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water

By Faran Krentcil, Fact checked by Jessica Ochoa

1 min read

Wash you clothes in cold water

 How can I reduce my carbon emissions? One easy way is by washing your clothes in cold water instead of the warm or hot water. Here are the benefits of washing your clothes in cold water. 

Good for the planet:

90% of washing machine energy comes from heating water, which means you can substantially cut your carbon emissions being chill. 

Good for you:

Because warm water can loosen the knit on a textile, cold water helps keep your favorite clothes fitting the right way on your body, and also keeps the colors more vibrant and less likely to rip.

Good for the planet:

Washing clothes in cold water reduces the risk of microplastics shedding from synthetic fabrics. (And look, we all have that one Zara top we need for date night...) 

Good for you:

Switching to cold water saves energy, which means you save money—about $130 a year if you live in a two-person household. (If you’ve got little kids who get everything dirty? It’s more like $300.) 

Want to go even further? Start hand washing things like bras and cashmere sweaters, and lay your knitwear on a drying rack or chair instead of throwing it in the dryer. You won’t just save money and energy—you’ll also be treating your favorite sweaters the way god and Marc Jacobs intended.