A washing machine saves you more time than washing your clothes by hand.
But, you probably have no idea how much water your washing machine uses per cycle, or how that affects your overall water consumption.
When determining the overall water consumption of cleaning your clothes it’s important to consider all the contributing factors including;
- The age of the washer
- Water efficiency
- The WF (water factor) of your machine
Read on to learn more on how much water does a washing machine use.
1. Age of the washer
Over time, the performance of a washing machine will deteriorate due to wear and tear of the material from prolonged use.
Your washing machine may also be outdated. For example, there is a dizzying range of new fabrics in the market today. Older models of washing machines might not have the settings to accommodate them.
But how does the age and level of performance of your washer affect your water usage.
Your washing machine might still be in good condition and performing as expected. However, older machines use more water, approximately 40 gallons / 180L of water per cycle compared to 27 gallons / 120L for a newer washing machine.
2. Water Efficiency
All washing machines sold in the EU and UK come with an energy label that not only displays approximate electricity consumption per year but also water consumption.
Do not assume that a washing machine with an A+++ rating will use less water than an A++ washing machine.
Water consumption varies even among washing machines with similar energy rating.
To check the water efficiency of a washing machine, check the bottom left corner of the label. It’ll indicate the approximate number of litres the machine will use per year under standard conditions.
Most of the time you’ll notice the higher efficiency is, the higher the price tag on the machine, but it’s not always the case. You can find some great budget washing machines that are also very efficient.
Water Factor (WF) is the amount of water you use per cycle to wash a cubic foot of clothes. The lower the water factor, the more efficient the washer is.
Let’s compare the WF of older washers versus high-efficiency models.
Older washers have a high WF of about 10 or so.
If you are using an older model washer, you will be consuming approximately 40 gallons / 180L of water per load. This amounts to 12,000 gallons / 55,000L annually.
High Efficiency Washers
Newer, High-Efficiency Washers have a WF of approximately 8 or less.
This means that by using a newer model, you will reduce your water consumption to anywhere between 7 and 26 gallons for a full load.
Opting for a high-efficiency model will save you more than 6,000 gallons / 27,000L of water per year.
Water Saving Tips
Regardless of which washing machine you are using, you can always save water by using it smartly. Here are some water saving tips.
- One way to reduce water consumption is to only run full loads. Your washer might have adjustable load setting but running a full load is the most economical way to wash clothes.
- Also, avoid the extra-rinse cycle unless you or a family member is sensitive to the fabric softener.
- In some cases however, the best option is to upgrade to a newer, more efficient washing machine. You’ll spend more money on a newer model but it could save you thousands of litres of water per year.