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How Much Water Do Washing Machines Use?

November 2, 2023

Imagine each load of laundry as a miniature waterfall cascading down your clothes. Now consider that for every wash cycle.

To give you a better idea, an average washer uses up to 20 gallons of water, which is enough to fill about 160 typical drinking glasses.

The bottom line is that washing machines use a lot of water. But how much do they use exactly? Does it differ depending on the type of washer that you have? Which type should you get if you want to be more energy efficient?

For the answers, be sure to keep reading. We’ll be going over everything that you need to know about washing machine water usage below.

Understanding Washing Machine Water Usage

understanding washing machine water usageA standard washing machine uses about 19 gallons of water per load. An energy-efficient high-efficiency (HE) machine, however, can get your clothes clean with just 7 gallons. That’s almost three times less.

The secret lies in their design and wash action. Unlike standard washing machines, HE machines are designed to use less water while delivering equal or even better cleaning power than regular washers.

Cycle Settings Affecting Water Consumption

Your choice of rinse settings can significantly affect the water usage for your washing machine.

For instance, choosing a ‘heavy duty’ cycle means higher water consumption because they often involve additional rinses or longer soaking periods before the spinning starts.

Tip: Using ACTIVE Washing Machine Cleaner helps ensure that your washing machine runs optimally – that way, it will maintain its water efficiency.

Types of Washing Machines and Their Water Usage

Choosing the right type of washing machine can significantly affect your water consumption.

In this section, we will be comparing the various models including top-load, front-load, high-efficiency (HE), and standard washing machines.

Top-Load vs Front-Load Washing Machines

Top-load washing machines tend to use more water than their front-loading counterparts. This is because they fill up with enough water to submerge all the clothes in its drum.

In contrast, front load washing machines tumble clothes through a small pool of water at the bottom.

Because of that, they use less water, which makes them the better choice when it comes to energy efficiency.

But it’s not just about how much each uses; it also comes down to cleaning performance. While top loaders may use extra water, some folks find that worth it for cleaner laundry.

High-Efficiency Washing Machines and Water Efficiency

high efficiency washing machines and water efficiency

If saving money while getting your clothes clean sounds appealing then HE washers are for you. These appliances come in both top-load or front-load designs and are best known for their reduced environmental footprint.

If anything, you can think of them as a water efficient washing machines – especially those that have Energy Star certification (more on this later).

Compared to standard models, they will significantly reduce your washing machine’s water usage by using only what’s necessary. This is possible thanks to improved rinse settings and advanced wash cycles.

Another great thing about an HE washing machine is that it can handle larger loads – making them ideal if your family washes lots of laundry regularly.

It’s important to note, however, that they are more expensive compared to regular washing machines. However, most would agree that they are worth it in the long-run.

They also require a special type of HE laundry detergent that produces less soap suds. This has to do with the fact that they use less water to clean your clothes.

If you use a regular laundry detergent with your high efficiency washer, it will product too much suds – to the point where it can and will damage the machine. Your clothes won’t be free of residue either.

Impact of Load Size on Water Usage

The size of your laundry can have a huge influence on the amount of water that’s used by your washing machine.

Whether you’re using a top-load washer, front-load washer, or high-efficiency washing machine, it’s important to optimize load size for water efficiency.

Many people believe that running half loads will save both energy and water; however, this isn’t always the case.

This has to do with the fact that most washing machines use a significant portion of their total water just to get started – whether you’re doing a full or half-size load.

Optimal Load Size for Water Efficiency

To reduce the water usage for your washing machine, consider how much clothing you put in each time.

Ideally, you want to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations instead of eyeing it – that will ensure optimal performance without putting any extra stress on the machine components.

At the same time, it’ll save valuable resources like energy and most importantly—water.

Water Usage Across Different Washing Machine Cycles

water usage based on wash cycle

Washing machines don’t utilize the same amount of water for each cycle. Let’s take a look at how different cycles can impact your machine’s water usage.

Regular vs. Heavy-Duty Wash Cycles

The choice between regular and heavy-duty cycles can significantly affect the water consumption of your washing machine.

Generally speaking, regular wash cycles are designed to clean lightly soiled clothes as they use less water than heavier-duty alternatives.

In contrast, heavy-duty wash cycles aim to remove tough stains from heavily soiled items, hence they need more water for thorough cleaning.

The Efficiency of Delicate Cycles

These gentle settings on your washing machine typically consume fewer gallons per load while ensuring that delicate fabrics come out spotless and intact.

To maximize the efficiency of your washing machine without compromising cleanliness on any setting, ensure you’re selecting the right cycle for the job – be it delicates or dirty gym gear.

Reducing the Water Usage For Your Washing Machine

There are several things that you can do to reduce the amount of water that your washing machine uses.

Be Mindful When Loading Your Clothes

be mindful when loading your clothes

Loading the washing machine correctly is key to efficient water use.

If you’re washing a small amount, don’t choose the large load setting on your washing machine – it will only waste water as there won’t be enough clothes to soak it all up.

Combine smaller loads into one big batch instead. Just be careful not to overload it as an overfilled washing machine won’t be able to clean clothes properly.

Clever Cycle Settings Save Gallons

Consider all of the cycle settings when you’re washing clothes.

For example, ‘pre-soak’ or ‘second rinse’ settings may help get rid of tough stains, but they will also increase your machine’s water usage. Remember, every drop counts.

With these simple changes, you can make a big difference in conserving water and save money too.

Consider an Energy Star-Certified Washing Machine

The Energy Star certification is one label that you want to look out for when purchasing a new washing machine.

It means that the washer uses less energy compared to the average washing machine.

Not only are they better for the environment but they’ll also save your wallet in the long run.

Compared to a regular washing machine (including front load washers and top load washers), an Energy Star certified washer can save up to 6 gallons of water per load.

How Much Water Do Washing Machines Use – FAQs

How much water does a washing machine use?

A typical washing machine will use about 19 gallons per load, however, an energy efficient model can cut this down to around 7 gallons.

How much water does a standard washing machine use each time?

The amount varies by type and cycle. For example, standardwashing machines typically use 20 gallons while Energy Star models might only need 14.

How many gallons of water does a top load washing machine use?

The average water usage for a top load washing machine is higher than a front-loading machine as they’re less water efficient.

Depending on the model, they can use anywhere from about 30 to over 40 gallons per full-sized load.

How much water does a front load washing machine use?

how much water does front loader use

When it comes to washing machine water usage, front loaders are the best choice – this is especially true for HE washing machines.

Take Energy Star certified front loaders, for example, they use about 50% less water and 45% less water than a regular washer.

What’s the most water efficient washing machine?

HE washing machines with a front load design are the most water efficient. Regular front loading washing machines are second on the list, followed by top load washing machine models.

Washing Machine Water Usage – an Overview

And there you have it- a guide on washing machine water usage. As you can see, there are several things to consider when it comes to washing machine water consumption, including the type and kind of washer that you have.

While top load washing machines generally use more water for a wash cycle, they also tend to clean better than front load washers.

However, front load machines are much better when it comes to water and energy efficiency. This is especially true for high efficiency models. They may be more expensive and require a special type of concentrated detergent but are generally worth it in the long run.

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Ethan Clarke

Ethan Clarke is a seasoned expert in appliances and household waste systems. Referencing his extensive experience as an appliance repairman, Ethan shares his invaluable knowledge through detailed maintenance & troubleshooting manuals. Ethan’s insights help homeowners understand and maintain their appliances efficiently, ensuring longevity and optimal performance. He’s here to provide practical, easy-to-follow advice for all your appliance needs.

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