How much water does a washing machine use?

By Amy Mitchelle/ Last Updated: February 19

How much water does a washing machine use

The amount of water and energy expended is one of the fundamental indicators that undoubtedly trouble every potential buyer of such household appliances like a washing machine. The more modern the appliance’s model is, the lower the level of resource consumption it can be characterized. Old or outdated models, even very reliable and quite serviceable, cannot boast of low water consumption. In particular, small washing machines with agitators consume a lot of water. These appliances are of an outdated type that consumes a lot of water and electricity.


A completely new attitude to the environment and the owner’s wallet is demonstrated today by modern High-Efficiency washers (they also may be marked as HE washers). The majority of High-Efficiency washers are also added with the Energy Star mark. This means they use 20% less energy and 30% fewer water resources than ordinary appliances.

How much water does a portable washing machine use?

Regarding the washing machine resource consumption, it is worth talking about portable devices first. Today they are in undoubtedly high demand. The secret of their popularity lies in the amazing ability to combine compactness, portability, and efficiency.


Usually, they are quite compact, weigh little, and do not cause difficulties during transportation from place to place. Portable washer and dryer sets appear to be the best solutions for small dwellings or for often moving families. But despite the high demand for mobile solutions, they still have impressive energy and water consumption.

Small washing machines

How much water does a washing machine use? It is difficult to name concrete numbers for water consumption – much depends on the specific model and its tank capacity. One thing is unambiguously obvious – such washing machines consume a lot of water, especially agitator models, and not certified as Energy Star. Water consumption can sometimes exceed 20 gallons per wash (for a washer with a large tub, more than 8 lbs. capacity).

How much water does a washing machine use?

portable washer and dryer sets

How much water does a standard stationary washing machine consume? If this device is certified as High Efficiency (HE), this number can be equal to 14 gallons for 1 cycle. If we are talking about an ordinary mid-priced washing machine, then this is 19-20 gallons of water (per 1 cycle).

How much water do top and front load washers consume? Consider that the front and top load washers also differ in water consumption. Experts convince that front load washer models are more beneficial in this regard. They have appeared later than top load solutions, and their mechanisms permit to lower the consumption of both water and electricity significantly. This has a positive effect on the ability to reduce the numbers in monthly utility bills.

How to reduce your washing machine's water consumption?

Can you influence the water consumption reduction in your washing machine? Of course, yes, but not critical. If we are talking about an old washing machine, most of the advice will be useless. If the washer is relatively new and equipped with modern electronics, you will have a chance to reduce your water consumption a little.

So what factors can influence the water consumption increase? This is loading the tank with large textiles (blankets, sheets, blankets, etc.). Try to combine clothes of different sizes each washing cycle. For example, it shouldn’t be just blankets and large sheets. Combine items of different sizes, thereby you will be able to provide a high-quality wash and slightly reduce the expense of water consumed.


One more significant point is the detergents overuse. Some modern models of washing machines are equipped with foam sensors; therefore, with its abundant formation, they can independently extend the rinsing time, thereby adding new portions of clean water. The solution to this problem is obvious – you should not add more washing powder than you actually need. The exception is baby clothes washing – if the child is prone to allergic reactions, recommend you to use the additional rinse option (after the primary washing cycle). In this case, usually, we are not talking about water and funds saving, but about the child’s health.

Selecting the right washing mode is another nuance that can adjust the amount of water consumed. If you apply the Cotton mode regularly, the water consumption will be impressive. So, the correct washing or rinsing mode may help ensure the optimal enough water consumption of your washing machine.

Sometimes it makes no sense to use the full washing cycle too frequently – some of the clothes you load into the washing machine are not dirty enough to stay in the washing machine for a long time. A short cycle (15 to 30 minutes) is very useful and economical. It permits you to freshen up slightly dirty clothes, return them to purity, and ensure economical water and energy consumption.

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