How Much Do Washing Machines Cost To Run?

Washing machines are among the most frequently used appliances in the UK. With some households with large families using their washer every day and the average washing machine usage being 3 times per week.

Have you ever stopped to consider how much using the washing machine costs? With energy bills getting more and more expensive, we need to know just how much our appliances cost to run.

Keep reading to find out how much it costs to use a washing machine and whether it’s worth investing in a new energy efficient model.

How Much Power Does A Washing Machine Use?

The amount of electricity a washing machine uses depends on the make and model. There are of course, variations in the amount of energy used by washing machines and the type of washer you own can affect the energy consumption. For instance;

Type Of Washing MachineTypical Energy Consumption
Front Loader0.5 to 1.0 kWh
Washer/Dryer (Combo)0.5 to 3.5 kWh
Compact (Mini)0.4 to 0.8 kWh
Top Loader (common in US & Canada)0.7 to 1.2 kWh

However, the average washer uses around 0.62 kWh of power per cycle. Using that as our guide, it would cost around 15p per cycle at current energy prices of 30p per kWh.

Energy Ratings

The amount of electricity used by your washer depends on the way you use it and how energy efficient it is. In the UK all washing machines are rated for their energy efficiency. You will see the rating displayed either on the appliance or in the handbook.

The ratings run from A-G with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. For example:

  • The F rated Indesit IWSC61251WUKN washing machine will cost an average of 20p per cycle.
  • Whereas the A rated Samsung Series 5 ecobubble WW90TA046AE 9kg Washing Machine with 1400 rpm washer will cost around 12p per cycle to run. 

This all works out that an average cost of running a washing machine currently in the UK will cost you around 15p per cycle.

The takeaway from this is that to save money on electricity bills you need a washing machine with an energy rating of B or above.

How To Calculate The Cost of Running Your Washer


You don’t need a degree in higher mathematics to work out how much your washer is costing for each cycle. All you need is to work out the amount of energy your appliance uses and multiply that by the cost of your electricity.

Every washing machine will have its wattage printed either on the appliance or in the user manual. You then need to convert the watts into kilo-watt hours (which is how you’re charged for electricity). To do this divide the wattage by 1000.

For example; on an older washing machine that runs at 1400 watts: 1400 (watts) ÷ 1000 = 1.4 (kWh) 

This tells us that a 1400 watt washer will use 1.4 kWh of electricity per hour. All you need to know now is how much your energy supplier charges you for electricity per unit (which can be found on your energy bill). As well as the time taken for the wash cycle to complete (the average time taken by washing machine cycles is around 0.833 of an hour).

At the time of writing this, our energy supplier is charging around 30p per unit. Which means a 1400 watt washer would cost 35p per cycle. This is because; 1.4 (kWh) x 30 (energy charge) x 0.833 (time) = 35p.

Energy Monitoring Plugs

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However, if maths really isn’t your thing there is a handy little gadget that can do all of the work for you. These monitors are plugged into the wall socket and your appliance is plugged into the monitor. You then connect to the monitor via your smart device to get real time updates on energy usage.

Energy Monitor With LCD Display

Electricity Usage Monitor, Besvic Energy Monitor with Backlight LCD Display, 7 Monitoring Modes Power Meter, Voltage Amps Wattage KWH Consumption Monitor, 2900W/13A Overload Protection, UK Plug
  • 【Electricity Consumption meter】Still Troubled by high home appliances' electricity cost bill? Reduce electricity waste with the real-time power meter. It helps to know the energy cost of your home appliances.
  • 【7 Monitoring Modes】Total 7 monitoring modes: time, cost, accumulated power consumption(kWh), real-time volts(V), real-time amps(A), hertz, maximum and minimum power (W), power factor and electricity unit price. Note: the time is running time which could not be used for directly calculating the power of intermittent duty appliances like freezer.

If you don’t have smart connectivity, then this monitor plug is for you. It works in the same way, you plug the monitor into the wall socket and plug your appliance into the monitor. The amount of energy used and the cost are displayed on the LCD display screen.

Other Ways To Save Electricity When Doing The Washing

If you already own an A rated washer or you are not in a position to change your appliance, there are other ways you can save energy. These include;

Use A Lower Wash Temperature

Switching from a 40°C wash to a 20°C wash cycle can save an estimated 62% on energy consumption. Plus, if your washer has an eco wash setting, you could save up to 90% on energy consumption.

This is because it’s the heating of the water that consumes most of the energy used in a washing machine. Turning the drum and spraying water only accounts for around 10% of the total energy used.

Ensure The Drum Is Full Before Use

If you only ever ½ fill your washing machine, you will be using twice as much energy over the course of a year than you need to. Experts agree that washing machines should be filled to within ¾ capacity to run efficiently.

If you are not filling the drum to the recommended level, you could be paying more for energy than you need to.

Which Washing Machines Are The Most Energy Efficient?

As we said earlier, the most energy efficient washers have an A energy rating. Some of the more popular A rated washing machines include;

  • Samsung Series 5 ecobubble WW90TA046AE
  • Hotpoint NM111046WDAUKN
  • Bosch Series 4 WGG04409GB
  • Haier HW100-B1439N
  • Hisense 3 Series WFQA1214EVJMT
  • LG Turbowash F4A510GBLN1

How much Does It Cost To Run A Washing Machine?


As we have seen, there are many variables that can affect how much it costs to get a wash load done. The overall estimated cost of running a washing machine could cost you anywhere between 12p to 20p per load depending on the washing machine type, the energy rating, the temperature and the duration of the wash cycle.

If you want to spend less on the electricity you use when doing the laundry, you should look at washing at lower temperatures or using the eco wash option (if your machine has one). 

Another good tip is to wait until the laundry bin is full enough to allow you to do a full wash load. This will ensure you’re using the washer only as often as is really needed and not washing ½ loads.

SEE ALSO: How Much Does It Cost To Run A Portable Air Conditioner?

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to run a washing machine in the UK 2024?

The cost of running a washing machine in the UK in 2024 varies depending on the washing machine type, the energy rating, the temperature and the duration of the wash cycle. You can expect to pay anywhere between 12p to 20p per load.

Do washing machines use a lot of electricity?

The amount of electricity a washing machine uses depends on many factors. Older washers tend to use more power than modern, more energy efficient models. However, washing machines have different wattage values ranging from 300 w to around 1,500 w for the most energy guzzling models. Using lower temperature wash cycles and eco wash cycles can drastically reduce the energy usage of a washing machine.

Does eco wash save money?

Using the eco wash cycle on a washing machine will save more money than using the quick wash. This is because washers use around 90% of the total energy used to heat the water. The eco wash uses cool water but allows the laundry to soak for longer. Thus, saving money.

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