How Much Water Do Washing Machines Use? (in the UK)
We’re all being encouraged to be custodians of the environment nowadays and there’s lots of helpful advice about ways to save energy. But what about water usage?
New innovations in technology have reduced the amount of water many of our appliances use. If you happen to be on a water meter at home, using less water is a good thing as it means your water bills will be less expensive.
But even if you’re not on a water meter, you will still have to pay a utility charge to your local water authority. The greater the demand for water, the greater the cost of producing fresh water and the higher your costs will eventually be.
How Much Water Does A UK Washing Machine Use?
Back in the 20th century, washing machines could use as much as 150 litres of water each cycle. According to many leading statisticians that’s more than the average person uses in a whole day now!
However, over the past 20 years or so technology has advanced and great improvements have been made in this area. The average washing machine now uses around 50 litres of water for each cycle.
The amount of water a washing machine uses is based on a number of factors including;
- The size of the wash load
- The temperature setting used
- The cycle selected
- How dirty the laundry is
- The water pressure
- The water hardness
- The water inlet temperature
However, the average water usage is anywhere between 39 to 53 litres per cycle.
Below we’ve listed 10 of the top energy efficiency rated washing machines currently on sale in the UK along with the average amount of water usage for each appliance.
|Model||Energy Rating||Capacity (KG)||Water Usage (per cycle)|
|Samsung Series 5 ecobubble WW90TA046AE||A||9 KG||50 litres|
|Hotpoint NM11 1046 WD A UK N||A||10 KG||52 litres|
|Bosch Series 4 WGG04409GB||A||9 KG||48 litres|
|Haier HW100-B1439NS8||A||10 KG||48 litres|
|Hisense 3 Series WFQA1214EVJMT||A||12 KG||55 litres|
|LG TurboWash F4Y709WBTN1||A||9 KG||50 litres|
|Hoover H-WASH 300 PRO HBWOS69TAME Integrated||A||9 KG||46 litres|
|SamsungAvailableSamsung Series 5+ AddWash™ WW90T554DAW||A||9 KG||50 litres|
|Haier HW80-B1439N||A||8 KG||44 litres|
|Hisense 3 Series WFQA8014EVJMT||A||8 KG||45 litres|
One of the major contributing factors to water usage in washing machines is the drum size. For instance a 6 KG capacity washer will use less water than a 10 KG capacity washer.
However, that doesn’t mean that a larger drum size means more water usage, on the contrary, washers with larger drum capacities tend to use less water per KG of laundry.
This makes them more efficient in their water usage because you can wash more clothes using less water overall.
Which Type Of Washing Machine Uses The Least Water?
As we have seen, the amount of water used by a washing machine is dependent on many factors. Including the age of the appliance, and the settings selected. However, the type of washer makes quite a large impact on water usage as well. For instance;
|Type Of Washing Machine||Average Water Usage (standard 40° wash)|
|Modern Front Loader||50 litres|
|Modern Top Loader||90 to 140 litres|
|Older Washers||180 litres|
As you can see older washers tend to use the most water per cycle followed by top loaders which use around twice to three times the amount of water used by modern front loaders.
What Is The Average Water Usage For A Modern Washing Machine?
Based on all of the data available on washing machines in the UK we have found that the average water usage for a standard wash cycle in the UK is as follows;
- 7 KG Washing Machine – 44 litres per cycle
- 8 KG Washing Machine – 45 litres per cycle
- 9 KG Washing Machine – 48 litres per cycle
- 10 KG Washing Machine – 52 litres per cycle
- 11 KG Washing Machine – 55 litres per cycle
- 12 KG Washing Machine – 54 litres per cycle
- 13 KG Washing Machine – 58 litres per cycle
- 14 KG Washing Machine – 62 litres per cycle
Does The Energy Rating Also Reflect The Water Usage Of A Washing Machine?
All new washing machines have an energy rating which is based on energy usage and not water usage. This means that a washing machine with a good energy rating doesn’t necessarily use less water.
However, during our research for this article, we discovered that those washers with better energy ratings do tend to use less water as well.
Which isn’t really surprising when you think about it because manufacturers that invest in energy efficient appliances are more likely to also take the time to make those appliances more water efficient as well.
Plus there’s often an overlap in the technologies used to make the washer more energy efficient which also make it more water efficient too.
If you’re looking to invest in a new water efficient washing machine, we recommend checking the product details which are listed by most appliance distributors.
Are There Any Other Ways We Can Save Water When Doing The Laundry?
Obviously we can’t all just rush out and buy a brand new water efficient washing machine. But there are ways to save on water when using your washer. These include;
Wash Full Loads
Washing machines work at maximum efficiency when the drum is full.
If you do only have a few items that need washing, consider using the half load feature if possible or consider waiting until you have a full load before washing.
Or consider buying a washer with a smaller drum capacity.
Avoid using The Synthetic Cycle
The synthetic cycle uses around 50% more water than the cotton cycle to avoid creasing. Wherever possible avoid using the synthetic cycle if you want to reduce water usage.
This might mean extra ironing but at least you’ll save water.
Don’t Use Extra Rinse Cycles
The extra rinse cycle is to make sure there’s not any fabric softener residue left in your laundry. Obviously, if you don’t use an extra rinse cycle, you will be using less water.
Frequently Asked Questions
The amount of water used per load in a washing machine in the UK depends on a number of factors including; the size of the wash load, the cycle selected, how dirty the laundry is, the water pressure, the hardness of the water, the temperature of the water, and the temperature setting selected. However, the average water usage of a modern washer in the UK is around 50 litres per load.
The average amount of water used by a 7 KG washing machine in a standard wash cycle is around 44 litres.
Showers tend to use the most water in the average UK home, followed by toilets. Although washing machines are high on the list, they’re not actually the most water hungry.