We all know how important it is to conserve water.
But I see very few people coming forward to give up the use of their washing machine and switch to hand washing instead.
But the question is, is this fair? How much water does a washing machine typically use for an average load?
And is it justified? That is what this article is going to explore.
What’s more, we’ll also be answering all of your most frequently asked questions on the subject along the way.
Please feel free to scroll ahead to any section that jumps out at you. Here goes
Why It’s Important To Only Wash Laundry When Necessary?
At the precipice of our current climate crisis, it has never been more important to conserve water.
Conserving water in our homes conserves energy, because there is less energy required to filter, heat and pump water when we are using less water.
Therefore, machine washing just one or two items at a time is wasteful, and it is only worth putting your washing machine on when you have a full load of laundry to wash.
Of course you can make exceptions, for example if you need to use a wool or silk setting.
If possible, try to avoid using the washing machine too frequently.
Daily washing is excessive, though most households will need to wash a load of laundry several times a week.
Does A Washing Machine Use More Water Than Washing Laundry By Hand? If So, How Much More?
Washing machines do use quite a lot of water on a typical cycle (we’ll come to how much very shortly).
And washing clothes by hand instead of by machine can save a substantial amount of water, typically using only half as much water as a standard washing machine.
What’s more, hand washing clothes also saves the need for electricity (depending on how you heat the water), and handwashing is also better for the fabric, since it is gentler on clothing and doesn’t agitate the fabric the way that a washing machine does.
How Much Water Does A Standard Washing Machine Typically Use?
Standard washing machines that are not classed as Energy Star or High Efficiency typically use between 29 and 45 gallons per load.
This could be as much as 170 liters or 216 quarts, which you have to admit is quite significant. Even at the lower end of the scale, 29 gallons comes to 109 liters.
What Is The Average Cost For Washing An Average Load In A Washing Machine?
When doing your laundry with a washing machine, you not only have to consider your water rates, but also your other utility bills, specifically that of your electricity.
So, to effectively wash an average load in one of these regular, standard machines, this must require a great deal of heating, if the machine is to contend with a whopping 29 to 45 gallons of water.
The average cost of a load of laundry is relatively low at just $1.27.
However, this soon adds up, and if you were to average 8 loads of laundry per week, this would come to an annual bill of $528.32.
Does A Washing Machine Always Use The Same Amount Of Water?
Some washing machines are specifically designed to intelligently assess how much water to use according to the weight of the items inside.
Larger, heavier loads will require more water to effectively wash and saturate the clothes, whereas smaller loads won’t require as much.
Can You Adjust The Amount Of Water Used By A Washing Machine?
We are pleased to report that there are washing machines out there that allow you to select the amount of water used in a cycle.
You may also be interested to learn that what cycle or setting you use can also affect the amount of water used by the machine.
For example, the delicate cycle typically uses twice as much water as a standard cycle.
Which Uses More Water, A Front Load Washer Or A Top Load Washing Machine?
According to our sources, front load washing machines typically use approximately 25% less water than a top load washing machine.
Does A “High Efficiency” Washing Machine Use Less Water Than A Regular One?
High efficiency washing machines are ones which require less energy to run.
But, did you also know that high efficiency washing machines also help to conserve water, too?
Most high efficiency washing machines are Energy Star certified, which means that they use 25% less energy than a regular washing machine, AND use a whopping 33% less energy than a regular washer.
Conclusion – Should I Switch My Machine? What Should I Look For In A Washing Machine If I Want To Conserve Water?
Judging from the figures, the method for washing laundry which conserves the most water is hand washing.
But this is a very tedious and time consuming method that few people these days like to go for unless they absolutely have to.
And if you frequently have a lot of washing to do, as most of us do, then hand washing is not practical when there are such better, more convenient options out there.
So washing machines are still the way to go.
Given how much water is consumed per load on a standard (NOT Energy Star or High Efficiency) washing machine, you have to admit there’s a strong argument for switching machines to something that not only consumes less water per cycle, but also uses less energy via electricity.
So, unless you’re already using a high efficiency, Energy Star washing machine, and you have the budget for a new or properly refurbished machine, it’s certainly worth making the switch.
We mentioned this earlier but it bears repeating here, a high efficiency Energy Star certified washing machine uses 25% less energy and 33% less water than regular washers, making them considerably better for the environment.
And until you can afford such a machine, be sure to strive to wash a full load of laundry every time you use the washer.