How Much Water Does A Washing Machine Use?
Washing machine water usage depends on the age of your washing machine, as well as the model you have. Generally speaking, new HE washing machines offer greater water efficiency than older machines. ENERGY STAR states that on average, an ENERGY STAR certified washer uses 13 gallons of water per load, compared to the 23 gallons used by a standard machine1.
HE washers with impellers are designed to provide a thorough clean with less water. HE washers with agitators use less water too, but not as little as impeller models. Front-load washers will use less water than top-load washers2.
What can affect washing machine water usage?
Wash cycles, load size and rinse settings can affect your washing machine's water usage. Heavy duty cycles or bulky items specifically may require more water than normal cycles. As for rinse settings, normally your machine will use a spray rinse during the rinse cycle. Fabric Softener or Extra Rinse settings3 will cause your appliance to use a deep fill rinse, which will use more water. You can still expect top-load and front-load HE models to be more water-efficient than traditional washing machines.
NOTE: Wash cycles are designed for specific clothing. Using wash cycles other than instructed could result in compromised performance. Using these cycles can increase the time and energy used to complete a load, and may not meet Energy Star® standards.
Does the lower HE washer water usage still get clothes clean?
If you’re used to seeing more water in your washer, you may be wondering how using less water can provide the same clean. One of the primary ways is the wash action, where washers with impellers and less water rub clothes against each other, rather than against the agitator.
The illustrations below show how HE washers work compared to traditional agitator models:
To improve performance, load clothes loosely and evenly around the washplate, taking care not to overload the washer.
Once the clothes are dampened and moved via the washplate, the level of items will lower and settle. This is normal. Do not add more items to the washing machine after this process has occurred.
IMPORTANT: The washer basket will not fill with water as with an agitator-style washer. Some of the load may appear above the water line. This is normal.
What if your washing machine's water usage still seems low?
Even when you know how much water a washing machine uses, it may still seem lower than normal. In this case, running a Clean Washer cycle may help as it resets your appliance to factory-set water levels. Use Affesh® Washer Cleaner to complete this cycle about once a month. You can also use this cycle at any time without Affresh® to re-calibrate the water level. Before running a Clean Washer cycle, remove all clothing from your washing machine. You should always run a Clean Washer cycle with an empty washing machine.
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3 Available on select washer models.