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How Much Water Does A Washing Machine Use? All The Information You Need To Know

How much water does a washing machine use? What are the best machines which we use in houses?

It depends on various factors, such as the type of washing machine you have, what you are washing, and how much water washing machines use.  Washing machines that are not high-efficiency use 19 gallons or more of water per load, while high-efficiency (HE) engines use only 7 gallons per load.

In addition to top-loading agitator models, top-loading impeller models and front-loading machines are available for HE devices.  The engines use specially formulated detergent and are designed to use less water to clean clothes.

How much water does a washing machine use?

It takes about 15 to 22 gallons of water for every load of laundry. That comes out to more than 300 loads per year, which can equate to 4,500 to 13,500 gallons of water used on average per household each year depending on the type of washer you have.

This is according to research done by NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). They broke down some simple statistics including how many millions of households across the U.S. use top-loading machines and also noted that new models are up to 27% more efficient than their older counterparts. The majority of American homes with washers use top-loading units with an average family at least 300 loads per year.

Types of washing machines

The two main types of washing machines used in the every country are as follows:

  • Top loading
  • Front loading (and there is even a type of washer that combines both actions).

The amount of water they use varies greatly because each has its own unique mechanisms for cleaning clothes and getting things clean.

Front-loading washers                                                                                 

It runs approximately 25 gallons per cycle, with some models using as little as 20 and others up to 27 gallons (75 liters). These amounts show only the amount of water that is used to wash and rinse clothes.

When looking at the cost of using a washer, we must also factor in an additional amount for the dryer (if you choose to use it). An average sized dryer will require 2-3 times the amount of water as a front-loader washing machine or 1.5 to 2 times as much as a top load washer. This means that you can expect your water bill to increase by about 25 gallons each time you do laundry.

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Top loading washers

Top loading washers use less water than front loaders, approximately 10 to 15 gallons per cycle (37.8 liters), but have been known to use as little as 8 or 11 gallons or as much as 18 or 23 gallons.

What are the factors on which machine uses water?

It depends on what type you have and how large it is. Front loaders use around 25 gallons per cycle while top loaders use 10 to 15 gallons per cycle. These numbers do not include additional amounts used by a dryer. With an average sized dryer using 2-3 times the amount of water as a front-loader washing machine, you can expect your water bill to increase by 25 gallons each time you do laundry.

Tip: “One gallon of water” per wash; rather about 33-60 gallons. Of course, this number does not take into account any additional amounts used for the dryer.

Standard loading machine

For a standard top-loading machine, it takes about 15 to 22 gallons of water for every load. Less than 1 percent homes use a front-loader while an estimated 25 percent have high-efficiency models which average around 12 to 18 gallons per load.

The NRDC listed some other facts and tips to help you reduce your own impact on the environment along with specifics relating to each type of washer including what you can do after purchasing one from Maytag, GE or Whirlpool. This information is from 2012 but other resources suggest that little has changed since then when it comes to advancements in technology or changes in how much water is used by newer models versus older ones.

Traditional washing machines

Traditional washing machines use almost twice, as much water as newer, front-loading or high-efficiency models, such as a GE HE washer or Maytag 4.2 Top-Load Washer. If you have an older or top-loading washer, you can expect to use between 30 and 45 gallons of water per load.

A qualified high efficiency appliance uses about 20 to 25% less energy than the federal standard for energy efficient washers. High efficiency washers use a minimum of 20 gallons per load whereas traditional washers typically use 40 to 60 gallons per load. Keep in mind that there are two different types of high efficiency appliances: those that use electronic controls and those that don’t.

What are high efficiency washing machines?

The qualified high efficiency washing machines use 14 to 25 gallons per load. They control water levels using direct computer controls instead of the traditional mechanical timer, which allows for precise water level adjustments during different phases of the cycle. Direct control also reduces the amount of energy used by the machine because it runs only long enough to thoroughly clean clothes rather than overworking itself with excess water and time spent on a cycle.

An older top-loading HE washer uses about 40 gallons while newer models can use as little as 20 or 25 gallons per load. If you have an old top loader without an agitator, it will probably use between 30 and 45 gallons per load.

Which washers use less water?

Although some washers use less water, you can fill them with as much laundry as you need to get your clothes clean. However, their efficiency means they use about half the amount of detergent you would give an equivalent load in a top – loader. Most old stains will come out without pre-treatment you won’t have to scrub or rewash anything that’s not dirty anymore. You may even be able to skip the stain remover.

Heavily stained areas should still be pretreated before washing because HE washers generally use warm or hot water, which doesn’t activate many spray-on cleaning agents. With stains like grass, for example, you can pre-treat them by sponging the area with a cleaning solution and then letting it sit for about 30 minutes before putting it in the washer.


Approximately 33 to 60 gallons of water are used per laundry cycle. But this is not all wasted water. In fact, only about 5-10% of that was use for cleaning clothes. The rest is recycled and purified for other uses in your home such as washing dishes and bathing.

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