How much water is your washing machine using?

Consumers used to worry about their washers using too much water. Now they seem more concerned about their washing machines not using enough. While each brand will vary, most modern washers are built to maximize the wash using as little water as possible. Not only do they do a great job of getting out all your heavy duty messes, they are programmed to provide optimum cleaning power using the least amount of water needed to get your clothes clean.

As EPA regulations become stricter, manufacturers are smart engineering their products, and washing machines are no exceptions. Today’s washers are expected to comply with energy star ratings. The least compliant washer is able to use around 26 gallons of water to clean an average load of laundry. Some machines average between 12 to 17 gallons of water. The highest rated HE machine is capable of getting clothes clean with only 7 gallons. There are several things you can do to ensure your clothes get clean including using a more powerful detergent, pre-treating stains, or using a different setting.

For those of us accustomed to doing wash using the older models with a center agitator, accepting the idea that a top load machine without one can be difficult, leading to worrying about if the machine has enough water. Some may be tempted to add water to ensure their clothes get clean, but this is a bad idea. It’s easy to understand how going from around 40 gallons a load, to as little as 7 gallons, could make one worry about their clothes being effectively cleaned, but adding more water not only damages your clothes by causing them to rub against each other – it’s also hard on the washer too. However, if your clothes are consistently coming out dirty, it could be a software issue in your washer and you should call the manufacturer to report the problem as one brand did malfunction, using only 2 gallons of water.