If you have a clothes washing machine, you may not have given much thought to how much water is used in one full cycle. If you have, you’ve likely discovered that it uses a lot of water. Typical top-load, agitation washers can use anywhere between 100 and 200 litres per load, depending on the size of the washer. Today, we can buy washers that use as little as 30 litres per load. While there are certain things you can do to conserve water when washing clothes, the biggest difference can be made by purchasing a water efficient model.
There are a few ways to conserve water when washing clothes:
Ensure you have a full load
Most washers use a set amount of water per load, regardless of how many clothes you put in. For example, if you only half fill the washer, you are using twice as much water to wash those clothes. Make sure that you are filling the washer for each load. If your washer is capable of sensing the load size, make sure you use this feature.
Don’t rewash clean clothes
Washing clean clothes is unnecessary and wastes not only water but time and energy as well. Only washing dirty clothes or re-wearing items once or twice can save many loads of laundry.
Purchase a water-efficient model
If you are buying a new washer or considering replacing your old one, make sure to look for these features, specifications, and certifications:
Energy Star “Most Efficient” – Washers that have received this certification have met the highest standards for energy and water efficiency. Look for the little label on the washer. Generally, these washers are front-loading.
Front-Loading – Look for a washer that is front-loading. Top-loading washers are designed to fill the entire drum with water, while front-loading washers only need to partially fill the drum, thus saving water.
Size it to your need – Consider how much laundry you normally do and choose a washer that is appropriate for that volume. If you often find yourself doing small loads, consider a smaller volume washer. This will help you run full loads, rather than partial loads in a bigger washer.
Integrated Water Factor (IWF) – Look for a washer that has an Integrated Water Factor of 3.2 or lower. The IWF tells you how many gallons of water are used to wash one cubic foot of laundry. An IWF of 3.2 or lower is highly efficient.