The water consumption of a washing machine

The water consumption of a washing machine

Over the years, the washing machine has earned a firm place in the household of the average consumer. It redeems people around the globe to wash their laundry laboriously by hand. But the upscale comfort also has a dark side: every wash requires countless liters of water.

Only a few people worry about the water consumption of the washing machine. A big mistake, because economical machines spare the purse and the environment. The annual consumption of drinking water for washing laundry in Germany is estimated at about 5,840 liters per year per inhabitant. Would a German daily take the washing machine into operation, he would consume 16 liters of water per day.

Consciously reduce the water consumption

Without the consumption of a washing machine to consider, which depends among other things on the device and age, the consumption be reduced with simple measures: Assuming a consumer actually incurs an average consumption of 16 liters. The goal would be to reduce it to ten liters or less per day.

The biggest mistake in modern homes is the frequent start-up of the washing machine when it is not full. A washing machine can only work efficiently if its hold is fully utilized.

The second fault - which has no effect on water consumption - is the selected wash temperature. The higher the washing temperature, the greater the power consumption. For normal soiled laundry, a temperature of 30 degrees is sufficient. By halving the temperature of the laundry (from 60 to 30 degrees), the energy costs are reduced by up to 70 percent, according to the German Energy Agency.

Modern machines with water management

If you want to save costs in the long term, then you do not have to buy one new washing machine around. Many people hesitate to buy because their old device is still working and they are worried that the new device washes more slowly. This is the case with many devices. To solve the problem, they have so-called short programs. Although they shorten the washing time, the power and water consumption is higher.

New washing machines have a great advantage: some units are equipped with an intelligent water management function. Using sensors, the maximum water efficiency is determined with each wash. For this purpose, the machine checks which type of textile is in the drum and how big the load is. Based on the two factors, the washing machine calculates the required amount of water.

Battle of the washing machines: Old vs. new

When buying a new washing machine many consumers pay attention only to the power consumption. The operating costs of a washing machine (energy class A +++) consist of 50 percent water costs, as a document of the energy saving initiative shows. The following table shows the costs for three different washing machines (efficiency classes A +++ and A + and old appliance) for one-year operation:

A +++ A + old appliance
water consumption 9,270 l 11,660 l 13,135 l
Costs 36 € 46 € 52 €

A modern washing machine of the energy class A +++, which also has a water management function, may be able to save even more Reduce water consumption and associated costs.

The old device is twelve years old; The price of water is 3.90 Euro per cubic meter.

The washing program determines the water consumption

30 years ago washing machines consumed an impressive 180 liters per wash cycle. Depending on the washing program today, the consumption is less than 65 liters.

The washing program of a washing machine contributes significantly to the overall consumption. An eco-washing program, which usually takes about an hour at a temperature of 40 degrees, consumes only 19 liters. For comparison: The short wash program at 30 degrees takes 15 minutes and consumes 20 liters per wash. This illustrates how inefficient these short programs are.

The water consumption for other washing programs is as follows:

  • Coloreds: 45 liters
  • Standard (cotton): 50 liters
  • Delicates: 48 liters
  • Linen: 65 liters

The above figures are average values Washing machines with a load of eight kilograms.

Note these criteria when buying

Buying a new washing machine should be well thought out if you want to save money in the long term through low operating costs. When buying a new washing machine, pay attention to the following characteristics:

  • Desired wash volume (in kg)
  • Spin speed (in rpm)
  • Power consumption
  • Water consumption
  • Energy efficiency
  • Spin effect
  • Dimensions

Together, all factors affect the operating costs of a washing machine. A good washing machine class A +++ with a good power and water consumption as well as the centrifugal effect A has operating costs of less than 100 euros per year. If we assume that the lifetime of a washing machine is about 15 years and the operating costs 90 euros per year, it costs the consumer 1,350 euros plus the purchase price.

Calculations show that the difference in operating costs of a very good washing machine and a good model of the same class can be several hundred euros. For this reason, consumers should not only consider the purchase price, but also determine the operating costs. The sum of the two values ​​should be as low as possible.

The EU label for a washing machine indicates the water consumption (in liters per year (L / annum)). The annual consumption refers to 220 classic washing cycles in one year.

It can be seen that the product properties alone are not very helpful. Consumers must determine the operating and acquisition costs and use this data to decide on a suitable washing machine.


The operating costs of a washing machine in modern appliances are half of the electricity and water consumption. The latter is ignored when buying a washing machine by many consumers. Each washing program has a different water consumption, which must be taken into account when using the washing machine. Water consumption can be reduced with simple measures.

Artikelbild: © nexus 7 / Shutterstock

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