Shopping for a new washer can be a new opportunity to buy a machine that uses much less water. This will save you a lot of money and drastically reduce your water bill. 

But do you want to know which washing machine uses the most water so that you can avoid it in the store and go for a more energy-efficient model? I can help with that.

Continue reading to discover!

Which Washing Machine Uses the Most Water

Which Washing Machine Uses the Most Water?

Due to the spinning agitator that rotates the laundry, the top-load washing machines use the most water. When they were first introduced to the world, the standard top-load machines used about 45 gallons of water per single load, which is a lot. 

Manufacturers have worked on this issue and reduced the number to about 30 gallons. Now the top-load washing machines use far less water than they used to, but they still hold the number one spot for water usage.

On the contrary, high efficiency and front load washers use tumbling action for rinsing the laundry, which means they require a small amount of water to perfectly clean your clothes.

Average Water Consumption of Washing Machines

The washer’s capacity, load size, cycle type, and model of the washing machine all play a huge role in water usage. Typically, an average washing machine uses 19 gallons of water per load. 

If an average household runs six loads in one week, the numbers add up to 5,600 gallons of water per year. A study has shown that washing machines have a life span of approximately 10 years, which is a lot of dollars added to the water bill.

So, do not let anybody tell you that searching for the washing machine which uses the most water is a wild-goose chase. You can significantly reduce your energy bill and save much money in the long run. 

Furthermore, here is a full comparison of the water usage from every type of washing machine.

Top-Load WasherEnergy Star CertifiedHigh-Efficiency Top Load WasherFront Load Washer
Gallons for One Cycle1914137
Gallons for One Year5,6004,1303,8002,060
Gallons for a Lifespan of 10 Years56,00041,30038,30020,600

Read more: Do Washing Machines Work Without Water?

Other Major Contributors to the Water Usage

Other Major Contributors to the Water Usage 

Now that you know which washing machine uses the most water and which the least, let me explain some other factors that drastically affect the water usage of the washer.

Washer’s capacity

The larger the washing machine, the higher the water usage. A washer with a large capacity carries a huge drum of about 20 pounds that can easily hold more bedding and clothing than the standard washing machine and therefore uses more water. 

The washer’s size is measured in cubic feet. A typical washing machine usually comes in 3 and a half cubic feet and uses a lot of water for each cycle. 

If you want to save on dollars and reduce the water usage from the washer, you must balance the size of the washer you need.

For instance, one huge load of laundry after three days will use the same amount of water as three small loads each day.

The size of the load

The load size is another contributor to the water usage of the washing machine. If the drum is filled to the top with dirty laundry, the washer will have to utilize a lot of water to ensure all clothing items are thoroughly rinsed.

On the contrary, a loose cycle with only a few shirts will use less water. 

A variety of cycle setting

As you are already familiar with, washing machines have multiple cycle settings for different fabrics and materials.

A heavy cycle with soiled clothes will naturally use far more water than a regular cycle uses for extra rinsing.

Additional rinse settings 

Selecting the fabric softener or the extra rinse settings on the washer will also increase the gallons of water used for the cycle.

After all, the extra rinsing involves re-filling the tub with water, so it is no surprise that this feature will increase your bill.

Also read: How Does A Washing Machine Water Level Sensor Work


So, which washing machine uses the most water? After reading my article, you now know the answer and what your best choice for a washer is that can save you money in the long run.

To reduce the water usage of the washing machine, you can always try to use the right amount of laundry detergent. Also, stay away from concentrated detergents, skip the extra rinse unless you truly need it, and run one huge load after a few days instead of a series of small ones.