From the morning we wake up until bedtime, the average American family is using more than 300 gallons of water per day in their home. Simply put, that’s a lot of water, and we’re fortunate enough to have access to safe water we can do this with. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the amount of water you’re using on a daily basis.

According to the EPA, of those 300 gallons, 17% goes to washing clothes. Making an impact on both the environment and your wallet, it’s smart to think about how much water your washing machine uses—and how you can use less.

Let’s talk about how much water you’re using with your washing machine.

How much water does a washing machine use on average? It depends.

Depending on the wash cycle selected, size of load, and any additional options you choose, different amounts of water will be used by your washing machine. As a quick example, let’s say you pick the Heavy Duty Cycle with the Extra Rinse option. Then you decide to change the Soil Level—light, medium, heavy, or max—which adds or subtracts wash time for the selected cycle. Light will use the least water while max will use more.

Options such as Soak will then give you the option of soaking clothing prior to the wash cycle to help target any stubborn stains or heavily soiled clothing items. Obviously, this adds more water.

However, it’s more than just the setting you’ve chosen for the load you’re washing. A larger capacity washing machine will usually use more water than a typical washer, but that’s because it’s meant to hold more clothing. And larger loads of clothing will demand more water to fully clean.

What’s the water usage for a washing machine with an agitator?

The purpose of an agitator is to move clothes and water back and forth, and up and down, to create the maximum amount of clothing turnover for cleaning. On average, top-loading agitator washing machines typically use more water than front-loading washers. That’s why Speed Queen® washers are engineered to wash all load types while meeting the Department of Energy standards for water consumption with our Eco-Cycle.

Speed Queen® washers with agitators also have a feature that makes sure any water that goes into the machine is put to good use. Speed Queen® Perfect Wash™ links the agitator and tub to provide a gentle, but highly effective, wash action that leverages the power of water to clean. Essentially, it moves water through the clothes—providing a premium wash that safeguards clothing.

What happens if you run a washing machine without water?

It’s not going to work. Once the washing machine realizes water is not entering into the drum, it will stop working before the washing cycle begins. Some older washing machines and top-loading washers may run without water, but do not do this as it can harm the integrity of the machine.

What if my washing machine water is not stopping?

If this occurs, either turn off the machine’s current cycle, turf off the water line to the machine, or turn off the machine’s power to stop water from coming in. Once it’s stopped, it’s time to figure out what’s going wrong. From defective water inlet valves or a water level pressure switch to clogged or kinked supply hoses, there’s a variety of situations that might lead to this. We recommend contacting a professional to diagnose the issue and solve the problem.

Is something wrong if my washing machine water will not fill?

Possibly. A washing machine that is not filling with water could be indicative of a larger maintenance issue. Here’s a quick article to help you figure out what to do in this situation. However, if there’s some water, it’s probably that your washing machine doesn’t need much water to function. Newer washing machines—especially high-efficiency (HE) washing machines—simply use less water and do not fill the drum as much as you would think. For more information, read this Consumer Report.

What can you do to use less water?

Sometimes it’s hard to manually figure out exactly how much water is appropriate for the load you’re washing. We get it, we’re all human. However, that’s why Speed Queen® offers washing machines that feature options to make the task a little easier.

  • Our machines feature the option to use less water with our Eco Cycle options—saving water, using less energy, and meeting Department of Energy standards.
  • Take the guesswork out of saving water with our Auto Fill option, guaranteeing that every load will always have enough water. This smart design continually checks to make sure there’s enough water to get the most effective wash, without increasing wash time.

There are also actions you can take to help reduce the water and energy you’re using.

  • Wear most of your clothes more than once to wash them less. Underpants and exercise gear are the exception.
  • Skip extra rinse cycles to reduce water usage by a large amount.
  • Run only full loads to both save on energy consumption and decrease water usage—washing multiple smaller loads uses more water than fewer large loads. But, be careful to not overload your machine.
  • Reduce energy consumption and hot water use by using cold wash whenever possible.
  • If your machine allows for it, use a HE laundry detergent as they’re specifically designed to clean better using less water.
  • Maintain your washing machine to keep it running as smoothly as possible.

Looking to find a water saving washing machine?

While the water you use during washing is more complicated than simply pressing a single button, there are a whole slew of ways you can reduce your consumption of water depending on your needs. It all starts with the knowledge of how to do this, then implementing it in your life how you see fit.

If you’re looking for a new machine that can help, update your washer to a newer, better cleaning, more efficient model like the Speed Queen® TR7 washer.