Laundry Water Use

"The average washing machine uses 13,500 gallons of water per year. That is as much water as you will drink in your lifetime."

Water Usage BreakdownEPA and WRF

Here are some tips to reduce your individual laundry water use...

I Will Only Wash Laundry in Full Loads

  • Remember to switch the settings on the machine – use the “small” setting if you have a small load.
  • Try to evaluate the size of your load based on volume, not weight.
  • When full of water, clothes should change location within the machine about every ten seconds for efficient cleaning.

Learn more about water conservation for washing machines

I Will Re-use Towels and Wear Jeans More Than Once in Order to Reduce Laundry 

  • When drying yourself off from taking a shower, you’re clean, and therefore your towel is pretty clean too. Hang it up and let it dry for the next day’s use. This will save water as well as storage space for loads of towels.

I Will Use an Environmentally-Friendly Laundry Detergent and Use the Correct Amount

  • Choose detergent that is designated to work at lower temperatures, then it’s more efficient to use the cold water setting.
  • Avoid detergent with lots of packaging, added dyes and perfumes, or chemicals like phosphates and bleach.
  • Plant-based and biodegradable detergents are the best.
  • For more “green laundry cleaning” tips, check out the National Geographic’s Green Living site.

Want to take the next step?

Try making your own laundry detergent.

  • It’s effective and will save you money on expensive laundry detergent.
  • Check out this story (it has the recipes the Duggar’s use from TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting)

Recycle Water from Your Washer Machine or Wash Clothes with Recycled Water


Do you think you are a water expert? Quiz Yourself Here!

Additional Resources

University of Michigan