Many people will be wondering how much does it cost to run a washing machine and how can you lower the cost, especially with energy bills set to remain high for the foreseeable future.
Millions of families have been worried abouthow much their energy bills will cost (opens in new tab)for most of 2022, especially since theenergy price cap (opens in new tab)rose by 54% in April 2022. At the end of August it was announced that the cap would increase again, by a staggering 80% from 1 October. But thankfully, the Government has intervened and introduced the Energy Price Guarantee (opens in new tab). This is effectively anenergy bill freeze and it will remain at its current level of £2,500 per year until April 2023. It will then increase by 20% for a further 12 months, taking the typical annual energy bill to £3,000.
Even though energy bills (opens in new tab) didn't rise as much as originally feared in October, they are still more expensive than in 2021, so it's important to understandhow to save energy in homes (opens in new tab)and keep your bills as low as possible.Money saving expert Martin Lewis also issued a washing machine plea (opens in new tab) to help avoid rolling power cuts this winter.
Goodto.com's Money EditorSarah Handley (opens in new tab) says: "Your washing machine is one of those appliances where with a couple of small changes you could significantly reduce how much energy you use, reducing your bill in the process."
How much does it cost to run a washing machine?
A washing machine costs between 16p and 31p to run per load. That works out as between £33.32 and £64.60 per year.This is based on a 8kg drum washing machine (suitable for medium-sized families) with an energy rating of between A and D that's used anaverage of four times per week (opens in new tab).
Your exact running costs will depend on the model of your washing machine, its energy rating and how often you use it.
Below we have looked at examples of 8kg washing machines with different energy ratings to see how the costs compare.
Swipe to scroll horizontally
|Header Cell - Column 0||Cost per use||Cost per month||Annual cost|
|A-rated washing machine||16p||£2.78||£33.32|
|B-rated washing machine||19p||£3.29||£39.44|
|C-rated washing machine||29p||£4.96||£59.50|
|D-rated washing machine||31p||£5.38||£64.60|
Appliances, like washing machines, are categorised by energy efficiency ratings from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least efficient.
The better rated washing machines use less energy to do their job which means they don't cost as much to run. Lower rated washing machines use more energy and so cost more to run. But higher rated washing machines cost more to buy.
Ben Gallizzi (opens in new tab), energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “More efficient washing machines may be more costly, so you need to weigh up whether the savings from lower running costs are worth the extra expense.
"Work out your budget and see what rating you can go for. If a C rating or D rating is in your budget, then that’s a lot better than an E of F rating."
The above figures only take electricity costs into consideration, but there are also water costs to think about. Research by website In The Wash (opens in new tab), shows that the average washing machine uses 46.28 litres of water per cycle, and the average cost of water per litre in the UK is 0.3p. This means the average washing machine uses 14p of water per use, taking your total costs to between 30p and 45p per cycle, depending on the efficiency of the machine.
Compare how much your most-used appliances cost to run with our handy tool:
What’s the cheapest time to run your washing machine?
The cheapest time to run your washing machine will depend on the type of energy tariff you’re on.
A spokesperson for home appliance brand Beko (opens in new tab) told us: “If your tariff is not charged at a flat rate, running your washing machine at times when electricity is cheaper, such as early in the morning or late in the evening, is a great way to reduce costs.”
However, to benefit from this you will need to have an Economy 7 or Economy 10 electricity meter. These give you cheaper electricity for seven or 10 hours a day, usually at night. But the day time rates then tend to be more expensive.
For those who are not on one of these tariffs (which is most households), a flat rate of electricity will usually be charged, so it won’t matter what time of day or night you use your washing machine.
How to cut the cost of running your washing machine
There are many ways to cut the running costs of your washing machine, from cutting down on the number of washes you do and making sure you only wash full loads to using your machine's eco mode or choosing a lower temperature.
Energy expert at Property Rescue (opens in new tab), Callum Woodstock says: “We’re all doing our best at the moment to cut down on costs and, while most of us can’t manage without our washing machines, there are a few things you can do to minimise the cost of doing your laundry.”
Make sure you wash full loads
Washing small loads multiple times a week is an expensive way to use your washing machine. It uses the same amount of energy (and water), and therefore costs the same, to run a half-full washing machine than it does to run the appliance with a full load.
If you can, wait until you have a full load before you put the washing on to keep costs as low as possible (unless your washing machine has a half-load setting). You might even find you can reduce the number of washes you need to do per week. This not only reduces your energy consumption and keeps your bills as low as they can be, but also reduces wear and tear on your washing machine, which means it's likely to last longer before it needs to be replaced.
But it is important not to overload your machine, and that could cause damage to the drum and make it less efficient.
Wash your clothes at a lower temperature
Washing your clothes at a lower temperature can help you cut back on energy costs. Lower temperatures use less energy and while older models are likely to have an option to wash at 30°C, a 20°C option has been a compulsory design feature on newer models since 2013 thanks to theEuropean Union’s Ecodesign initiative (opens in new tab).
TheEnergy Saving Trust (opens in new tab)says that washing at lower temperatures is particularly worth considering with clothing that is not heavily soiled.
You'll also find that many laundry detergents are now much more effective at cleaning clothes at lower temperatures, so there's no need to worry about your clothes not being clean enough. You might also find that liquid detergents are more effective when washing at lower temperatures rather than powder alternatives.
According toWhich? (opens in new tab)making that switch from 40°C to 30°C will cut your energy usage by 38% a year, while going from 30°C to 20°C will cut your energy usage by 62%.
Invest in a hard water filter
If you live in a hard water area, you might find it harder to get clothes clean in the washing machine.
Home water treatment expert at BOS, Gene Fitzgerald (opens in new tab) explains “This can, unfortunately, increase your bills as you will tend to use more detergent and wash your laundry at a hotter temperature.
“Investing in a hard water filter and using special hard water laundry detergent can help you to get the best out of your wash without flushing your cash away.”
Wash on eco mode
Using your washing machine's eco mode can be a really useful way to cut your running costs.
A Beko spokesperson says: “The eco programme is the most energy and water efficient programme to use on a washing machine. By selecting the eco programme as often as possible, you can save a significant amount of energy and water for a standard load; whilst maintaining excellent cleaning results.”
According toCurrys (opens in new tab), 90% of a washing machine's energy consumption comes from heating up the water for washing. But while an eco mode might use less water and wash at a lower temperature, it tends to be a longer cycle to clean your clothes effectively. So while the eco mode might not save time, it will save energy.
But if you are trying to remove some really tough stains, it's worth doing those on a regular cycle for the most effective clean.
Even if you only use the eco mode occasionally, rather than for every wash, it'll have a positive effect on the amount of energy you use.
Use laundry balls
Laundry balls are designed to replace the use of laundry detergent when you use your washing machine. As well as being more cost-effective compared to detergent, they are also better for the environment.
Laundry balls are usually made from plastic or rubber and contain tiny bio-ceramic balls which wash your clothes naturally, without the need to use detergent. They can last for up to 1,000 washes and can cost between £5 and £20, depending on the brand.
ecoegg | View at ecoegg (opens in new tab), Amazon (opens in new tab), Tesco (opens in new tab), Wilko (opens in new tab), Robert Dyas (opens in new tab), Sainsbury's (opens in new tab), Lakeland (opens in new tab)
RRP: from £9.99 for 70 washes | Scents: Fresh Linen, Spring Blossom, Unfragranced
Suitable for sensitive skin, the ecoegg is an environmentally-friendly alternative to laundry detergent and fabric softener. The smallest ecoegg will last for 70 washes, meaning it costs around 14p per wash (10p per wash if you buy refill pellets).
Maintain your washing machine
Maintaining your machine is key to keep it working at its most efficient level. And there are various points to keep an eye on:
- Avoid overloading the machine - it could cause damage and result in a less-effective clean
- Clean filters on a monthly basis
- Check pockets before putting the clothes in the drum - look for loose change, tissues and plastic which can get caught in the machine
- Too much detergent can cause clogs and make your washing machine less effective, so make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging for how much to use.
Think about how often you wash certain items
Some clothes do not need to be washed every time you wear them so try to be mindful about only washing items when necessary.
Laundry detergent brandPersil (opens in new tab)advises you should wash a pair of jeans after four to five wears, unless they look or smell dirty.
When it comes to towels, bath towels can be washed once a week, while hand towels should be washed every two to three days. Face and tea towels should be washed after each use.
Bedsheets should be washed every week or at least every two weeks.
It's likely that most clothing doesn't need to be washed after each wear, so trying airing items instead. But if anything looks or smells dirty, then it's destined for the laundry basket.
What to look for if you need to buy a new washing machine
If you need to buy a new washing machine, then it makes sense to buy the most energy efficient model you can afford to keep running costs as low as possible.
Check the energy efficiency rating
“Most electrical appliances come with an energy rating between A-G. When shopping for a new washing machine, opt for something closer to an A rating as this will be much more energy efficient when in use,” says Paul Newman atHousetastic.co.uk (opens in new tab).
Check the modes
When buying a new washing machine, it’s important to look at what modes it offers. Make sure it suits your needs well, as well as being energy efficient. Some good ones to look out for are eco mode and quick wash, which can wash loads in around 30 minutes.If you need to wash delicates, a hand wash feature would be useful to look out for.
The size of the drum is just as important
Choose a drum size that suits the size of your household. A 6kg drum is usually sufficient for someone who lives alone, 7kg-9kg drums are great for couples and medium-sized families, while a 10kg drum size or more is better suited to large families.
You might also be interested in our other appliance running cost articles:
- How much does a tumble dryer cost to run? (opens in new tab)
- How much does it cost to boil a kettle? (opens in new tab)
- How much does it cost to run a microwave? (opens in new tab)
- How much does it cost to run an air fryer? (opens in new tab)
- How much does it cost to run a heated clothes dryer? (opens in new tab)
- How much does it cost to run an electric blanket? (opens in new tab)
- How much does it cost to run a slow cooker? (opens in new tab)
- How much does it cost to run a dishwasher? (opens in new tab)
- How much does it cost to run an indoor heater? (opens in new tab)
- How much does a dehumidifier cost to run? (opens in new tab)
- How much electricity does a TV use? (opens in new tab)
What is the cheapest way to run a washing machine? ›
Wash clothes on the shortest cycle (often referred to as "quick wash") that's practical for your needs. This means less water, heated to a lower temperature and a shorter spin cycle to save water and energy. Bonus - this cycle causes less damage to your clothes over time so helps them last longer.How can I save energy with my washing machine? ›
Wash with cold water.
Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load's energy use in half, and using cold water will save even more. Cold water detergents can be helpful to ensure items get clean, and high-efficiency detergents (indicated by the "he" symbol) should be used when required by the manufacturer.
|Appliance||Wattage per hour of use||Annual cost (at average use)|
|Television (>40”, HD TV)||234||$41.00|
Combining all of these factors, the average cost of a load of laundry is $1.27. At this cost, if you do one load per week, doing laundry costs $66.04 per year. If you do four loads per week, doing laundry costs $264.16 per year.Is it cheaper to do laundry at night or during the day? ›
The cheapest time to do laundry is during off-peak hours.
Avoid the seasonally specific peak hours shared above, as well as the hours between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., when people are getting home from work and using high-demand appliances.
What is the cheapest time to use your washing machine? According to the Daily Record, the most expensive time to use your washing machine or tumble dryer is between 4pm and 7pm. Energy prices are at their lowest between 10pm and 5am, but make sure you never leave it on over night as this could be a fire risk.Is it cheaper to do laundry at home or laundromat? ›
You Could Save Money By Using the Laundromat
And the average cost per load at home is about $2-3 but this doesn't add in the cost of buying and maintaining your washer and dryer.
- Seven ways you can save money and energy on your laundry wash.
- Run your machines at night. ...
- The colder the cycle, the better. ...
- Fill your basins with the right loads. ...
- Maintain your machines. ...
- Use bio capsules for more effective stain removal. ...
- Invest in some dryer balls. ...
- Air dry when possible.
Use shorter cycles for less soiled and delicate clothing, and longer cycles for heavily soiled and bulky items. Always opt for the shortest possible cycle to get the job done; the less time garments spend being spun around in the wash, the longer they'll last.Do washing machines use up a lot of electricity? ›
The largest proportion of most household's electricity bill comes from running appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and electric showers. Every appliance has a power rating, usually given in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW) (1000W = 1kW).
Do washing machines use a lot of electricity? ›
In fact, wet appliances account for nearly 10 per cent of a typical household's energy bills. While there's going to be no return to the days of the wringer, there are options to consider to cut washing expenses and emissions.What uses the most electricity in a house? ›
- Wet appliances. Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. ...
- Cold appliances. ...
- Consumer electronics. ...
- Lighting. ...
There is no definitive answer to this question. Washing your clothes by hand will use considerably less water than using a machine but unless you use cold water, the energy required to heat the water in your home probably outweighs the electricity usage by your appliance.How much does a washer and dryer add to electric bill? ›
Washer and dryer: 5%
But, when you do run the washer and dryer, they tend to suck up a lot of electricity, especially if you run your washer with hot water. On average, doing laundry accounts for about 5% of your annual electricity usage.
Clothes dryers have a reputation for being energy hogs, but how much do they really cost to operate? In the U.S., it costs approximately 45 cents to dry a load of laundry in an electric dryer, based on a 5,600-watt dryer, 40-minute run-time, and a 12-cent-per- kilowatt-hour rate.At what time is electricity cheapest to use? ›
Off-peak electricity times are those when the grid is experiencing less demand for power. Off-peak times are generally throughout the later evening and early morning on weekdays, usually 10pm to 7am. The middle of the day and weekends are typically considered to be 'shoulder' periods.What time should you not do laundry? ›
Try washing before 4 p.m. or after 7 p.m. – Many energy companies charge extra for electricity during their “peak hours,” which see increased energy usage. During the summer, run your washer early in the morning – energy use peaks on hot afternoons.What time of day is energy cheapest? ›
It's cheaper at night, when demand for power is at its lowest. This quieter period is called the off-peak hours, which usually falls between 10pm and 8am. Conversely, peak hours are during the daytime, when more people are using electricity and demand is higher. Not all energy suppliers follow time-of-use tariffs.Is it cheaper to do laundry after 9 pm? ›
Prices are higher during times of day when demand for electricity is generally higher and the cost is greater, called peak times. Monday through Friday 4 to 9 p.m. are the only hours that are higher-priced (peak). All other times are lower-priced (off-peak).What is the best time to use washing machine to save electricity? ›
The answer to when to do laundry to save money
Most people will see that they have a lower tariff overnight, usually between 11 pm and 7 am. This is the best time to do your washing as you'll save money. Saving money on electricity is only part of the equation.
Is it cost effective to do laundry at night? ›
Run your washer and dryer early in the morning or at night to avoid the surge. During the winter, electricity demand is highest in the morning hours between 7 and 9 am when people are waking up and turning up their heat. Doing laundry in the evening is your safest bet.Is it better to buy washing machine or go to a laundromat? ›
The bottom line is that if you're a household that only does a few loads of laundry per week or you don't want to invest in home units, then it makes more sense fiscally to visit a laundromat. But if you're a large household that's always doing laundry, home units are likely the better option.How much does the average person spend on laundry? ›
In 2021, the average expenditure on laundry and cleaning supplies in the United States amounted to 178.45 U.S. dollars per consumer unit. In comparison, the country's average expenditure on laundry and cleaning supplies amounted to 147.55 U.S. dollars per consumer unit in 2014.How much does the average person spend on laundry a month? ›
Laundry Cost Per Month
Based on an average of eight loads of laundry per week, multiplied by four weeks in a month, the average monthly cost to do laundry is $166.72, or $41.68 x 4.
Using a washing machine during the day or late at night can make all the difference and alleviate the pressure on household bills. Those on a time-of-use tariff will pay half the price to use energy gobbling appliances outside of the 4pm to 9pm peak hours.How many times a day should you do laundry? ›
"If you're wearing something for a few hours, and not sweating, it's probably okay to wait 2 to 4 wears before washing. Or, after a full day's use," says Dr. Gonzalez. "If you're working from home, it's probably okay to wait after 3 to 4 wears before washing your clothes."How many times a week should you do laundry? ›
Every three to four times you wear or use them: bath towels, bras, slips, dresses, sweaters, skirts, pajamas, slacks and jeans. Weekly: sheets, pillowcases and bath mats. Monthly: mattress pads, bathrobes and pillow liners.How many loads of laundry does the average person do a week? ›
Surveys indicate that American households average five loads of laundry per week, with many families doing laundry more than once a day.How much does a TV cost to run per hour? ›
|Screen Size||Power Consumption (Watts)||Cost / hr*|
|32 inches||160 W||2.08¢|
|37 inches||180 W||2.34¢|
|42 inches||220 W||2.86¢|
|50 inches||300 W||3.9¢|
The Department of Energy estimates you could save 10% every month when you unplug appliances when not in use. Unplugging appliances can save electricity, so make it as much a habit as when you turn off the lights to conserve energy.
How much does it cost to run a microwave? ›
It depends on the microwave's energy rating and the power setting used but using the calculations above it would cost less than half a penny to run a microwave with an average of 1kWh for one minute.Is it cheaper to use washing machine at the weekend? ›
Using a washing machine during the day or late at night can make all the difference and alleviate the pressure on household bills. Those on a time-of-use tariff will pay half the price to use energy-gobbling appliances outside of the 4pm to 9pm peak hours.Which appliances cost the most to run? ›
- Tumble dryer. ...
- Oven. ...
- Dishwasher. ...
- Washing machine. ...
- Fridges and Fridge freezers. ...
- Kettle. ...
- Television. ...
- Hair dryer.
- Wash with cold water. ...
- Wash full loads when possible. ...
- Use the high-speed or extended spin cycle in the washer. ...
- Dry heavier cottons separately. ...
- Make use of the “cool down” cycle. ...
- Use lower heat settings to dry clothing. ...
- Use dryer balls. ...
- Switch loads while the dryer is warm.
- Cooling and heating: 47% of energy use.
- Water heater: 14% of energy use.
- Washer and dryer: 13% of energy use.
- Lighting: 12% of energy use.
- Refrigerator: 4% of energy use.
- Electric oven: 3-4% of energy use.
- TV, DVD, cable box: 3% of energy use.
- Dishwasher: 2% of energy use.
If you want to know if a plugged-in charger uses energy, the straight answer is “Yes”, but that's not the whole story. The truth is that the consumption is negligible.Do phone chargers use power when not in use? ›
Feel the heat? That's wasted electricity—technically, it's called "no load mode," but in reality it's just another vampire. According to the Berkeley Lab's testing, cell phone chargers in no load mode consume around 0.26 watts, and laptop chargers, 4.42 watts.Do people still hand-wash their clothes? ›
So, if you're in the US and reading this article, then the odds are good that you have access to a washing machine. But did you know that most people in the world still wash their clothes by hand? It's true.How many times does the average person do laundry? ›
The average family does their laundry once a week. Depending on the family size, this can take anywhere between 2 to 5 hours. For a family with pets, doing the laundry can take much longer.How much does it cost to run a light bulb for 24 hours? ›
Let's say you have a 60-watt incandescent lightbulb and you are paying 12 cents per kWh of energy. Leaving the bulb on the whole day will therefore cost you: 0.06 (60 watts / 1000) kilowatts x 24 hours x 12 cents = approximately 20 cents in one day.
How much electricity does a TV use if left on all night? ›
Average TV energy usage
Research shows that, on average, modern TVs use approximately 58.6 watts when they're “on” or in use, and approximately 1.3 watts in standby mode.
Combining all of these factors, the average cost of a load of laundry is $1.27. At this cost, if you do one load per week, doing laundry costs $66.04 per year. If you do four loads per week, doing laundry costs $264.16 per year.How much energy do you save by not using a dryer? ›
So how much money are you really saving? Well if your average electricity rate is at 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, it averages out to about 50 cents per drying load. Average four loads of laundry per week, and you're looking at just over $100 in savings per year.How much does it cost to run a TV all day? ›
How much does it cost to have a TV on 24 hours a day? The average cost to run a TV is $1.34 per month ($16.04 annually). Per hour, modern TVs cost between $0.0015 and $0.0176 to run, with the average costing $0.0088. Running a TV 24/7 in Standby mode costs between $0.66 and $3.94 per year.What is the most energy efficient setting on a washing machine? ›
Wash with a cold cycle
This is the easiest way to reduce electricity use, regardless of kind of washing machine you have. Washing with a cold cycle can save you more than 80% of your energy consumption and cost. This is because most of the energy is used just to heat up the water in warm washes.
Washing machine is still the better option between the two. It's true that you would save a lot of money by hand washing your clothes. However, it would use up plenty of your time and effort. This means that instead of doing something more important, you would be stuck cleaning clothes for a long duration of time.Is it cheaper to wash on a quick wash? ›
You can quickly wash a few clothes without using a lot of energy, in fact, a quick wash can save up to 60% of energy* compared to a regular cotton cycle, and that's not all.What uses the most electricity in a home? ›
- Wet appliances. Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. ...
- Cold appliances. ...
- Consumer electronics. ...
- Lighting. ...
It's cheaper at night, when demand for power is at its lowest. This quieter period is called the off-peak hours, which usually falls between 10pm and 8am. Conversely, peak hours are during the daytime, when more people are using electricity and demand is higher. Not all energy suppliers follow time-of-use tariffs.Why is it cheaper to wash clothes at night? ›
Putting your washing in during the evening and setting the machine to run into the early hours of the morning could greatly reduce your electricity costs, as energy prices are lowest between 10pm and 5am.
Is quick wash OK to use? ›
While it may be tempting to use the quick-wash cycle every time you need to clean a load of laundry, it should really only be used for freshening up garments. An example would be items such as a blouse and pants that are only lightly soiled and that you want to wear last-minute.Is a 20 minute wash enough? ›
The answer is yes.
The laundry must not be heavily stained or soiled either - you'll be very much disappointed with the results! If you follow these rules, you should be left with some fresh clothes, even if 20 minutes doesn't feel like enough! Handy when there's so much else to be doing outside.
The 15-minute cycle is the shortest of the washing programmes. It predicts a 5-minute wash, a rinse and a fairly energetic centrifuge. Speed is obviously the highlight of this programme, but its effectiveness is limited to underwear or stainless clothes you only wore once, simply to freshen them up.