How much does it cost to run a washing machine and how can you make it cheaper? (2023)

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 the end of June 2023. After this, energy prices are predicted to fall below the price guarantee.

Even if there are no more hikes on the horizon, energy bills 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.'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 useCost per monthAnnual cost
A-rated washing machine16p£2.78£33.32
B-rated washing machine19p£3.29£39.44
C-rated washing machine29p£4.96£59.50
D-rated washing machine31p£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.

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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, 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.

How much does it cost to run a washing machine and how can you make it cheaper? (1)

(Image credit: Future)

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.

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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.”

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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.

How much does it cost to run a washing machine and how can you make it cheaper? (2) (opens in new tab)

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:

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  • 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 (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)

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Family finance

(Video) How much electricity does my washing machine use on a 60 wash


What is the cheapest way to use your washing machine? ›

How to properly use your washing machine and save money?
  • Avoid prewashing (+15% consumption). ...
  • Wash at 30°. ...
  • Give preference to longer but more economical eco programmes (30 to 45% energy saving).

How can I save electricity with my washing machine? ›

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. Wash full loads.

How much does it cost to run the washer? ›

How Much Electricity Do My Home Appliances Use?
ApplianceWattage per hour of useAnnual cost (at average use)
Television (>40”, HD TV)234$41.00
Washing Machine255$9.55
1 more row

What is the most efficient way to use a washing machine? ›

Doing a monthly service wash (hot, without clothes) is also very sound practise. Emptying the pockets of clothing is also vital to prevent items getting caught in the drain pump, while avoiding putting in too much detergent is a good idea too, as it can clog the machine and prevent it working properly.

How do you wash down costs? ›

  1. Machine-wash your down jacket on a gentle cycle at 30 degrees °C. If it's available, select the 'extra rinse' option. Use a down-specific soap or detergent, like Grangers Down Wash Concentrate.
  2. Skip the spin cycle. It's better for your down jacket to drip dry and/or use a tumble dryer.

What is the cheapest to 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.

How do you use energy wisely in a washing machine? ›

9 tips for saving energy on your washing machine
  1. Wash your clothes in cool water as often as possible. ...
  2. Pre-soak stains. ...
  3. Wait for a full load. ...
  4. Run your machine on the shortest cycle. ...
  5. Reduce your weekly loads. ...
  6. Switch off the power at the wall. ...
  7. Wash your clothes during controlled load times.
Jul 31, 2021

What is the cheapest time to use electricity washing machine? ›

Run your machines later in the day - but not while you are asleep. The most expensive time for you to wash or dry your clothes is between 4pm and 7pm , so try to avoid using your machines between these hours.

Does leaving washing machine on use a lot of electricity? ›

Washer & Dryer Electricity Costs

An average cycle for a washing machine is 30 minutes. This appliance, which is a widely used Energy Star model, needs 500 watts per hour to run, which means it requires 250 Wh, or 2.25 kWh, to run for 30 minutes.

What uses the most electricity in a house? ›

Top five energy consuming home appliances
  • 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. ...
  • Cooking.
Jan 14, 2022

How much does it cost to run a dryer for 1 hour? ›

'Taking a national average of 15 cents per kilowatt (kWh), you are looking at 30 to 90 cents per hour of running a tumble dryer, depending on energy consumption.

How much does it cost to run 1 load of laundry? ›

How much does it cost to do an average load of laundry? 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 wash clothes by hand or in a washing machine? ›

Conclusion. 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.

Is a quick wash cheaper? ›

By using less energy, a quick wash will also save you money, too. But a quick wash isn't the best option if you need to wash stained clothes.

Is it cheaper to wash clothes at night? ›

People have been running their washing machine at night rather than during to day as the theory goes that your electricity is cheaper at night. However, for the vast majority of people, this just isn't the case.

What detergent is best for down? ›

Use a good cold water wash type detergent, like Woolite®, or a generic store brand. One which has a nice fragrance and is safe for silk. You may want to use some to spot clean any particularly dirty areas, like cuffs or elbows.

What is the best way to wash a down blanket? ›

What Is the Best Wash Cycle for Down Comforters and Other Down-Filled Items? Use a gentle- or delicate-cycle setting and a minimal amount of mild laundry detergent with your load. Choose lukewarm water, as hot or cold water can be hard on the down. An extra rinse cycle can help ensure all soap is removed from the down.

What temperature should I wash my down? ›

Set the dial to cold water, and add a touch of a down specific cleaner. We recommend Nikwax Down Wash Direct, which is specifically formulated to work on down products. “Normal detergents can strip down feathers of their natural oils,” says Outdoor Research Product Manager.

What are the most expensive times to do laundry? ›

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.

What time of the day is electricity 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.

What time is cheaper to do laundry? ›

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 cheaper to wash clothes at home or laundromat? ›

They also have more machines, which means you can get your laundry done faster. Plus, laundromats are typically cheaper than doing laundry at home, and they offer more convenience since you can do your laundry any time of the day or night.

Are longer washes more economical? ›

Good question. The answer is actually quite simple - with the longer wash-cycle, the water doesn't require heating up as much when compared to shorter programs. This allows the appliance to use less energy when compared to the auto program, for example.

Does a quick wash use more energy? ›

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 is the best day of the week to do laundry? ›

Wash on Monday

Monday as washday is a very old tradition, based on pure practicality. Before the automatic washing machines, doing laundry was an all-day task. Then drying and ironing might take most of the week (depending on the climate) and the whole thing had to be out of the way by Sunday, the official day of rest.

How many times a week should I do laundry? ›

Every two days: hand towels and dish towels. 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.

What appliance uses the most electricity? ›

The largest electricity consumer in the average household is your heating and cooling appliance. By a long shot. Central air conditioners and heaters use tons of energy in order to keep your home set to the right temperature.

Does leaving lamps plugged in use electricity? ›

The short answer is yes! A variety of different electronic devices and appliances, including televisions, toasters, lamps, and more, when plugged in, can consume electricity even when they're turned off.

What part of day is cheapest to use washing machine? ›

Cheapest time to run washing machine falls within 7 hour window, says expert. Putting a wash on early in the morning can cut costs.

What appliances use electricity even when turned off? ›

Coffee makers. Television sets. Washing machines. Practically every appliance and electronic device you have plugged in at home is using some electricity — and adding to your utility bill — even when it isn't in use or even turned on.

Does a TV use a lot of electricity? ›

Yes. TVs can use a lot of electricity and quickly add up to your electricity cost. Old technology TVs like CRT and Plasma eat up more watts; however, the latest LCD and LED TVs are way more efficient and have less power hungry which is a relief. A modern TV uses around 50 to 100 Watts, depending on the screen size.

How much does it cost to run a TV? ›

What is the average cost and energy use of different types of Televisions?
Screen SizePower Consumption (Watts)Avg Monthly Cost*
24 inches50 W$1.56
32 inches70 W$2.184
37 inches80 W$2.5
42 inches120 W$3.74
1 more row

How much money do you save not using a dryer? ›

Line-drying prolongs the life of your clothing.

Line drying is more gentle to fibers. You'll lower your gas or electric bill. Project Laundry List estimates the average household could save 10 to 20 percent percent on utility bills by hanging the wash!

Why does dryer take 2 hours? ›

Lint in debris buildup inside exhaust vents is a common cause of a dryer taking too long to dry. Clogged dryer vents can also restrict airflow in the dryer and lengthen drying times, not to mention cause dangerous dryer fires.

How many loads of laundry should a single person do a week? ›

An individual in general, is likely to wash anywhere between one to three loads of laundry per week. Although, depending on their unique circumstances this could be more or less.

Which uses more electricity washer or dryer? ›

To give you a preview, an average washer uses 128 kWh per year and an average electric dryer uses 580 kWh per year.

Is it more efficient to do small or large loads of laundry? ›

Always run a full load of laundry

Washers and dryers use about the same amount of electricity to wash a small load as they do a full load. So, it's more efficient to wait to do laundry until you have a full load, but remember -- don't over-stuff your dryer.

What is the cheapest way to wash clothes in washing machine? ›

  1. Seven ways you can save money and energy on your laundry wash.
  2. Run your machines at night. ...
  3. The colder the cycle, the better. ...
  4. Fill your basins with the right loads. ...
  5. Maintain your machines. ...
  6. Use bio capsules for more effective stain removal. ...
  7. Invest in some dryer balls. ...
  8. Air dry when possible.
Oct 15, 2021

What time is the best time to use washing machine? ›

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 30 minutes enough to wash clothes? ›

A normal wash cycle usually takes between 50 minutes to an hour to complete. However, this time could be faster or slower depending on load size and the cycles or options you choose. That's one of the reasons it's important to know how to choose the right washer cycle.

Does a 15 minute wash clean clothes? ›

If you have any heavily soiled clothes then 15 minutes isn't going to be long enough to get the stains out. Also, 15 minutes isn't long enough to clean a full load of washing, even if it isn't stained.

Does washing at 30 save money? ›

Washing clothes at 30 degrees rather than higher temperatures will save around 40% of the energy used each year. Modern washing powders and detergents work just as effectively at lower temperatures. Wait until you have a full load before putting on a wash.

Why shouldn't you leave clothes in the washer overnight? ›

Leaving wet clothes in the washer overnight can cause them to smell mildewy in the morning—but this doesn't always happen (and you might not have to run the load through another cycle).

Is it OK to leave clothes in the washer or a day? ›

A good rule of thumb is to avoid leaving clothes in the washer for more than 8 to 12 hours. However, Murphy says there's more to think about than just timing to prevent your clothes from smelling and mildewing, especially if you're prone to letting your laundry sit for hours at a time.

How many times a day should you wash clothes? ›

Everyday Wear

"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."

Is it cheaper to use washing machine on 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 is the cheapest cycle on 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.

Does a 15 minute quick wash clean clothes? ›

A quick wash cycle that takes approximately 15 minutes to complete will be able to clean lightly soiled items of clothing. However, this length of time is not going to be long enough to clean heavily soiled/stained items of clothing.

What is the most expensive time to use washing machine? ›

According to the expert, for those on a time of use tariff, there are three houses in the day when it is more expensive for households to run their washing machine. “The most expensive time to run your washing machine is between 4pm and 7pm," Vivien said.

What are the cheapest times of day to do laundry? ›

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.

Is it cheaper to do washing at night? ›

Given that energy prices are at their lowest between 10pm and 5am, I would advise scheduling your washing machine to run into the early hours of the morning. Doing this can help you to significantly cut down energy costs."

Does washing by hand save money? ›

A dishwasher is generally more energy-efficient than washing dishes by hand. However, it can be a grey area as it depends how you hand-wash your dishes. For example, some people use the tap to pre or post-rinse dishes.

How much does it cost to run a dryer? ›

Electric dryers span a wide range of wattages, from about 2,000 to 6,000 watts. That translates to about 2 to 6 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Based on the national average rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, each hour of electric drying will cost somewhere between 24 and 72 cents, depending on the model.


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