How Much Does it Cost to Wash a Load of Clothes in the UK?

How Much Does it Cost to Wash a Load of Clothes in the UK?

Washing machines are an absolute necessity. However, if your washing machine is not up to scratch, you can find yourself paying out more than you need to be to run your washing machine.

According to Which?, you can very easily find yourself paying £63 a year to run a washing machine, while the most efficient models could cost you just £15 a year.

Average Cost Per Load

On average, a washing machine cycle will use around 18p of energy, and around 11.8 litres of water per kilo of washing according to Which?, however this does vary by machine as some are more or less efficient.

A washing machine such as this one from Zanussi that is F-rated on the new rating system may use 186 Kwh of energy and 10,400 litres of water a year. Based on 220 cycles a year, this equates to an energy cost per cycle of 13p, and 47 litres of water usage.

Average Cost Per Load of Clothes

The cost of the water supply will vary depending on your supplier, however, a household on a water meter can expect to pay around 19p for 47 litres of water-based on combined supply and waste charges according to Southern Water.

A more energy-efficient washing machine such as the Samsung Series 5 ecobubble, which is B-rated on the new rating system, can drop this to 116 Kwh of energy and 8100 litres of water each year. This then equates to an energy cost per cycle of 8p, and a cost of around 13p for 36 litres of water.

An F-rated washing machine could therefore cost you around 32p per cycle, whilst opting for a B-rated one could drop this to 21p a cycle.

To summarise, it will usually cost from 21p to 32p to wash a load of clothes in the UK depending on how efficient your washing machine is.


Quick Washes

According to Which?, using a quick wash cycle can cut your average energy cost per wash to 9p (half of the average 18p), and the water usage per kilo can drop to 9.7 litres (down from the 11.8 litre average).

This does therefore mean that you can make some considerable savings per cycle when washing lightly soiled clothing.

However, quick washes are not always good news. They may use less water and energy, however, they do not offer the same cleaning or draining performance.

You may end up needing to rerun the wash cycle, or spend longer drying the garments, leading to a greater cost elsewhere.


Eco Wash

Washing Machine Eco Wash Mode

Many users may be surprised by the eco wash cycle on most washing machines as they can take considerably longer than other cycles.

Eco modes use a lower water temperature as most of a washing machine’s energy usage comes from heating the water, it just means that the cycle needs to be longer to get the same level of cleaning.

Eco modes might take longer, but they can use between 35 and 59% less energy than a standard hot cycle, and it can offer considerable savings in water usage too according to Currys.


How to Reduce Washing Machine Energy and Water Costs

Whilst picking a more efficient washing machine is one way to save money on your electricity and water costs, you can also try the following top tips:

  • Wash at cooler temperatures – Run the washing machine at cooler temperatures, you can always soak dirty items before washing
  • Use space efficiently – Only run the washing machine with a full load, or use the half load program if the machine has one
  • Spin to reduce tumble dryer usage – Spinning clothing on the highest spin cycle will remove as much water as possible, helping them dry faster in the tumble dryer