Battery Equivalents and Replacements

Washing Machine Wattage: How Many Watts Does A Washing Machine Use?

A washing machine is a large appliance that is used quite often, especially in larger families with kids.

While absolutely needed, many people wonder how many watts and how much energy a washing machine needs to do its job and how does it reflect on the electricity bill?

Published: November 10, 2022.

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Washing Machine Power And Energy Requirements

Washing machines differ in size, volume, and weight of the dirty clothes they may wash in one cycle, centrifuge speed, and a few more details.

Most washing machines require from 400 Watts to 2000 or even more Watts, with an average unit requiring ~900 Watts.

Also, on average, one family uses a washing machine for up to 20 washing cycles per month, with an average washing cycle lasting around 1 hour.

Thus, the following chart lists hours and required energy for various washing machines, depending on the washing machines' power requirement (Note: it is assumed that the washing machines are used 20 times per month, that a washing cycle lasts 1 hour, and that 1 kWh of electric energy costs 0.15 $US per kWh):

Washing Machine Wattage Monthly kWh Monthly Cost Annual kWh Annual Cost
400W 8 kWh $1.20 96 kWh $14.40
500W 10 kWh $1.50 120 kWh $18.00
600W 12 kWh $1.80 144 kWh $21.60
700W 14 kWh $2.10 168 kWh $25.20
800W 16 kWh $2.40 192 kWh $28.80
900W 18 kWh $2.70 216 kWh $32.40
1000W 20 kWh $3.00 240 kWh $36.00
1100W 22 kWh $3.30 264 kWh $39.60
1200W 24 kWh $3.60 288 kWh $43.20
1300W 26 kWh $3.90 312 kWh $46.80
1400W 28 kWh $4.20 336 kWh $50.40
1500W 30 kWh $4.50 360 kWh $54.00
1600W 32 kWh $4.80 384 kWh $57.60
1700W 34 kWh $5.10 408 kWh $61.20
1800W 36 kWh $5.40 432 kWh $64.80
1900W 38 kWh $5.70 456 kWh $68.40
2000W 40 kWh $6.00 480 kWh $72.00

As one can see, an average 900W washing machine, when used 20x per month, with an average cycle lasting ~1h and an average electric energy cost of $0.15 per kWh, requires 18 kWh per month and 216 kWh per year.

Also, the cost of electricity for running such a washing machine is, on average, $2.70 per month and $32.40 per year.

Note: these 900 Watts is the average power consumption of the washing machine, not its peak. Also, most energy is used by water heaters and less by motors, pumps, and other electric and electronic components. washing machine 2

How To Decrease The Washing Machine's Electric Bill

There are several things one can do in order to potentially decrease the energy consumed by the washing machine, hence decreasing the washing machine's electric bill.

  • Use your washing machine during off-peak hours, which are usually during the evenings and night - contact your electricity provider and check your energy rates. This difference doesn't appear much, but every single cent adds up in the long run.
  • Use less warm water - most of the washing machine energy is spent in warming up the water, so washing clothes at somewhat lower temperatures than normal can lead to money savings.
  • Wash full loads of clothes - unless you have a washing machine with sensors, your washing machine will use the same amount of water regardless if it is fully or semi-loaded, requiring the same amount of electricity to warm up the water.
  • Pre-soak the stains - this allows the user to wash the clothes at lower temperatures, using shorter cleaning cycles.
  • After the cleaning is done, power off the washing machine - some modern washing machines tend to go into standby mode, which also requires some energy, although not much.

So, having newer, more energy-efficient washing machines and using detergents that can wash clothes at lower temperatures may lead to money savings in the long run.

How to Power Washing Machines During Blackouts and Emergencies

Although operating washing machines during blackouts and in emergencies sounds like a luxury, it is not - having clean clothes or at least underwear is one of the basic human needs, IMHO, of course.

The easiest way of powering washing machines during blackouts is portable inverter generators that can provide at least 2000W Running Watts, preferably 3000W Running Watts.

Since such portable inverter generators can operate for hours on a single fuel tank, powering a washing machine using a slightly shorter washing cycle and less warm water should not be a problem.

Also, larger power stations being able to provide 2000-2500W continuously may also be used to power washing machines during emergencies, just be sure that the lithium battery of the power station has enough energy stored.

In the end, having a large-enough deep cycle battery (or battery pack) combined with a 2000-2500W power inverter allows the user to power the washing machine even in emergencies and blackouts.

Long Story Short: When used often, washing machines can consume plenty of energy.

But, there are measures that can help the user save some energy and, in the long run, save some money.

Just don't forget that the washing machine is useless if the energy consumption is decreased, but the clothes are not washed properly ...