Washer Cost to Run Calculator: Electricity AND Water

Do you suspect that your washer is increasing the cost of your utilities every month?

You’re not alone! Washers are an incredible invention, and since they were introduced in the last century, they have revolutionized the way in which we keep our clothes clean.

It’s estimated that about 85% of U.S. households today own a washer, so it’s clearly worth taking a closer look at the average power draw of these appliances in order to determine how much they contribute to monthly bills.

This is why I’ve prepared the calculator below, where you’ll be able to input your washer’s characteristics, such as type, size, and the number of times per week that you use it. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have all the answers you came here for.

Keep reading to keep your bills in check!

The Calculator

How I’ve Estimated Washer Running Costs

To create this calculator, I analyzed EnergyStar data from over 330 washers. From this information, I tried to give an approximate electricity and water cost per load.

In the process of doing this, I found a correlation between the type of washer and the size of the drum with how much electricity and water they use. I also included a factor considering the appliance type, as front load and top load variants tend to have different resource consumption.

Now, before moving forward, I want to make something very clear. No matter how you run it, a washer will not burn a hole in your pocket. On average, washers cost between $15 and $60 per year to run. If you divide that by month, it adds up to about $1.25 and $5.00, which isn’t too bad.

This, of course, will depend on the state you live in, as tariffs tend to change by location. Click here to find out the cost of electricity in your state.

How to Lower Your Washer’s Running Costs

Now that you know how cheap it is to run your washer normally, you might feel a little better about using the appliance. However, if you’re like me and want to get the most efficiency out of the unit, here are some additional tips to help reduce power consumption even further.

#1 Wash Full Loads

You wouldn’t believe how many extra resources (electricity, time, and water) are wasted while washing incomplete loads. Many people tend to throw their clothes/duvets in the hamper and do the laundry every couple of days without actually waiting to wash a full load.

A woman placing clothes inside a washer
Doing fewer loads during the week can save you some money

I understand how sometimes you simply can’t wait to wash something, as you might have an important meeting, a date, or any other event that calls for specific garments. But whenever possible, try to wait at least an extra day or two before washing.

The problem with not waiting is that your washer will normally use the same amount of electricity and water to wash a couple of t-shirts or several lbs of clothing, so, if you want to maximize efficiency, be patient.

#2 Use Cold Water

You might find this hard to believe, but using cold water to wash your clothes can reduce electricity consumption significantly.

When you choose to forego warm or hot water for your washing cycles, you’re making your appliance’s job easier, as it doesn’t have to go through the trouble of increasing the water’s temperature. In the short term, you might not notice the differences right away, but within a year, you might save a couple of dozen dollars, all by changing one simple setting.

Just make sure that before you do this, you check that all your clothes can be washed in cold water, as some fabrics, like spandex, nylon, and polyester are typically easier to wash in warm water.

#3 Try Eco Modes

Efficiency is really important to modern appliance manufacturers, and as such, many of their products already come with Eco Modes, which can save you a lot of money.

In a nutshell, these modes are designed to use fewer resources while still providing virtually the same level of performance and results. Sometimes, the washing cycles can take a little longer, or the water used might not be as warm, but at the end of the day, the differences between Eco and regular modes are hardly noticeable.

To know whether your appliance has an Eco Mode, make sure to check your User Manual. If you no longer have it, you can always go to Google and search for ”<Your Washer’s Make And Model Go Here> User Manual”. You should be able to get all the answers you’re looking for there.

#4 Consider Air Drying

As you may know, some washers come with a drying option, which eliminates the need to buy a separate appliance to do this after a washing cycle.

Normally, I don’t recommend buying washer-dryer combos, as they put people in a position where, if one function fails, so will the other, leaving them with two broken appliances due to a single issue.

Clothes hanging on the outside
Sometimes, letting the wind do the drying is a great idea

However, there’s also another reason why I sometimes recommend skipping dryers altogether – air drying. Hey, I get it, it can be inconvenient, and clothes take a lot longer to dry than they would by simply throwing them in the dryer, but have you considered how much electricity and gas you could be saving?

Again, I get this option is not for everyone. But if you don’t mind waiting a little longer for dry clothes and would like to see some reduction in your monthly utility bill, this is a great way to go about it.

#5 Avoid Lint Accumulation

Lastly, let’s talk about the importance of keeping your appliance clean.

It’s no secret that during the washing process, clothes wear out slowly, but surely. This doesn’t mean that your washer is bad for them, or that they will break due to being washed – at least not immediately. However, this minor damage causes small pieces of fabric to fall off during washing cycles, and if left unattended for several months, the buildup can cause problems.

Make sure to remove lint buildup often

Lint accumulation within your washer can not only cause it to overheat or not clean as well as it should, but also force it to use more water and electricity to get the job done. This directly translates into reduced efficiency and higher utility bills. All for no good reason.

So, if you want to ensure that your appliance is working properly and according to its designed capabilities, it’s crucial that you clean it thoroughly and remove any lint accumulation at least once a month.


That about covers it!

Trying to figure out how much it costs to run your washer can be tricky, as these appliances come in all shapes and sizes.

I hope this piece has helped you better understand how much you’re actually paying every month to wash your fabrics, and what you can do if you want to take efficiency to the next level. In many cases, something as simple as making sure that the unit is clean, washing with cold water, and using Eco Modes can go a long way.

Thank you very much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article piqued your interest and answered your questions, please check out our other incredible resources below and consider subscribing to our newsletter.

On the site, you can find useful buyer’s guides, DIY tips, and solutions for all sorts of issues, such as a washer that’s always filling with water.

I wish you nothing but the best.

— Craig.

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more