Providing sufficient clean water is one of the fundaments of life and we are very conscious of our role in conserving clean water.
In the United Kingdom, almost two thirds of household water consumption is through toilets, baths, showers and taps. Our members’ appliances include washing machines, electric showers and steaming hot kitchen taps and account for some of the water used for washing-up dishes, the rest being washed by hand.
Studies by the University of Bonn have established that dishwashing by machine is much more water- efficient than washing by hand. The same is also almost certainly true for washing machines. The benefits of washing clothes by machine – in terms of the quality of the wash and time saved – are so great that washing machines are almost universal.
Dishwashers are extremely water-efficient. Some of the latest models use just 10 litres of water for the entire wash of 14 place settings. This compared to an average usage of 63 litres in the UK and Ireland when washing up by hand, according to the Bonn study.
A state-of-the-art washing machine can use less than 10 litres of water per kilo of washing. Thus a standard 4.5kg load could require less than 45 litres of water through the entire cycle. This is equivalent to a standard bath being about a half full.
The efficiency of these machines has other benefits. Most of the energy use in washing machines and dishwashers is in heating the water. The less water that there is to heat, the less electricity is required. So, as appliances get more energy efficient they also become more water-efficient. Less water usage also means less detergent is required. This cuts down on cost and pollution – so more efficient modern appliances are a major step forward for the planet and the pocket.