Do Washing Machines Reuse Water?

According to the EPA, over 40 states could experience water shortages by 2024. There has never been a greater need to conserve water. Do washing machines reuse water? 

Washing machines do not reuse their water. The water from your washing machine is disposed of after cleansing your laundry. Washing machine water can be captured and used after washing your clothes for non-potable water needs. 

Below we will look at how much water washing machines use and how to help reduce the water your washing machine needs. 

Washing Machine Water Usage

Modern washing machines have been designed to cut their water usage while still being able to cleanse your clothes.

They have sensors that will stop the flow of water after sufficiently getting your clothes and sheets wet without using an undue amount of water. 

Let’s look at some of the typical water usage you will see with different types of washing machines. 


The top loader is the most common design you will find in older washing machine models. They are the least efficient and can use about 25 gallons of water for an average load.

Some top loads do have load-sensing technology which can bring their water usage to near the 19-gallon mark.  

High-Efficiency Top Loader 

To cut the overuse of water in washing machines, the high-efficiency (HE) top-loading washing machine was born. It was able to cut the water usage back to the 15- 17 gallon level. Some models can average around 12. That is half the water needed in the older models. 


The newer front-loading washing machines are designed to use the least amount of water to get your clothing cleaned. These machines average only 7 gallons of water to wash your clothes and sheets. This is a drastic reduction from the washing machines of the past. 

Help Reduce Water Usage

There are some steps you can take to ensure your washing machine uses the least amount of water possible. 

  • Using sensible load sizes will ensure your washer will be able to wash your clothing with the least amount of water possible. Overfilling your machine will cause it to need an excess of water making it less efficient. 
  • Using higher settings such as heavy-soil or heavy-duty cycle will enable your washer to be more aggressive when cleaning and help clean your clothes using less water.
  • Use the correct amount of laundry detergent. An overuse of laundry detergent can cause your machine to be less efficient and need to use more water. 
  • Check for leaks. Any leak, even small leaks can add up to gallons and gallons of water usage a year and should be repaired as soon as possible. 

Grey Water 

The wastewater from your washing machine as well as your sinks is considered grey water. It contains fewer harmful pathogens than wastewater and can be reused.

Grey water can be routed to toilets, to feed your landscape and other non-potable uses. 

There are many ways to capture the grey water from your sink including buckets or dedicated holding tanks that will store your grey water until it is needed.

Rainwater can also be collected and stored in the same tank as the grey water.  


Washing machines can not reuse their water but they have become more efficient. Modern machines have drastically reduced the amount they need to sufficiently clean your clothes.

Using the right amount of detergent and the correct load size will help them use the least amount of water possible. 

The wastewater from your washing machine as well as sinks and rainwater can be captured and used for landscaping and other non-potable water needs.