Kitchen & laundry
In the laundry, you use about 16% of household water - most of it in the washing machine.
Being water efficient in the kitchen and laundry requires both smart behaviours and technologies.
Use a plug when you're washing up.
By starting with a 3-star kitchen tap, you'll have enough flow to fill your sink, saucepan or water jug quickly. But you'll also save water every time you wash your hands - or anything else.
Remember, every inefficient or leaking tap that uses hot water is also wasting energy.
When it comes to washing the dishes, modern 5-star dishwashers can wash as many as 13 place settings with just 11 litres of water. That’s less than a large sink full of water.
The key to water efficiency is a combination of a 3-star laundry tap and at least a 4-star, front loading washing machine. Together, these can save you about 18,000 litres of water each year.
Considering the number of times you use hot water in the laundry, you can also make significant energy savings when you switch to efficient taps and appliances.
Beware of combination washer-dryers. These machines save space, but some models can be big water users.
Always check the manufacturer's information about combination machines. Local sales staff may not be aware of this issue.
Condenser dryers rely on a constant flow of cool water to remove excess heat and evaporated moisture during the drying cycle. The water used for this cooling process isn't reclaimed or stored, it just runs to the drain.
How do you choose the right washing machine?
It comes down to the way the two machines get all the dirty laundry wet.
A top loader with a full load needs to be filled with water until all the clothes are almost submerged.
In contrast, a full front loader needs just enough water to completely wet all the clothes and then a little extra to take away any dirt. The sideways tumbling action of these machines means small amounts of water can be gradually added until the clothes stop absorbing water. The small amount of extra water stays in contact with the tumbling load every time the drum rotates.
The vertical agitating action of a top loader doesn’t do as good a job at distributing water evenly through the load. The water will always tend to drain downwards, leaving the items at the top drier than those at the bottom.
Washing machines can use a lot of water, so it's important to choose the right one.