How do the buckets fit with the water labels on the washing machines?

Each bucket holds about 10 litres of water, so divide the number of litres on the water rating label by ten to be able to see how many buckets of water the machine uses.  Remember to look at the load size (kg) too so that you are comparing machines with the same capacity.

How can using less water clean clothes just as well?

A cleanness standard must be achieved in each water rating test or no stars will be given. 

Front loaders use a lot less water but as a country we prefer top loaders, right?

Times are changing.  Local retailers tell us that up to 40% of new sales are frontloader washers now.  For a national perspective, see these sales statistics from EECA:

Year ending 31 March

2000

2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

2012

2014

2015

Front loaders sold

3.7%

7.7%

8.5%

13.3%

14.5%

20.2%

25.2%

32.2%

34.8%

Top loaders sold

96.3%

92.3%

91.5%

86.7%

82.8%

79.8%

74.8%

67.8%

65.2%

 

More information available from here.

You don’t really expect me to buy a front loader, do you?

Since 2015, toploader machines have taken a big leap in water efficiency rating.  We would encourage you to consider either type of machine with a star rating of 3 stars or better when you buy a new clothes washing machine. 

I’d like a top loader with water saving features.  What should I look out for?

  • A choice of water levels  or a water level auto sensor
  • Wash and hold feature for soaking rather than doing multiple washes for heavily soiled clothes
  • Eco setting for washing lightly used clothes and sheets

I like the machine I have.  Why should I upgrade?

Our recommendation is to plan for your next upgrade but only upgrade when you need a new machine. Hasty purchases after break downs are one of the reasons people end up with less efficient machines than what they would like.  Most people we meet are keen to do their bit for the environment.  

What are other ways to save water in the laundry?

Collecting washing together to make a full load is the most efficient way to use any clothes washing machine.  Running several washes for a few items, for example, one pair of jeans, or just the clothes you went for a run in, is the most wasteful way to use your machine.  Team up with a flatmate, or put on a load of washing for the family whenever the washing basket reaches full.

Why are the city councils doing this campaign?

Both Wellington and Hutt city councils have Water Conservation and Efficiency Plans that have involved engagement with local retailers.  The Sustainability Officers from HCC initiated research into our local needs - this research is summarised in the report below.