Saving water -
and money!- with these water-efficient washing machines
When I was in the market for a new washing machine, my main concern was price - how could I get the washing machine for my needs at the best possible price? But I soon realised that a washing machine is a long-term investment -- I’m going to be using it frequently over many years, and a major consideration I had to keep in mind is water efficiency, which would help keep my future water bills as low as possible.
The PUB rates the water efficiency of washing machines here on a scale of one to four ticks, with four ticks being the maximum and the most efficient. According to the PUB, a washing machine with four ticks uses 6 litres of water or less per kg of washing, while a machine with three ticks uses 6 to 9 litres of water. A typical household which does the laundry once a week on a 9kg washing machine, for example, might use up to 54 litres of water on a four-tick washing machine, compared to 81 litres of water on a three-tick machine. The 27-litre difference per week can add up to substantial additional costs over years of usage, which might even be more than the initial cost difference between a three-tick and four-tick washing machine!
Four-tick washing machines tend to be quite pricey upfront. Luckily, three-tick washing machines are overall very water-efficient too, and most new models now come with features that aid their efficiency while not being directly related to how much water they use.
Samsung WW90K6410QW/SP Front Load AddWash Washer (9kg)
The Samsung WW90K6410QW/SP Front Load AddWash Washer (9kg) is a three-tick washing machine which uses 6.5 litres of water per kg of laundry. The medium-sized washing machine (600 x 850 x 600 mm) fits in almost any home here, even newer Build-to-Order (BTO) flats which might have smaller washing areas. As a front-load washing machine, the Samsung WW90K6410QW/SP also uses less water than a top-load machine, since the tub needs only to be half-filled with water which gets swirled around by the drum’s rotation.
While it is pricier than a top-load washing machine at $1,599 (RRP) / $999 (NOW), it is both water-efficient and packed with features. Its AddWash feature is massively useful for distracted types like me, as it allows me to add clothing I forgot to do so at the beginning of the wash anytime it is safe to do so, letting me save water by throwing it into the washer instead of rinsing it separately. A further Super Speed setting lets me quickly wash a medium-sized 5kg load of laundry in under an hour, which cuts down the amount of time I have to do laundry.
The WW90K6410QW/SP comes with Samsung’s Ecobubble technology that mixes air, water, and detergent to create bubbles that penetrate clothing faster, which lets you get the same level of cleanliness washing in colder water as in warmer water. This translates to energy efficiency as well, which gives you savings on the power bill front.
The TWC1409S2W comes with the company’s highly-touted Twinwash feature, which effectively combines two washing machines into one unit. Adding a TG2402NTWW mini washer ($799) lets you wash two separate loads at the same time, each with their own cycle set by the main washer’s control panel. This makes it extremely convenient and fuss-free for me to separate my laundry loads according to their needs, such as such as my whites and coloured clothing, or my adult clothing and baby wear, so that each particular fabric type can be adjusted to the best cycle to ensure they last. The mini washer also makes it easy and water-efficient to wash small loads when the occasion arises, such as when I have dirty gym wear or if I need to do laundry mid-week.
For occasions when I am time-starved -- like when I am rushing to go out for weekend brunch but still have to get laundry done first -- I turn to the washing machine’s TurboWash mode, which effectively washes my clothes in under 50 minutes thanks to a combination of jet-spraying and water-filtration motions. Furthermore, I appreciate the TWC1409S2W’s Steam Refresh setting, which is great when I want to freshen up clothing without having to put them through a wash.
The TWC1409S2W is outfitted with LG’s 6 Motion Direct Drive technology which stimulates the movement of the drum in various directions, so that laundry is given a thorough washing. This degree of movement allows the TWC1409S2W to provide a range of settings depending various fabric needs -- a gentle one for silks and lighter fabrics, or a rigorous one to get stains out of jeans and flannels.
For maximum water efficiency, always opt for a front-load washing machine model and choose one as close to four ticks as possible. The best part about splurging a little more upfront for a premium model is the water savings you get down the road and the peace of mind of ensuring your laundry will be treated well -- giving your favourite pieces more longevity and getting the most out of them.