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Water-wasting washing machines to avoid

These thirsty models from Kmart Anko, Fisher & Paykel and Simpson scored lowest for water efficiency.

Speed Queen AWNA62 Panasonic NA-FS85G3WAU Fisher & Paykel WA7060G2 Fisher & Paykel WA1068P1 Fisher & Paykel WA1068G1
Last updated: 04 July 2022

If you're thinking of ways to reduce your water consumption, a water-wise washing machine is a good place to start. 

We've tested hundreds of products over the years, and our washing machine reviews have revealed some highly water-efficient machines – and some shockers, including one that scored 0% for water efficiency

ash doing testing in laundry lab CHOICE

Ashley hard at work in the CHOICE laundry lab.

"In a dry country like Australia we need to be very conscious of our water use. The good news is there are many modern washing machines which are very water efficient," says CHOICE washing machine expert Ashley Iredale.

"Given that the performance of modern, water-efficient washing machines is getting better and better, there's no reason to choose a washer that uses an excessive amount of water."

Top loaders in particular can be big water guzzlers – they can use up to 70% more water than similar-capacity front loaders. Some models we tested used around 200L of water for a standard cycle. 

If saving water is on your bucket list, give these top-loading washing machines a miss.

kmart anko atlw80g

1. Kmart Anko ATLW80G

  • Water efficiency score: 1%
  • Water used per cycle: 199L 
  • Capacity: 8kg 
  • Price: $419

If you're looking to save some cash on a washing machine, Kmart's new 8kg top loader might seem tempting. But while the price is right, the performance is anything but.

It guzzles a huge 199L of water per wash, putting it just one litre away from scoring 0% for water efficiency. (For comparison, similarly-sized top loaders we've tested use an average of 127L per cycle in our tests.)

And while it's incredibly cheap at $419, it'll cost you around $1628 to run over 10 years (if it lasts that long), so it's bad for your hip pocket as well as the planet. (For comparison, a similar-sized machine we've tested costs $500 more to buy, but performs better and has a 10-year running cost of $834 – almost half that of the Kmart washer over the same period.) 

"It may be cheap to buy but it wastes a huge amount of water when the normal cycle is used, and it has a poor energy rating which means it will likely cost you more in electricity bills than another model over its lifetime," says Ashley. 

"To be priced this low, it's likely also made with cheaper parts and materials, with less consideration for how easily it will be to repair or how long it should last."

It did actually score an almost-perfect 99% for rinse performance, but when it's chewing through nearly 200L of water per wash that's not really surprising. 

Read the full Kmart Anko washing machine review

fisher paykel wa7060g2

2. Fisher & Paykel WA7060G2

  • Water efficiency score: 21%
  • Water used per cycle: 163L
  • Capacity: 7kg
  • Price: $999

One of the biggest selling washing machine brands in Australia, Fisher & Paykel has made some great machines. However, it also has the unfortunate distinction of having produced three of the five worst water guzzlers in our testing. 

The WA7060G2 has very poor water efficiency, using 163L of water in a cycle. It didn't perform well in other areas either, scoring particularly poorly in terms of gentleness (43%), dirt removal (62%) and spin efficiency (60%). 

Read the full Fisher & Paykel WA7060G2 review

fisher paykel wa1068p1

3. Fisher & Paykel WA1068P1

  • Water efficiency score: 21%
  • Water used per cycle: 162L
  • Capacity: 10kg
  • Price: $1699

Despite scoring a squeaky-clean 98% rinse performance score, this model guzzles a huge 162L of water for a normal wash – but still only scores 61% for dirt removal. It's also pretty expensive to run and doesn't have a 'water save' feature.

Read the full Fisher & Paykel WA1068P1 review.

fisher paykel wa1068g2

4. Fisher & Paykel WA1068G2

  • Water efficiency score: 21%
  • Water used per cycle: 162L
  • Capacity: 10kg
  • Price: $1349

Similar to the WA1068P1 above, this machine scores an excellent 98% for rinse performance, but chews through 162L of water in a single cycle. While it's relatively quiet and you can add items after the cycle has started (always a good feature for disorganised housekeepers!), it's relatively expensive to run and doesn't have a woollens wash. 

Read the full Fisher & Paykel WA1068G2 review

simpson swt9043

5. Simpson SWT9043

  • Water efficiency score: 28%
  • Water used per cycle: 149L
  • Capacity: 9kg
  • Price: $1249

It might be the least bad of this bunch, but make no mistake: this Simpson washing machine is still a water guzzler. 

The company claims that it uses just 100L per wash, but when we ran it on a regular cycle in our lab, it went through nearly 150L of water in its 70-minute cycle. 

And for all that water, it still doesn't do a great job: it's not especially gentle on clothes, nor is it good at removing dirt. Plus its spin cycle isn't especially efficient, so your clothes will come out wet and take longer to dry. 

Read the full Simpson SWT9043 review

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Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.