Kitchen & laundry

You can buy the latest water efficient technologies for your kitchen and laundry, but being water efficient requires both smart behaviours and technologies. Don't forget, there's many ways to save water.

Child pulling towels out of front loading washing machine

Even if you have a water-efficient machine, always wait for a full load before you wash.

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards

WELS water rating label

Look out for the WELS label when you're shopping.

When you're buying water efficient products for your kitchen and laundry, make sure you look out for products regulated under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme. The label is designed to help you make informed choices about the water efficiency of products you're buying.


  • Choose taps with at least a 4-star WELS rating.
  • Install aerators that screw onto the end of your tap. They can reduce the flow rate by more than 50% without reducing pressure.
  • Wash dishes in a plugged sink and avoid rinsing them under running water
  • Defrost in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave rather than using running water.
  • Catch the rinse water in a container and use it on your garden when you're rinsing vegetables.

Washing machines 

  • Choose a front-loading washing machine with at least a 4.5-star WELS rating.
  • Ensure you have a full load of washing before you turn on your machine - you'll save water and energy.
  • Choose the most efficient wash setting for lightly soiled clothing.
  • Check for drips around the hose connection to your washing machine. A wet floor, mould, odour or rust could indicate a leak.
  • Use the suds saver option on your machine (if it has one) to re-use the soapy suds on your next load.
What makes front-loading washing machines more efficient than top loaders?
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. The 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.

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 your clothes every time the drum rotates.  


  • Choose a dishwasher with at least a 5-star WELS rating.
  • Ensure that your dishwasher is full before you turn it on.
  • Scrape plates into the bin rather than pre-rinsing. Most modern dishwashers don't require plates to be rinsed before washing.
  • Check the wash setting to see if there's a more water efficient option.

There are many ways to save water at home. Check your taps, pipes and fittings for leaks regularly. Undetected household leaks are a common reason for high water use.

water use in the home

Dishwashers account for only one per cent of the water used around the average Sydney home.

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