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Manufacturers, Customers Lash Out at Biden’s ‘Climate Friendly’ Washing Machine Regulations

Manufacturers, Customers Lash Out at Biden’s ‘Climate Friendly’ Washing Machine Regulations

“When you’re squeezing all you can out of the efficiency in terms of electricity use and water … you by definition either make the appliance worse or slower.”

Manufacturers and customers are ticked the Biden administration wants to force energy-efficient washing machines on everyone.

It sounds nice, but the machines would use less water, which means longer washing times and probably stinkier clothes.

Also, if you use less water and have to redo the wash, doesn’t that mean you use the same amount of water you would have used in the first place?

The proposal came out in February. The Energy Department wants machines to use less water to “confront the global climate crisis.”

Manufacturers claim the new regulations would “reduce cleaning performance to ensure their machines comply, leading industry giants such as Whirlpool said in public comments on the rule.” The washing machines and detergent would become more expensive while clothes are not so clean.

The Energy Department argued the manufacturers won’t have to sacrifice “stain removal and other performance standards.” Common sense says otherwise:

For the Heritage Foundation’s Travis Fisher, however, manufacturer concerns over the proposal are justified.

“When you’re squeezing all you can out of the efficiency in terms of electricity use and water … you by definition either make the appliance worse or slower,” said Fisher, who serves as a senior research fellow at the foundation’s Center for Energy, Climate, and Environment. “Why are we so focused on the energy output, as opposed to if it’s helping me wash my clothes? That standard has kind of gone off the rails.”

Beyond the performance standard debate, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers argued that the Energy Department’s washing machine regulations “would have a disproportionate, negative impact on low-income households” by eliminating cheaper appliances from the market. The Energy Department estimates that manufacturers will incur nearly $700 million in conversion costs to transition to the new machines.

American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow James Coleman told Fox News Digital: “Like many efficiency standards, the government claims that although these standards will raise the cost of appliances, they are justified because they will reduce consumer spending on energy & water even more. Of course, if that were true, consumers would likely buy more efficient appliances anyway, given that studies show consumers consider energy and water costs. If consumers do fully consider what they will pay on energy in their individual circumstances, then the standards would, on-net, harm consumers.”

The Energy Department didn’t refute the higher costs affecting lower-income households.

But that’s okay because, in the end, it would save those households money “through lower energy and water bills.”

Except that “good news” would only reach “roughly a quarter of whom ‘would experience a net cost’ thanks to the efficiency rule, according to the Energy Department’s proposal.”

I bought a high efficiency machine in 2014. A wash usually takes an hour, and I haven’t noticed stinky clothes.

But that doesn’t matter. It’s about choice. If someone doesn’t want these machines, they shouldn’t have to buy one.

But Big Brother knows best! We must listen to our betters.


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“confront the global climate crisis.” What global climate crisis? The crisis is entirely made up by idiots like John Kerry, Al Gore and Joe Biden.. You don’t see them curtailing their energy use one iota!

Low flow toilets needing two flushes. Now washing machines requiring two inadequate wash cycles? The goal is not clean clothes but reduced water and energy use. What is so “sanitary” about that? A bucket and washboard will be the ultimate solution. Better yet… stones by a creek although EPA may complain.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to alaskabob. | March 13, 2023 at 8:09 pm

    The only issues I have had with any low-flow toilets in the past 30 years: the ones I have in this house had an odd water flow that does not clean the edge of the bowl. Poor design, not that it is low flow.

    Washers: I tried one of those plate type top loaders. They don’t wash the clothes. I run front loaders. They wash the clothes, and I have never had a mold problem. I leave the door open a little bit; that is all it takes. LG has a clever design where, just before the door is closed, there is a detent. It keeps the door open enough to prevent mold but not be in the way.

    Now. Don’t get me started on low-flow kitchen faucets! Same with bathroom faucets. As for shower nozzles: it is amazing what can be accomplished with a drill bit, careful aim, and 30 seconds of one’s time,

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | March 13, 2023 at 8:13 pm

      20 years on the low-flow toilets.

      The EPA is working on energy standards for website commenting where an edit feature will be required. This is to save pixels wasted on corrective messages.

        The single best feature of the newer washers was ultra high speed spin cycle meaning less water in clothes….the dryer had less to do. The front loader newer washers really don’t need “improvemrnt” by govt.

          Mt. Fuji in reply to alaskabob. | March 14, 2023 at 5:15 pm

          I will NEVER buy a front loading washer again. The one I bought ate 3 drum seals in 6 years (190.00ea), somehow got a baby sock in the filter, and then the rear main bearing went out. Bought a new top loader with a central agitator and it works like a charm.

          randian in reply to alaskabob. | March 15, 2023 at 4:52 am

          Where did you get a top loader with a real agitator new? All the top loading machines I’ve seen either don’t have an agitator (because they use absurdly small amounts of water) or the agitator is so tiny I doubt it does much.

      henrybowman in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | March 13, 2023 at 9:31 pm

      “it is amazing what can be accomplished with a drill bit.”
      Just make sure you know what you’re doing. I came very close to “improving” a “flow restrictor disc” in the outlet port of the shower valve in my RV, only to find out it was actually an anti-siphon valve. 🫣

    DSHornet in reply to alaskabob. | March 14, 2023 at 9:41 am

    We have a ten year old low flow American Standard pot in the downstairs half bath that works very well. It has a swirl pattern in the bowl that I think would make a cinder block spin. We have two Deltas in the upstairs baths that we bought after reading reviews in Consumer Reports and they also work well. All three are ~5 LPF. Plugups are very rare but there’s a thing called a plunger.

    alaskabob in reply to alaskabob. | March 14, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    I wonder how many of those govt officials making these standards actually wash their own clothes…or leave to the maids!

Just wear the same thing every day until it wears out, and then buy another. No washing.

When I purchased my home two years ago it came with the high efficiency eco friendly W/D. The washer works well but it accommodates smaller load sizes; no bachelor size loads stuffing two weeks of laundry into it. For a single person or a couple without children in the home it is workable but I can’t see it being friendly for families with children.

The dryer is a problem. Jeans and towels take two trips through the dryer. As a single person it is ok and in nice weather I can use a clothes line instead of a second trip through the dryer. For a young family with kids it would be a huge issue.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to CommoChief. | March 13, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    Check the vent tube on the dryer. It may be new construction but too many turns and too far a run cause issues. I encountered the problem here at this house bit all it was, was the flapper door on the outside was jammed part way closed. It was replaced, and all works fine.

    With RARE exception, there are no “energy saving” dryers. They are essentially the same design they were in 1960.

      CommoChief in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | March 13, 2023 at 8:47 pm

      Good advice. Thanks.

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to CommoChief. | March 13, 2023 at 9:39 pm

        My pleasure. Really, the new (and old) stuff properly installed will work fine. I DO draw the line at those disc/plate top loaders.

        Another reason I run front loaders: I get mine with pedestal mounts. Saves my rapidly deteriorating back.

        When they are installed MAKE THEM LEVEL IR A TEENY TINY BIT UP IN THE FRONT. By that i mean the bubble in your level BARELY touches the line and the machine is slightly up at the front.

        |O | <— like this

      henrybowman in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | March 14, 2023 at 12:03 am

      When I moved into this place, I had that problem — found a mummified lemon in the pipe. Lemon tree in the east yard, pack rats in the desert, no vent pipe cover on the roof.

Also, if you use less water and have to redo the wash, doesn’t that mean you use the same amount of water you would have used in the first place?

No, it means you use more water, and more electricity, than you would have used in the first place.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Milhouse. | March 13, 2023 at 9:44 pm

    Beat me to it.

    I definitely see this problem with HE toilets too.

    W/D is a mixed bag. Some work okay and some just aren’t as good. It’s rougher on those of us that can’t use strong detergents due to allergy issues because the stronger detergents have better deodorizers and anti-fungals.

      DSHornet in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 14, 2023 at 9:20 am

      The Bride has a similar sensitivity. We use Persil white, which works well, and we buy two jugs at a time ’cause some times the stores don’t have it.

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to DSHornet. | March 14, 2023 at 9:35 am

        Persil broke me out in rashes.

        All Free and Clear gets the Good Denkeeping Seal of Approval in the Gentle Grizzly’s cave.

Is Pfizer going into the washing machine business? Can see the mandate on the horizon. And if you don’t comply, the new water allocation division of the FBI will descend and bring them before Garland, then to solitary confinement.

Would somebody please remind me again where in the Constitution the federal government is granted the power to regulate the water and energy usage of washing machines? I must have missed it.

    Milhouse in reply to Flatworm. | March 13, 2023 at 9:00 pm

    The interstate commerce clause.

      henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | March 13, 2023 at 9:35 pm

      That’s the excuse.
      The truth is: nowhere.

      Which would have been intended to regulate the actual transport of goods across state lines. It shouldn’t really involve the goods themselves.

      CaptTee in reply to Milhouse. | March 14, 2023 at 4:21 pm

      My water comes from my well in my front yard and goes to my septic tank in my back yard.
      I don’t see any interstate commerce on my 75’x125′ property.
      The State dictates that wells have to be 75′ from septic tanks and I am fine with that.

    paracelsus in reply to Flatworm. | March 13, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    supremacy clause?

      Milhouse in reply to paracelsus. | March 14, 2023 at 1:43 am

      No, the supremacy clause doesn’t give Congress any extra authority. It just says that when Congress makes a valid law, authorized by some clause or other, then it becomes the supreme law of the land, and it trumps all state laws and constitutions. But Congress still has to have that authority in the first place, or it isn’t a valid law.

    Othniel in reply to Flatworm. | March 14, 2023 at 12:07 am

    Good and plenty clause.

      Milhouse in reply to Othniel. | March 14, 2023 at 1:54 am

      Good one. But no, the “good and plenty clause” made famous by John Conyers isn’t an independent source of authority. It just means that each of the preceding clauses, that authorize Congress to do various things, includes not just what is literally in the clause but also anything necessarily implied by it. E.g. the authority to regulate the navy necessarily implies the additional authority to create a department to run the navy, to employ people to work there, to build, buy, or rent buildings for them to work in, to furnish offices for them, buy stationery for them, and provide them with the usual amenities employees expect, including an office party in December. None of that is actually in the language of the navy clause, but the “necessary and proper” clause says to read it that way.

        Owego in reply to Milhouse. | March 14, 2023 at 6:14 am

        Emanations and penumbras

        Flatworm in reply to Milhouse. | March 14, 2023 at 7:10 am

        It kind of makes you wonder why the Framers would go through all this trouble to enumerate powers, then specifically state that they only have the powers thus enumerated, if they intended to include a “screw it, just do whatever” clause in there.

    intermod in reply to Flatworm. | March 14, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    Government can’t do this so they use industry as their proxy (Twitter, anyone?). They won’t force me to comply – they will just make what I want unavailable.

    udolpho in reply to Flatworm. | March 14, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    The Constitution has been dead since the 1960s at least, and more likely since the Civil War. If you think this evil and illegitimate regime is going to be restrained by words on paper, you’re kidding yourself.

Love our top loading, few year old Speed Queen washer and gas dryer, a brand a lot of people have not heard of.

    henrybowman in reply to jb4. | March 13, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    The brand has been around since before I was born, 1928!

    Sanddog in reply to jb4. | March 14, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    They have a huge commercial washer business and don’t spend a lot of money advertising to the public but they make great washers.

    Joe-dallas in reply to jb4. | March 15, 2023 at 9:18 am

    I switched to speed queen since the machine’s lifespan is much longer than other brands.
    The last washing machine I had was scrapped after 4 years simply because I couldnt access a 1″ rubber tube that leaked.

    scrapping a washing machine every 5-10 years is a lot less environmently friendly than scrapping one every 15-20 years.

    Gas dryer was replaced 5 years ago after lasting 35 years.

The Energy Department, yet another agency that needs to be on the’ shrink the funding until it fits into the trunk of a Tesla’ list.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Gosport. | March 13, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    Let’s make a more efficient energy department by reducing their use! I bet we can save all kinds of utilities by paring their bureaucracy down a few tiers.

stevenp-aught7 | March 13, 2023 at 10:23 pm

I hope the manufacturers will have a setting on the machine called “Traditional Wash”.

BierceAmbrose | March 13, 2023 at 10:40 pm

I can do better than that. Not washing doesn’t dirty any water, or burn any electricity. You don’t even have to make, and eventually dispose of a thing.

Clean clothes only matter if you care what life is like for the pesky humans, I mean the livestock, and obviously we don’t.

nordic prince | March 13, 2023 at 11:15 pm

Also, if you use less water and have to redo the wash, doesn’t that mean you use the same amount of water you would have used in the first place?

Same problem with the damn stupid “low flow” toilets. You’re not saving any water if it takes two or three flushes to get the job done.

If “saving water” is the ultimate goal, how about mandating outhouses? Reduces water usage of toilets by 100%.

As for all these stupid regulations for washers: you’re probably better off dragging your laundry down to the river and beating it against the rocks like Granny did.

    how about mandating outhouses?
    Well, if we brought back cholera it would give the CDC something real to do, instead of studying guns or locking the people in their houses.

Stupid idiots. Just make a machine that does the job in one go, otherwise you’re actually wasting more resources by having to do it multiple times.

I believe that with washing machines, High Efficiency (HE) is a euphemism of “does not have an internal water heater.”

Such machines rely on the building’s water heater for any warm or hot water it uses, which is, of course, inefficient. It requires heating up the water pipes between the water heater and the washing machine, and it does a poorer wash because hot water doesn’t start entering the machine until all the cold water in the pipes has already gone into it, making it impossible to do a hot enough wash to, for instance, kill bed bugs.

“Oh, that’s a before-1900 problem.” Not any more!

But the washing machine gets credited with not expending the electricity needed to heat the water. It by itself does not use as much electricity, so it gets a high efficiency rating, even though it is energy inefficient.

In other words, par for the course for anything “green.”

    DSHornet in reply to AlecRawls. | March 14, 2023 at 9:28 am

    Our W/D setup is ~25 years old (and works very well) so the washer doesn’t have an internal heater. The only repairs are the set of dogs in the top of the washer agitator that make the augur turn in one direction only, and a drum belt in the dryer. I clean the dryer exhaust pipe every couple of years and pull the accumulated lint out of the dryer as needed. I make ’em last!

    Voyager in reply to AlecRawls. | March 14, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    Dishwashers do that. They get around part of the energy limits by assuming the water in the hot water pipe is actually hot. They tend to work best of you run the hot water in the faucet until it is actually hot, otherwise the first rinse is cold water only.


Victor Immature | March 14, 2023 at 4:53 am

I can’t believe they want to make them worse than they already have. The no-agitator “impeller” models are shit. IDC if you have one and get good results. The vast majority of people recognize this fact, there was an article on it on steynonline. Manufacturers can use a cheaper motor with no agitator but swishing clothes around in a frothy drum doesn’t cut it. More lint, less clean. So you have to select a maximum water level if possible and an longer rinse cycle. “Efficiency” is a lie.

A government of constitutionally enumerated powers wouldn’t be able to do this. Maybe we should switch to having one of those.

    MAJack in reply to irv. | March 14, 2023 at 9:19 am

    Exactly, where are the Government’s enumerated powers to dictate the specs for the manufacture of lightbulbs, Ev vehicles, washers etc.?

    This is BULLSHIT.

We have mandatory low flush toilets here in Lalaland (California). My older house has cast iron pipes which require more than a spritz of water to get things moving, so yep, I have to flush twice if I want my sewer to reach the city pipes. Also local stores and plumbers can only sell mandatory low flow shower heads, so what do I do? Buy from Amazon, thus defeating silly government regulations.

    randian in reply to Rufus. | March 15, 2023 at 4:58 am

    So far as I can tell Amazon doesn’t sell high-flow shower heads/hand nozzles, what model shower heads are you buying?

It’s all getting so arcane and ridiculous.

The gubmint has to justify its existence so new laws and regs must be thought up regularly.

Someone just invent a self driving electric car that can wash our clothes and clean our bodies and dry us off after while we enjoy the view. SMDH.

    GWB in reply to 7Ford7. | March 14, 2023 at 11:02 am

    Do you REALLY want to see your fellow commuters naked on the way home from work, while they text their fellow commuters?

    AlecRawls in reply to 7Ford7. | March 15, 2023 at 3:32 am

    To reduce flow, most shower manufacturers just made the hole in the rubber washer at the inlet end of the shower head ridiculously small, like 1/8″ or less. Just open it up with a drill bit half again as large (3/16″ for a 1/8″ hole) and the flow will about double.

    (When the diameter of the hole increases by a factor of 1.5 the radius also increases by 1.5. The cross-sectional area of the hole increases by the square of the radius (A = πr^2), so the area of the hole increases by 1.5 squared, or 2.25 times, but the pressure will drop a bit, so the flow rate increase won’t be as big as the cross-section increase.)

E Howard Hunt | March 14, 2023 at 10:17 am

This problem is entirely cultural. Our world has become entirely too antiseptic. A modicum of dirt is good for the immune system and lends character to those wearing the same clothes, unwashed, for weeks on end. People will become a sort of living history with all manner of stains and smells painting a rich history of their travels and adventures. To combat the worst of it, undergarments could be changed somewhat more often and shirt collars could make a comeback.. Exotic scents and sprays could be liberally applied over the body and vestments to disguise the strong, malodorous, miasma. It could be the dawn of a true, more authentic and communal age.

smalltownoklahoman | March 14, 2023 at 10:27 am

Another example of an agency needing to either be stripped of it’s regulatory authority or at least have it severely curtailed. This strikes me as more the agency trying to justify itself (and demands for ever increasing budgets) rather than helping the environment. That’s part of the problem with these agencies and stuff like this: there is no such thing as good enough! A point that is reasonable to reach and effective for what it’s meant to achieve, a point where trying to go beyond is an automatic NO until and unless it can be shown to be attainable without placing an undo burden on those the new goals would affect.

Hey, that’s my washing machine in the pic!
It’s decent by the crap standards we currently have. But I only ever change three of the knobs – water level, temp, and I use two of the “cycles” (my wife uses a third, but I don’t own any “delicates”).

And a really good machine could be built without the extra goo-gaws and the computerized malarkey, for a lot less money. But it wouldn’t save the Earth from us humans.

Yeah, this is one big reason I’m a small gov’t radical.

My husband, is, to put it bluntly, cheap. We’ve ALWAYS had used washers and dryers. Cost is a fraction of the new ones, and the basic technology has changed little (except for the ‘delicates’ setting).

MOST of the problems with washers and dryers come from poor maintenance – failure to clean filters, overstuffing them, not properly leveling them, failure to use ‘rust-inhibiting’ detergents (do a Google search – but I know Amway’s SA8 has that feature).

My husband had to take apart a washer to get out a lost sock – since then, if we have small items (kids’ socks, ladies panties, etc.), we use a laundry bag to keep them from escaping the drum.

ABU – Always Buy Used.

    Voyager in reply to rau9. | March 14, 2023 at 6:44 pm

    With the proliferation of microcontrollers, I would not be surprised if we end up seeing a homebrew appliance scene pop up sooner or later. The mechanisms are largely fine: they just get used in stupid and super ineffective ways.

    Except for condensers. Apparently all of those are garbage these days. Turns out manufacturers in China don’t care about galvanic corrosion and just make all their condensers out of incompatible metals. As long as it lasts long enough that no-one claims the warranty, they don’t care if it will always rust through.

And, my husband’s brother proudly showed off his new High Efficiency washer and dryer set – as I recall, it was between $3K – $4K for the set.

He had to replace them within 4 years (basically, when they went out of warranty). They NEVER saw the water and power savings they were told they would.

These delusional fools have shortened the life span of refrigerators and washer from 25 years to 5 years. The head of appliances at our Home Depot told us he has never seen an electronic washer last more than 6 years and a refrigerator more than 10.

Concerning dictates from government, we must listen to and obey our betters. That said, do Biden and Co. qualify?

barbiegirl ny | March 14, 2023 at 4:36 pm

what next, a rock and a scrub board?

There is no “water shortage.” Don’t these “follow the science” morons know where water comes from? Hint: not from a lab.

Protest energy-efficient washing machines! Go nude.

This is not about efficiency. Every time that word is used by government in this context it is a lie. It’s about reducing total energy use by whatever means necessary to meet the government’s mandate, regardless of the actual efficiency (which is work done per unit of energy, nothing more) by which the machine operates.