News Analysis

New Maytag Washer Shines in Field Test

A unique study and publicity event by the U.S. Department of Energy and Maytag Appliances, in which conventional washing machines were replaced with water-efficient Maytag Neptune washers, demonstrated dramatic water and energy savings. One hundred families—nearly half the tiny rural town of Bern, Kansas—were given the new horizontal-axis washers. During a two-month control period prior to the switch, researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory measured hot and cold water temperatures and consumption for laundry in these households.

Participants in the study kept careful logs of every load of laundry they washed, including weight of the load both before washing and immediately after washing. Near the end of the control period, participants were asked to postpone all laundry washing for a one-week period, so that all one hundred families would do their laundry on a “Superwash” Saturday between 10 am and 4 pm. This enabled researchers to study the impact laundry could have on the community water system.

Published October 1, 1997

(1997, October 1). New Maytag Washer Shines in Field Test. Retrieved from