Commercial Clothes Washers

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As defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), “commercial clothes washer” means a soft-mounted front-loading or soft-mounted top-loading clothes washer that: (1) Has a clothes container compartment that (i) For horizontal-axis clothes washers, is not more than 3.5 cubic feet; and (ii) For vertical-axis clothes washers, is not more than 4.0 cubic feet; and (2) Is designed for use in: (i) Applications in which the occupants of more than one household will be using the clothes washer, such as multi-family housing common areas and coin laundries; or (ii) Other commercial applications. 10 CFR 431.152 Manufacturers have been required to comply with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) energy conservation standards for commercial clothes washers since 2007.

Current Standard | Current Test Procedure | Ongoing Rulemaking for Standards | Ongoing Rulemaking for Test Procedure | Helpful Links

Recent and Ongoing Activities

DOE has published a Federal Register correction notice pertaining to test procedures for residential and commercial clothes washers. On June 1, 2022 DOE published a final rule amending DOE’s clothes washer test procedures. This document corrects formatting and typographical errors and omissions in the regulatory text of that final rule. Neither the errors and omissions nor the corrections in this document affect the substance of the rulemaking or any conclusions reached in support of the final rule.

  • This notice is effective December 23, 2022.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice amending the test procedures for residential and commercial clothes washers to further specify test conditions, instrument specifications, and test settings; address large clothes container capacities; add product-specific enforcement provisions; delete obsolete provisions; and consolidate all test cloth-related provisions and codify additional test cloth material verification procedures used by industry. This final rule also establishes a new test procedure for residential and commercial clothes washers with additional modifications for certain test conditions, measurement of average cycle time, required test cycles, tested load sizes, semi-automatic clothes washer provisions, new performance metrics, and updated usage factors. The new test procedure will be used for the evaluation and issuance of updated efficiency standards, as well as to determine compliance with the updated standards, should such standards be established.

  • The effective date of this rule is July 1, 2022.
  • The amendments will be mandatory for product testing starting November 28, 2022.
  • Manufacturers will be required to use the amended test procedure until the compliance date of any final rule establishing amended energy conservation standards based on the newly established test procedure. At such time, manufacturers will be required to begin using the newly established test procedure.
  • The incorporation by reference of certain materials listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register on July 1, 2022.

For the latest information on the planned timing of future DOE regulatory milestones, see the current Office of Management and Budget Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. All planned dates are preliminary and subject to change.


Notification of Proposed Determination

  • Federal Register, 86FR71840 (December 20, 2021)

Early Assessment Review; Request for Information

The commercial clothes washer energy conservation standard rulemaking docket EERE-2012-BT-STD-0020 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking.

Public Meeting Information:

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time.

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.

Test Procedure

Final Rule; Correction

Final Rule 

  • Federal Register, 87FR78819 (December 23, 2022)
  • Federal Register, 87FR33316 (June 1, 2022)

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; Extension of Public Comment Period

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

  • Federal Register, 86FR59652 (October 28, 2021)
  • Federal Register, 86FR49140 (September 1, 2021)

Reopening of Public Comment Period

Request for Information

The clothes washer test procedure rulemaking docket EERE-2013-BT-TP-0009 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking. 

Public Meeting Information

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time.

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.

Current Standard

Commercial clothes washers manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 10 CFR 431.156.

Current Test Procedure

To determine that commercial clothes washers that are currently manufactured or distributed into commerce are in compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedure methods specified at 10 CFR 431.154.

Test Cloth Correction Factors

The Test Cloth Correction Factors page contains the information used to determine the test cloth correction factors for each test cloth lot.

Helpful Links


DOE has established regulations on certification, compliance, and enforcement in the CFR at 10 CFR Part 429.  These regulations cover statistical sampling plans, certified ratings, certification reports, record retention, and enforcement.  More information on these regulations is available here.


For information on current test procedure waivers, see DOE’s Waivers webpage

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR 431.401.


DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for commercial clothes washers.

For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR part 1003.

Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions

For information on further guidance and answers to Frequently Asked Questions on all covered products, see DOE’s Further Guidance database

State Exemptions to Federal Pre-emption

DOE has not exempted any state from this energy conservation standard. States may petition DOE to exempt a state regulation from preemption by the Federal energy conservation standard. States may also petition DOE to withdraw such exemptions. For details, see 10 CFR part 431, subpart W.


DOE supports the testing and verification of ENERGY STAR® products in close collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Contact information

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