The BIG washing machine debate that's got the internet in a spin - including Kirstie Allsopp!

Where does it go – the kitchen... or the BATHROOM?!

If you go into any house in the UK, chances are you’ll find the washing machine tucked under a kitchen counter. It’s the most obvious place to install your washer and dryer…or is it?

Related: Small kitchen ideas – to turn your compact room into a smart, super-organised space

A tweet has sent homeowners into a spin claiming that that the bathroom is a more natural home for our washing machine. The Twitter user from Germany, under the handle @biebersgrills, writes: ‘In Germany, it’s the MOST NORMAL thing that washing machines are placed in bathrooms and not in the kitchen where it definitely doesn’t belong???’

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The comment has attracted over 60,000 likes with people agreeing that it makes no sense keeping a washing machine in the kitchen. But not everyone is in consensus. 31,000 comments later, and people from all over the world are weighing in on the debate including:

‘Omg what? I have it in my kitchen and I thought it was the most normal thing.’

‘Why would I wash the clothes where I have to cook or eat?’

‘In England, we have ours in the kitchen and to have it in the bathroom is weird.’

‘This entire thread of comments has me completely baffled. I thought everyone had a laundry room.’

Debates over whether the washing machine belongs in the kitchen are not something new. In 2017 Kirsty Allsopp stirred up a furor by responding to another journalist's tweet about keeping a washing machine in the kitchen. She wrote: ‘It is disgusting, my life’s work is in part dedicated to getting washing machines out of the kitchen.’

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But where does the washing machine belong then if not in the kitchen? In a perfect world, were we all had space in our homes, a utility room would be the ideal solution. But unfortunately that's not always the case.

When it comes to installing a washing machine in a bathroom, the are a few things to bare in mind. In the UK, due to strict building regulations, plug sockets can’t be fitted in the bathroom unless they are at least three metres from the bath or shower. Shave-supply units are an exception due to their lower voltage. So while it might be tricky, that doesn't rule out the bathroom as a new home for your washing machine completely.

Lauren Clark, AO.com (opens in new tab)’s large appliance trading director, says: 'To squeeze more storage space into kitchens, it’s possible to put a washing machine in a bathroom. We recommend considering where the electrical socket is placed because of the hazards associated with water spillage, and also what it’s made from because metal can rust in damp conditions.'

attic room with white washing machine with black and white broom

(Image credit: Caroline Arber)

However, she adds: 'Traditionally, UK houses have been built for washing machines to live in the kitchen and we would suggest picking quieter models if it’s going to be in an open-plan kitchen so as not to disrupt everyday life.'

When it comes to the final word on this debate, it all depends on space. If you have space and can safely plug a washing machine in, why can’t you have it in your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room or utility room?

Related: How to clean a smelly washing machine – banish mould, bad odours and residues

If it works for you, then run with it.

Rebecca Knight
Rebecca Knight

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.