Compared to Japan and North America, the average European load of laundry is washed at higher temperatures, using more detergent and a significantly longer wash cycle. It should not be surprising then that the performance (i.e., results in terms of soil removal) of the laundry process is significantly higher in Europe (nearly two times better than in North America and more than two times better than in Japan).
European consumers are less likely than their North American and Japanese counterparts to pre-treat their laundry. In terms of bleach usage, Europe ranks the lowest, behind Japan and North America (with the highest bleach usage). To achieve performance similar to Western Europe, consumers in Japan and North America use extra steps and products.
European washing machines have for many years been known for their low water usage, and are beginning to gain market share in other locations. A full wash in a European front-loader requires only 15 litres of water, compared to 45 litres in Japan and 60 litres in North America.