What does Wash mean?

Outcome that doesn’t bring any advantage

When we say something is a ‘Wash’, it basically implies that there’s no gain or advantage from the end result, also known as a “net zero”. Imagine you organize a charity event and the total money raised is exactly the same as the cost of the event itself. That’s when you’d say it’s a wash.

This term can be heard in everyday conversations, online chats, and text messages. It’s a neutral expression, not strictly positive or negative. However, the way it’s used can reflect a person’s feelings about a situation.

For instance, you might feel bummed out if you didn’t make any profit from a project you invested in and refer to it as a wash. On a brighter note, suppose you owe your folks some money, but they consider it a wash if you agree to babysit your little brother for the summer. In this case, you’d probably be thrilled and accept the deal readily.

Example for using ‘Wash’ in a conversation

Hey, remember that garage sale I had last weekend?

Yeah, what’s up?

Well, turns out it was a wash. I barely made any money.

Aw, that’s too bad. Did you at least get rid of some stuff?