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A Cleaner World Blog

How to Properly Load a Washing Machine

You mean there’s a wrong way to load dirty clothes in your washer?  Yes.  For instance, if you don’t load clothes properly around the agitator, the washer will become unbalanced and will walk around because of the vibrations.  If you put too many items in the washer, it prevents the detergent from permeating the fabric, being washed out completely, and clothes ultimately becoming clean.  Finally, wadding up clothes and just throwing them into the washer will cause clumping and tangling.

Tips for loading a washing machine:

  • For top-load washing machines, whether standard or high-efficiency, balance loading the clothes around the agitator or drum without placing too many items in the machine.
  • For front load washers, place items in the drum one at a time to ensure they aren’t tangled, and don’t overload the machine.  Here’s a simple way to see if you have too many items in the machine: Place your hand inside the drum, with your palm facing out.  If it fits between the clothes and the wall of the drum, then your load is fine.
  • Don’t overload any washing machine.   You want your clothes to swim in the water and detergent during agitation so that soil and stains are removed.

How large is a full load of laundry?  That’s a difficult question to answer precisely because it depends on the capacity of your washer; be sure to consult your owner’s manual to find out exact specifications for your machine’s model.  Follow these rules to avoid overloading your washing machine:

  • For a top-load washing machine, place clothes loosely around the agitator.  A small load usually fills about 1/3 of the machine, a medium load fills about ½ of the machine, and a large load fills about ¾ of the machine.  Top load washing machines typically allow you to select water levels depending upon your load size, so be sure to select accordingly.  Finally, if you must smoosh clothes down to fit more in, then you are probably putting to many items in your washer.
  • For a front-load washing machine, again loosely place items inside the machine.  The largest load shouldn’t fill up the tub more than ¾ the way full.  Be sure not to stuff clothes past the last row of holes at the front door.  The nice thing about front-load machines is that they sense the load level and adjust the water accordingly. 

For more tips on caring for your clothes, check out the cleaning tips section of our website, and feel free to contact us if you have any garment care related questions. 

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