Are You Putting Too Much or Too Little Into Your Washing Machine?

The average drum size for a washing machine is 7kg, they can range from as little as 4kg all the way up to 12kg. However, most people aren’t entirely sure what this means. The tricky part with getting your washing machine load correct is working out the weight. Surprisingly it’s not only overloading that can affect the performance of your wash program. Under loading a washing machine can cause issues to both the washing machine and your cloths.  Here are some pointers on how to correctly load your washing machine.

Overloading your washing machine

The temptation to try and achieve your weekly wash in as fewer loads as possible is a very hard one to resist. Although it feels like you’re saving time and that you have beat the system, you will most likely find that the results of your wash are, well, wet and not washed. Even though washing takes very little effort, the thought of having to put an additional load on can be a …huge load on your mind…sorry! Overloading your machine can cause your load to just rotate in one big lump, this prevent the cloths from mixing together which then prevents the detergent from circulating correctly.

We don’t expect you to weight every item of clothing before you load your machine, going to that much effort you might as well invest in an old tin tub and a clothes mangle.  As a rule of thumb, you should have the drum mostly full, about 80% - leaving about a hand’s width between the top of the drum and the load.   However different fabric types do require different load sizes. Cottons for example, can be put in your machine on maximum load capacity whereas most other fabrics should be less. Silks for example, should be no more than 1kg per load and on a specifically designed silk machine program, this will prevent unnecessary creasing and optimise the efficiency of the wash.

General machine load guide for a 7kg Washing Machine

Cottons – Maximum 6kg
Minimum Iron – Maximum load 3-4kg
Delicates – Maximum load 2.5kg
Woollens – Maximum load 2.5kg
Silks – Maximum load 1kg

How Much Should I Put Into My Washing Machine?

Guide showing you the correct amount to load into your washing machine.

This is a basic guide for a run of the mill 7kg washing machine. If you are unsure you should consult the manual for your washing machine. These can easily be found on the manufactures websites.

Under-loading your washing machine

When buying a washing machine bigger isn’t always better. If you are currently looking to buy a washing machine why not check out our extensive range of new and refurbished washing machines, if you can find our machines cheaper else where we will beat the price!*We also have a post on why you should buy a refurbished washing machine. If you are unsure which size machine best suits you we have put together a rough guide in relation to washes per week you can also read our washing machine buyers guide here;

Less than 4 washes a week - 5-6kg Washing machine
Between 4 and 6 washes a week - 7kg Washing machine (the average)
Between 6 and 10 washes a week - 8-10kg Washing machine
Over 10 washes a week - 12kg+ Washing machine

Unless your washing machine has a specific small loads program to choose from, under-loading your machine can be an extremely wasteful exercise. Your washing machine has no way of telling if you have loaded one T-shirt or fifty, they just run which ever program you select. If you load just one T-shirt into a 7kg machine for example, the machine will run the same amount of water as if it was to clean 28. This wastes huge amounts of water and electricity heating that wasted water.


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