We’ve all done it. Filled the washing machine to the point that we can’t even close the washer door. Unless you want your next stop to be your washing machine insurance provider, then don’t! But of course, we have our reasons: maybe we’re short on time or need those beach towels cleaning in time for next weeks summer holiday. Whatever the reason, overloading your washing machine is never a good idea and could cost you more than you realise.
But why is the load size so important?
For one, an overloaded washing machine just won’t clean your clothes as well as a correctly loaded one. Washers that are jam-packed won’t have enough space for the clothes to move effectively and the detergent to pass through them.
On top of this, overloading your washing machine will put extra strain on the appliance and could eventually lead to it breaking down.
Bang the drum
The first thing you need to be aware of if you’re thinking about packing an extra jumper into an already overstuffed washing machine is that overloading your appliance could actually damage your washer’s drum. The drum is the large cylinder that spins around when the washer is in the process of washing clothes and as such is a pretty integral part of the machine. Damage can range from a decrease in your washer’s efficiency leading to clothes that don’t come out as clean, to total mechanical breakdown requiring a new machine.
Get your motor running
The extra weight and friction caused by an overloaded machine can lead to wear and tear on the motors that turn the drum. This can lead to extra energy consumption and eventually mechanical failure.
But how do I know how much to put in?
For every washing machine, there is a recommended load amount. What this is for your machine is something you’ll need to find out as it may be totally different from everybody else’s. Your first port of call for this information should be the manual that came with the appliance. Somewhere within this document will be all the details for how much clothing you can put in the machine for each setting. Don’t have the manual? Then head over to Google. Nearly all major manufacturers have the information directly on their product pages or may allow you to download a pdf version of your machine’s documentation.
Underloading… is that better?
The short answer is no. While underloading a washing machine is unlikely to cause mechanical problems for the appliance, it will waste energy, detergent and time. You may also find yourself being driven insane by the amount of noise your machine makes as the drum rattles around with no weight inside to keep it balanced.
Making sure your washing machine is loaded correctly is vital to the health and longevity of the machine and will, in the long run, save electricity and detergent. Think about this the next time you try to cram a week’s wash into your appliance in one go.