Do clothes clean better in a full load?

Do clothes clean better in a full load
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Up front:

Running your washer on a full load does will not determine how clean your laundry will be. Clothes in a laundry machine are cleaned by 

  1. Surfactants of detergents.
  2. Agitation of agitators
  3. Clothes rubbing against each other and drum walls during drum’s rotation.

None of the above factor are dependent on full load or less.

However, a filling a washing machine beyond it recommendation limit can reduces how clean clothes will get during washing.

How a full load affect the cleaning process

How full a washer is can affect the intensity of washing the clothes will experience, which in turn will affect how clean the clothes will get.

A full load, that does not exceed the loading capacity will create a more balanced load.

There will be enough space for the clothes to scrub against each other, and in the case of an agitator top loader, the agitator.

The water circulation in the drum will be enough to soak the clothes enough to get a good wash.

These will directly result in cleaning clothes.

In this respect an optimally filled washing machine will lead to a cleaner wash.

Full load vs half load

The problem comes when we start to compare.

As a starter, washing a full load is better than washing an overloaded washer, or too very few clothes.

These are both extremes of a washing spectrum. And is not the context of this discussion.

In this article we’re comparing two good loading capacities: a half load, and a ful load.

In truth, all the benefits discussed in the previous subheading about a full load, equally applies to washing half loads too.

In terms of cleaning effectiveness, they’ll both clean your laundry equally well.

The real advantage of full load over half, is energy conservation. As the amount of power used when washing a full load is the same amount needed to wash a half load. Except the half load washes more clothes in the same amount of time.

In in terms of efficiency at cleaning, there is no clear winner.

Both half and full loads will get the job done.

Advantage of washing full load

Do clothes clean better in a full load

I’m a big fan of washing full loads, so from the start, I must admit I’m a little bit biased. Well, I’ll still still biasedly state the advantages of washing a full load of laundry at a time

  1. Power conservation
  2. Water conservation
  3. Machine balance
  4. Time saver

Power conservation

Do you know that the speed of a ceiling determines how much power it consumes?

We’re still waiting for smart washers like that, that will divide the time used in washing a load by the number of individual items that makes up the load. 

This way, when you wash 5 clothes less, it subtracts the time for those 5 clothes and saves it in terms of power consumption.

Well that’s only in my dreams. In reality, you spend similar amount of power whether its a full load or a half.

So washing full loads is an energy saver.

Time saver

The amount of time it takes to wash a half load, is what you’ll take to wash a full load.

This means you’re spending 50% less time washing a full load.

This is important to the busy working class. Of course, everyone needs to safe up on time. Even stay-at-home mothers might need some time to rest and to do other things.

If time is money like it is usually said, then a half load should make you a millionaire in a few years time.

But a full load trumps half loads in terms of water conservation.

Water conservation

In lands with water scarcity, water conservation is a noteworthy topic.

A full load uses water effectively. Of course the water needed to wash 30 shirts (6kg washer), is more than that needed to wash 45 shirts (9kg).

But if you wash 30 shirts in a 9kg washer, expect to use the same amount of water need for a 45 shirt wash.

This is the “anti-principle” of water conservation. And is one big advantage of washing a full load.

Machine balance

Do you sometimes hear those annoying vibrations when you wash a few singles or underwear?

It’s likely the result of your washing machine drum’s imbalance caused by too little load.

The perfect of solution is to add more load. A half will will solve it… definitely. However, in this context, a full load is an ideal solution.

This more like an argument between a full load and a ‘few loads.’

But definitely, the full load help prevent this problem.

But watch out!

There is a thin line, between filling a load to an appropriate capacity, and overloading it. This is explained in the linked article.

If it doesn’t really matter whether you wash a full or hal load to get a clean after-wash, what then does the cleaning in a washing machine?

This is explained in another article. You  can check that in this article.


Do clothes clean better in a full load

If you need to wash, opt for full loads. It is definitely worth the time.

But there’s no need to be dogmatic. Those who wash half loads will get an equally clean cloth, except at greater cost to them.

As mentioned earlier, I’m kind of biased, because I always wash full loads: to save my time, energy and resources.

If you need some biases advice, meet me. And I’ll tell you that washing clothes in full load loads cleans good…

But does it clean better? We’ll leave that for another laundry day argument.

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