How full a washing machine is when laundering can determine many things.
Among other things, it can
- Shorten your fabric’s lifespan.
- Lead to excess vibration of your washing machine.
- Determine how clean your clothes will be.
If these are some of the reasons why you ask this question,
Only fill your machine to 85% – 90% of its capacity. Meaning if you have a 7kg washer capacity, you should aim for 6kg load max.
The principle is to never full your machine to 100% of its carrying capacity.
You should always leave a 10% – 15% head room.
HOW TO DETERMINE 85% – 90% LOADING CAPACITY
I personally use 86% loading capacity. So for this example I’ll use it to measure my washer load.
I have a 7kg washing machine. So I’m using 7kg as my washing machine sample in this article.
Formular to determine how full safe loading capacity:
Safe capacity / 100% * washer capacity.
In this example,
Safe capacity: 86%
Washer capacity: 7kg
86/100 * 7 = 6.02
How full should my machine be? 6kg
We’ll discuss more about why this technique is good for your machine and your fabrics.
But for now, let’s discuss why you should use fabric weight as your how to determine this safe loading capacity.
WHY YOU SHOULD MEASURE LOAD SIZE IN WEIGHT, RATHER THAN LAUNDRY SIZE
- Laundry size is not stable. It is dependent on fabric type. and laundry person.
- Different persons will arrange the same laundry differently, and this will determine how “full” a laundry will be in the washer. A careful mom will arrange a large amount of laundry into a washer, while a hasty dad can fill the same drum with half the amount. It all boils down to arrangement.
- Laundry size does not factor water into its measurement.
- The insertion of water and the drum’s spinning will eventually reset the load, and how full the drum eventually becomes.
- Manufacturer’s recommended machine load is measured in weight. This factors in water as part of the washer load. Using weight to measure how full a load should be, creates a standard to work with.
HOW TO DETERMINE WASHER SAFE LOADING CAPACITY
There are 2 techniques to determine if you’ve hit your safe loading limit:
- Use a weight scale.
- Use the hand measuring technique.
- Close the washer door.
TECHNIQUE 1. USE A WEIGHT SCALE
This is common sense and probably the most accurate way to determine if your machine has hit the prescribed loading capacity.
You should have a
- Weight scale, and a
- Cloth basket
On standby in your laundry room.
- If you have your washer in the kitchen, somewhere behind the kitchen door might be a safe place to place your scale.
Or you can decide to place it anywhere there is space. But it should be in the same room with your washer. Or close to it preferably.
Some large weight scales are 48 by 48 inches in dimension. So you can factor that in when deciding where to keep your washing machine.
HOW TO MEASURE LAUNDRY WEIGHT WITH A SCALE
- IF YOUR SCALE HAVE A RESET BUTTON (AUTOMATIC WEIGHT SCALE)
- Determine your washer capacity.
- Place your empty laundry basket on the and determine the weight.
- Press the RESET button with the basket still on the scale. This should reset the weight number on display to 0.
- Now place all laundry load on the basket.
- The number on display should be around 85% of your washer capacity.
- In our example of a 7kg washing machine, the number on display should be around 6kg.
- Of course, the number might sometimes exceed this 6kg with some fractions, but this should be minor fractions.
- IF YOUR SCALE HAVE NO RESET BUTTON (ANALOGUE WEIGHT SCALE)
- Determine your washer capacity.
- Place your cloth basket on the scale and note the weight.
- Next place all your laundry inside the basket. Note the weight.
- Subtract the weight of the empty basket from the overall weight.
- Your laundry weight is total weight minus weight of empty basket
For example if your empty basket is 0.2kg and total weight is 6.1kg, the weight of your laundry will be:
6.1 – 0.2 = 5.9
5.9kg is your laundry weight.
TECHNIQUE 2: USE THE HANDS INSERTION TECHNIQUE
- Fill the washer drum with your clothes and other laundry.
- Insert your hands at the top of the washer till you touch the washer base. If you have a top loader, this should be the bottom of the drum.
- Now move your hand ninety degrees to the side of the drum. That is, from the top position down to your side, with your hand being on shoulder level.
- If you’re able to do so, it means there is ample space for the washer.
Technique 2 does not determine laundry weight, instead it uses the washer space to determine if a load is too full.
This is not the most accurate way to determine how full is too full. But in the absence of a weight scale, this might just be your best shot.
TECHNIQUE 3: CLOSE THE DOOR
This is just too obvious that it should have been put as technique one. But, does it not make common sense?
Whether you measure the weight with a scale. Or you use the hands insertion technique. You should be able to close the washer door.
One thing most overloaded washers, especially front loaders, have in common is that: they’re difficult to close when full.
So, fill your washer with your laundry and close the door. If the door struggles to close, instead of forcing it, simply reduce some laundry, and try again.
Do this until the door closes comfortably. Chances are at this stage, you should be able to fit your hands inside the drum, as mentioned in technique one.
If you reduce the load in small increments, the machine will still be heavy enough and close to its max weight load. But at the same time you’ll be sure you have some headroom because you were able to close the door comfortably.
If you don’t have a scale and you need to teach your preteens to avoid laundry overload. This is a simple and simple technique to teach them first.
WHY YOU SHOULD NOT OVERLOAD YOUR WASHER
Machine load is closely related to:
- Fabrics’ lifespan.
- Excessive washing machine vibration
- Washer effectiveness
How long your laundry lasts can be determined by how full your washer is.
If you always load your washers to the 100% of its carrying capacity, your fabrics will gradually wear out.
This is caused by the fabrics brushing against the tub door. The friction between the door and the fabrics over time will lead to loosening of your cloth fabrics.
Lighter materials are especially susceptible to tear.
Dryers are notorious for damaging light fabrics. The average user does not reduce laundry washed in a washer before transferring to the dryer.
Chances are, an overfilled washing machine, directly translates to an overfilled dryer. This increases the chances of the dryer slitting your fabrics.
EXCESSIVE WASHING MACHINE VIBRATION
Overloaded washer drum can result in load imbalance.
Load imbalance in turn cause excessive vibration.
So you don’t just decide to overload your machine for the fun of it, or to fasten your washing process.
If you must enjoy your device, you need to give careful attention to how much you fill your washer when doing your washing.
Have you ever complained that your clothes don’t get clean enough?
One reason for this could be your filling the washer’s drum to the brim.
You see, the clothes are cleaned, in part, by scrubbing one another. if there is no space in the drum, the clothes won’t have space to mix and scrub over each other.
And the result is that you spend your time and electricity washing and don’t get the usual result.
HOW FULL A FRONT LOADER BE?
- A front loader should be full enough to close the door easily
- You should also be able to place a full fist inside it, and turn 90 degrees to any angle.
Your washing machine, like most appliances, can suffer when tested to the limit.
But if you make it a practice to leave some headroom, it will:
- Preserve your fabrics.
- Reduce noise.
- And increase the life of your appliance.