empty washing machine waiting for a load of laundry

How Big Can a Load of Laundry Be?

Ever worry that your load of laundry is too big for your washer? Probably not, but if you think you may be, you probably are. It’s best to never fill more than 2/3 full. Let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t stuff it completely full.

Overloading your washer is causing damage to your clothes. It will cause little holes in the fabric, due to unnecessary strain caused by contact with things like zippers and buttons. When you overload, you are also making the washing process far less efficient.

When overloading, you are setting yourself up for smelly clothes. Clothes in the washer need room to be able to move around so they can properly wash and rinse.  The lack of movement keeps them from rinsing, so they hold onto the dirt and soap, which will make clothes look dull and cause them to hold onto odors. 

Load of laundry that needs washed

Washing machines bins are well balanced to keep from wearing out the bearings they rotate on. When overloaded, the clothing doesn’t balance properly in the drum, which can lead to extra stress on the bearings of the machine. Over time, this will wear out the bearings, leading to a very costly repair, or even a replacement of the machine. 

Wet clothes can weigh quite a bit. When overloaded, a washing machines’ motor is going to be overly stressed. It can very well burn out and force you to replace the motor, which is quite expensive. Those same clothes are then going to do the same to your dryer, and after running through a dryer sequence, it will most likely require another one in order to fully dry. 

How full is too full for a load of laundry?

A full load in your wash should leave enough room for them to move around freely. This will ensure that the clothing is washed properly, and less wear occurs to the washer and your clothes. 

washing machine half full

Smaller loads generally use less water, therefore less electricity to heat the water, saving you money on your utility bills. It is far more efficient to wash 2 smaller loads than it is to wash 1 overloaded load. 1 overfilled load will cause you to run the dryer much longer than 2 smaller loads. It is possible to have to run the load twice in the dryer.

There are a few rules of laundry to stick to. 

  1. Always read clothing labels
  2. Never overfill the washer
  3. Never wash colors or jeans on hot
  4. Air or line dry whenever possible