How Much Should You Fill A Washing Machine? (easy guide)

When we’re in a rush and just want to finish doing our laundry, it’s tempting to put all the dirty clothes we have in the drum and just hope for the best. After all, they’ll still get washed properly, right?

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Underfilling and overfilling your washer will lead to a lot of issues in the future, which may be very expensive to fix.

If you want to keep your appliance (and clothes) in good condition, read on to learn the right way to load your washer.

How much laundry can you put in a washing machine?

How much is too little, and how much is too much?

When it comes to your laundry and washing machine, there’s no need to complicate things. All you have to remember is this general rule:

Always follow the recommended capacity of your washing machine. Most manufacturers suggest filling the drum to at least half of the washer’s drum space, but not exceeding ¾ of it for best results. However, this may change depending on the programme you choose.

The first thing you need to do is know the maximum weight capacity of your washer. The most popular ones range from having a capacity of 7 to 11 kilograms.

Then, once you know its capacity, follow this simple formula below:

A small load is 1/3 of your washer’s drum, a medium load is half of the drum, and a large load will occupy ¾ of the drum. Anything more than ¾ of your drum is overfilling it, which is bad for both your machine and garments.

large load in drum illustration

To make it easier for you to see how much laundry you can put in your machine, simple math will do the trick.

Here’s an example: If your washer has a capacity of 8KG, we can use the fractions above to calculate how much laundry we can put in.

1/3 of 8KG: Around 2.6KG for a small load.

½ of 8KG: Around 4KG for a medium load.

¾ of 8KG: Around 6KG for a large load.

When we follow the rule earlier, we’ll know that we can put around 4 to 6 kilograms of laundry in our machine. Anything more than 6 kilograms for this capacity is too much and will overfill the washer.

NOTE: In most models and makes, each manufacturer will include the suggested amount of laundry you can put in your appliance. This can be read in your machine’s user manual. If you don’t have your manual anymore, look for an online copy of it on the manufacturer’s website.

Signs you’re overfilling your washing machine

There are many reasons why you should only do medium or large loads in your washer.

person holding a laundry basket

You shouldn’t overload your washer if you don’t want the following:

  • Dirty, stained clothing
  • High electricity bills
  • Damaged washing machine
  • Damaged dryer

Here are the tell-tale signs you’re putting too much laundry in your washing machine:

You put more laundry than the recommended capacity

When it comes to washing your clothes, it’s always a good idea to follow the ¾ rule. This means that when you weigh your laundry, it should not exceed three-fourths of your washer’s capacity.

Here’s a rough guide based on weight:

Small LoadMedium LoadLarge Load
6KG Washing Machine2KG3KG4.5KG
7KG Washing Machine2.3KG3.5KG5.25KG
8KG Washing Machine2.6KG4KG6KG
9KG Washing Machine3KG4.5KG6.75KG
10KG Washing Machine3.3KG5KG7.5KG
11KG Washing Machine3.6KG5.5KG8.25KG
Weight Of Each Load Size By Capacity

You can’t fit your hand inside the drum

Another easy way to check if you’re overfilling your machine is the “Hand Test”.

Once you put all your dirty laundry in the washer, can you still comfortably fit in your hand sideways on top of the garments?

If this is not possible, then you are already going over the maximum capacity of your washer.

SEE ALSO: What Is A “Small Load” Of Laundry?

You may hear loud banging once the cycle starts

When there are loud noises when you start your washer, it’s possible that overloading may be the culprit.

This happens when the drum is too heavy and causes the parts to go off-balance. In this situation, it’s best to separate the laundry into two loads to reduce the pressure and weight in the drum.

SEE ALSO: Washing Machine Making A Grinding Noise? (try this)

Your clothes are still dirty

What happens when the machine’s drum is off-balance? That’s right, it wouldn’t be able to do its job effectively.

As a result, the spinning of the tub will be limited, and the detergent will not be able to enter each side and portion of your fabrics.

When you remove your garments, you’ll probably notice that they’re not as clean as you expect them to be. It’s also possible that your garments may still have streaks of detergent which can give them a mildewy odour.

If overloading a washer is bad, then is it better to underload it?

By now, we already know that putting too much laundry in our washer is not a good idea.

It’s possible that our clothes will pill, fray, or get holes so much faster due to too much abrasion in the machine. Also, overfilling can damage our washer in the long run.

If this is the case, would it be better to underload your machine? Let us tell you now that underloading your washer is as bad as overloading it.

Stick to putting at least half, but not over ¾ worth of laundry in your washer’s tub. This way, your clothes will get thoroughly clean while not overexerting your machine.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave them below!

SEE ALSO: Is It Bad To Underload Your Washing Machine?

Frequently Asked Questions

How full should you fill the washing machine?

Ideally, you should only fill your washing machine at about ¾ its capacity. Anything more than this would overload your washer and make it less efficient in washing your garments.

Is it bad to overfill a washing machine?

Yes, it’s bad to overfill your washing machine as it may ruin your clothes and damage your washer

Is it better to wash small loads?

Frequently washing small loads of laundry is not a good idea economically. It’s best to wash garments once you already have a load that can half-fill your washer’s tub, but not exceed ¾ of its space.

How many clothes will fit in a 7KG washing machine?

The exact number of clothes that’ll fit in a 7KG washer is difficult to say as this can depend on many things, like their fabric type, material, and more. If we base it on weight, the maximum capacity of clothes you’ll be able to fit in a 7KG washer is around 5.25KG or less.

What is the best kg for a washing machine?

The best weight capacity for a washing machine will depend on how big the household is. Most small families would work well with a 7KG washer, but for those with bigger households (more than 6 members), it’s best to get at least a 10KG washing machine for their convenience.

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