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Why you should not overload your washing machine explained. Hints and tips.

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

As a service engineer, I regularly witness appliance issues which come about as a result of poor maintenance and misuse. We're all guilty, right? Overloading washing machines is common place, whereby the designed drum capacity is exceed regularly.


Drum sizes are given in kilograms of 'dry clothes'. Consider this as a guide - the 'average' tee shirt weighs 200g, so, for example, a 6kg drum capacity will allow for 30 garments, 8kg will allow for 40 shirts approximately, etc.


Sounds great in theory, however, in practice, who actually measures their washing load into the drum? Yeah, enough said!

Life doesn't provide for this accuracy. We're all in a rush, right? Most of the time we probably launch the laundry into the machine from the far side of the room, then press it in for good measure.


With that said, here's a helpful tip to mitigate you overloading your machine:


Place the load into the washing machine


Lay your hand flat and turn it upwards so that your thumbs up top


Place your hand into the drum and ensure there is enough clearance between the top of the load and the upper drum, using your hand as a gauge


Remove or add items accordingly


Why you should not overload your washing machine drum explained.


The detriment of overloading your washing machine is two fold. Overloading your washing machine will without any doubt, reduce the destined lifespan of your appliance. The second upshot of overloading is poor washing performance.


So how can overloading a washing machine reduce the lifespan? Well, the internal components of the machine are designed and sized according to the design specification, for example, the drum size in kilograms.


Overloading the washing machine will place stress on the working parts which is outwith the design specification. This is a contributing factor to premature failure of the drum support, bearings, seals etc.


The other factor to consider is performance. If the drum is overloaded, the rotation/agitation of the drum will not allow the clothing to move freely as intended, by design. If the clothing is too tight, the detergent mix will not move freely through the load therfore fail to create even cleaning.


In addition, a normal dose of detergent will not be adequate to clean the washing load effectively. Furthermore, this will cost us time, money and frustration, as the washing will require further treatment.


Washing machines aren't built like they used to be! Or, washing machines are only built to last 5 years! Regular retorts from my customers. Yeah, I get that, and do agree, to an extent. There's is, however, mitigation. Our behaviour!


Going forward, let's all be mindful together. Give consideration as to how we think about using our machines. Try to be more accurate in our loading. Less is not always best either, so try to load the washing with an optimum load size, and give consideration to detergent dosing too. If in doubt, always consider the manufacturers instructions and guidance.


I hope this post has been some help.


Gordon


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