Filling the washing machine

How full should a washing machine be? This is a question many of us are confronted with. It's not good to fill your washing machine to the brim, but an empty drum isn't good either. Find out here exactly how much laundry you can put in your washing machine, and why it is so important to stick to this.

Filling the washing machine



Picture of Yannick

A wash geek since 2017

The Filling Weight of Your Washing Machine

The Filling Weight of a washing machine indicates how many kilos of washing you can fit into the drum per wash, in other words, the capacity of your washing machine. Not every washing machine can wash the same amount of laundry at the same time. For example, some machines have a 6kg capacity, others have a 12kg capacity.

How much washing can you put in your washing machine.

Your washing machine’s user guide will tell you how many kilos of washing you can put in your drum. Try to stick to this figure wherever possible. Many washing machines nowadays have a built-in scale. This way it can tell you whether you have put too much or too little laundry in the machine.

If your washing machine does not have one, it is obviously very laborious to weigh your laundry every time before you start. In that case, we have a tip for you. When you fill your washing machine, make sure you have some free space at the top of the drum – as wide as your hand. This way your washing machine will be about 3/4 full, which is the correct and recommended amount for washing and spinning.

Is a full load a problem?

The advantage of washing with a full load is that you get to wash more at once. Therefore, you have fewer washes and save energy – which is good for the environment and your wallet. However, the risk with an (over)filled drum is that your laundry won’t get clean enough. This can be because there is too much laundry in the drum for the amount of water and detergent, but also because the water may not reach the right temperature. A Consumers’ Association survey has shown that most washing machines do not reach the set temperature if too many garments are being washed at once.

Can a washing machine be too empty?

At the same time, washing with too little laundry is not recommended either. If there is not enough laundry in the drum, the washing machine can become unbalanced during the spin, this is a problem because it can damage the washing machine. So always fill your washing machine about 3/4 full.

Filling the Washing Machine; Our Tips

Many times you don’t think about it when you go to do a load of laundry. It all goes completely automatically. That is why it is good to reiterate all the things you have to take into account when using your washing machine. These are our tips:

  • Fill up the washing machine. Put your sorted clothes into the drum of the washing machine. Fill it 3/4 of the way full, which is equal to the width of your hand in empty space at the top of the drum.
  • Choose the right program and temperature. Depending on the type of laundry you are going to wash, the program and temperature can make a big difference. For this reason, you should sort your wash items in advance by colour, washing instructions on the label of your clothes and so on, and set your washing machine accordingly.
  • Which detergent and how much? Just make sure that the detergent is right for the laundry you want to clean – mainly by colour. If you’re having trouble deciding how much detergent to use, you can always look at the packaging. This will tell you exactly how much detergent to use each time. If you want, add fabric conditioner.
  • Empty your washing machine on time. Leaving laundry in the machine for too long can cause it to smell. Some new washing machines come with an app – which tells you when to empty your washing machine. Don’t have this? Try setting an alarm to prevent your laundry from sitting in the machine longer than it should.
  • Leave the door open. When you have finished washing, leave the washer door open to allow the drum to dry. This will allow the drum to dry. Bacteria love damp places like washing machines. By leaving it to dry properly, you’ll prevent them from attacking your machine and your next wash will be more hygienic.

The washing machine will be ready for use when you’re ready.

Picture of Yannick

A wash geek since 2017

Our research