One of the things that you should always avoid is over crowding of a machine. I know, it sometimes seems hard not to overcrowd the machine.  You’ve loaded the washer and there are 3 shirts left out.  Surely they’ll all fit, right?  That King Size comforter will definitely fit.  Maybe?

An overcrowded load will most definitely not come clean.  Clothes need a certain amount of room in the washer to move around.  This way, the clothes are subjected to a sufficient amount of water and detergent.  This extra room also causes them to move against each other, and that abrasion helps get them clean as well.  If the clothes aren’t subjected to enough water then the dirt, grime, sweat and detergent may not be released from the fabric.  All of that equals dingy and still-dirty clothes.

The other issue that you have to deal with when you load too many clothes into a machine is wrinkling. If there’s not enough room in the drum of the washer for them to move around, they will come out crunched up and wrinkled. Clothes should come out with folds, not a massive amount of wrinkles.

Most people don’t know that if you overload a washing machine that your clothes will pill more easily. When the washing machine is over crowed then the clothes will rub together too much. That’s a little too abrasive and it will cause the to look older and make them pill faster. “Pilling is a surface defect of textiles caused by wear, and is considered unsightly,” according to Wikipedia. “It happens when washing and wearing of fabrics causes loose fibres to begin to push out from the surface of the cloth, and, over time, abrasion causes the fibres to develop into small spherical bundles, anchored to the surface of the fabric by protruding fibres that haven’t broken.”

General Guide to Loading a Washing Machine

The following guidelines are defined for loosely packed clothes. If you have to shove or smash the clothes down, there’s too many clothes for that particular size load.

  1. Small Load usually fills about 1/3 of your machine.
  2. Medium Load fills the machine to about 1/2 full.
  3. Large Load is around 3/4 full.

The more often you use your machine, the easier it will be to judge when a load is too full.  If you are using a top-loader this matters in that you might have the option to select the load size.  If you are using a front-loader this won’t matter much at all since the washer senses the load and adjusts the water as it sees fit.