Are we overloading our washers?

czechchick2March 10, 2010

I am one of many who complains about improper rinsing but I found out that sometimes I put in my LG more than I should. All this time I keep saying that little more than 1/2 load or 3/4 works the best. Well, I actually put on scale what I wash and guess what? The 1/2 -3/4 size is what it should be, recommended by manufacture by weight!!!!

I did weight loads back few years ago when I got the tiny euro machine and it takes only 5 lb. I was affraid about over stuffing it. Now I know why the little one rinses better and also have more water in to see. There isn't extra laundry to suck the water up!

So the ideal weight - 5 towels 24x48, 2 25x42, 12 wash clothes, one bath math-the one that looks like heavy towel.

All heavy cotton. I had plenty of room inside the drumm to spare. Since I do mixed loads, I would normaly add socks and t-shirts,undies or whatever can be washed on very hot but now I know that would be little too much. I never really put so much in that I would have problem closing the door. Except king comforter needs squishing in but washes just fine but w/many extra rinses.

So for next few loads I will put my loads on scale before I wash them. As I already know smaller loads make a difference in the rinse a lot.

I also tried to search the web for some info and found interesting stuff on how to calculate loads etc. It is for commercial purpose but perhaps some will find it usefull.

And I would love to know how many of you here know the proper weight load for your washer? Are you putting in more than you should? I am just curious. Can you take the time to find out?

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Cezchick2, How do you weigh the clothes? All I have is a bathroom scale so I am not sure how to do it. I have to give you credit for admitting that you possible overload your washer, not many people would fess up to that, they would just possibly complain about the cleaning/rinsing results...great post there

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 8:14AM
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2/3 full (dry) = 1/2 full wet

The LG's determine how much water to use by sensing how much is left over after the laundry sucks up all it can.

Sometimes I use the Water Plus option and/or the Extra Rinse option

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 8:19AM
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Every washer we've owned (6 of them over the years), have all had user manuals that suggested weight amounts as well as enumerated how many jeans, towels, mixed items, etc. was appropriate per load. I've had washers that had this information printed on the under-side of the washer lid.

When I taught our kids how to do laundry I put a basket on a bathroom scale and let them weigh the load of laundry so they could get a visual of the amount of clothes for a load, but I only needed to do that once.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 8:43AM
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Hi Czechchick,

american washer capacity ratings are based on drum volume and are better than european ones based on weight. Manufactures can't fool with volume, but they can fool with weight

Commercial laundry machinery producers reccommend that the drum volume in cubic decimetres has to be 10 times the weight of the load in KG (they call ratio 1:10). This means that 11 lbs = 5 Kg need a 50 cubic decimetres drum.
They mean cotton loads. Be also aware you often read litres referred to volume, actually meaning cubic decimetres

Dryers must have a load ratio 1 :25 , meaning that the matching dryer of a washer should have a drum 2.5 bigger than the washer one

Anyway I have never used a scale in residential washer. Weighting makes sense in commercial double drum sideloaders, that require both drums loaded with very same weight

The common sense "rule" used here and in OZ is

- slightly more than 3/4 drum in normal cycles

- 1/2 drum on permapress

- 1/3 on delicate

- 1/3 to 1/4 on wool silk handwash

Those 5 lbs ....... they are way too little, go figure this small machine has a 27 cu. dm^3 drum that can wash 3 Kg = (3*2.2)= 6.6 lb

Guess your Supra is a 24" wide, 20-->24 deep machine, so that "5" actually are 5 KG = 11 lb . Those 5 lbs are the right load size for permapress and delicates or, in case it were a washer-dryer combo, for a automatic wash+dry cycle on normal/cotton (otherwise combos need to split a full washed load into two drying batches )

To give you a clue the above linked small electrolux can wash 3 24x48 towels with 6 underwear changes (socks + brief + shirt). I know cause have used a same size machine

On you tube I have often seen those double sized american frontloaders just half loaded. I can't make up the need of a big machine when it is rarely used at full capacity. Also that's bad for all those balancing issue : a partial load is harder to balance than a full load, the drum big size enhances this issue.

As for rinsing compare the Supra vs the LG. I bet that the Supra fills up to the glass, but it doesn't add further water no matter the level drops (e.g full towel load). The LG for sure uses lower levels, but no matter of the load adsorbancy you're sure it adds further water when required

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 9:08AM
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Well, it's easy if you have a conventional top loader: it is overloaded if clothes don't circulate anymore.

In a front loader, the drum will always rotate - overloaded or not. According to, your LG 2496H has a drum capacity of 3.47 cubic feet. That's 98 liters or a max capacity of 9.8 kilos / 21.6 lbs.

How much I put into our washer depends on the fabric. Towels will fill the drum all the way up because they basically shrink when wet. Mixed cotton/poly loads, such as pullovers, socks, bedding etc. ideally fill the drum 3/4 because they don't "shrink when wet". Jeans, which I used to wash separately, would fill the drum about half way up. They are so bulky that they really need room to tumble to avoid excessive creasing.

Then... there are the many, many types of extra loads: sheets, shirts, curtains, hand-washables and so forth. If you choose to wash these items separately, max load sizes will vary. Generally, the more fragile or wrinkle-prone the load, the smaller the load should be.

Secondly, how much a washer can HOLD and how much it can CLEAN are two different things. The big Electrolux washers can hold 25 lbs but can it also thoroughly clean this massive load? The wash cycle only lasts 25 minutes max. Rinse levels are low. Long enough wash and rinse times plus effective saturation is also important: even the biggest washer is useless if it can't get the clothes saturated with sudsy water and remove it during rinsing.

When I fully load our washer, a European Electrolux, I will use the regular wash cycle, which takes 2:00 hrs. I use the Quick Wash option for half loads, which reduces the cycle time to 1:14 hrs. with extra rinse. I also increased the rinse water level (by manipulating the pressure switch) so I get really good rinsing.

This is a medium load on Normal with Quick Wash and Extra Rinse on. The first and final rinse will fill that high. The second rinse fills about one inch above the door seal.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 2:38PM
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Hidroman, I totaly agree w/ everything you said.
As for the LG, If I wash full loads, I use aditional full quick wash cycle for rinsing even w/ water plus. Or several extra rinses.

Whirlpool_trainee, they claim it's 4.00 but I already found out somewhere how they calculate the size. I really don't care, the little space doesn't make difference for me. They claim 10.? kg.
Yea it can wash a lot more but it takes more detergent and rinsisng is a hell.
I wish there was some secret code that could be programed in to get more water in besides the water plus.
Your medium load looks like half mine.But I never get that much water in even w/water plus!
I am affraid to play w/electronics to get better water level and my bf is not that handy either and we still have the extended warranty so we could mess things up too.
In all the Lg gives me clean clothes, it just needs extra rinses, which is not big deal. And the Supra is perfect for white whites so I am thankfull.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 10:51PM
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Because my HE washer (Maytag Bravos) is a TL, it's easy not to overload it. There is a clear indication of the highest acceptable level for laundry.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 3:25AM
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I give you a clue of the way these same manufacturers are honest with you in America while they fool us in Europe.

This "european" LG has a 78 liters drum (20 less than your one) yet they claim it's a 11 Kg machine (4 lb more than your one).
That's a true prank : 78 litres are at most 8 Kg, not 11
This is happening cause manufacturers made up here people sticks to 24" models (no rocket science was required, but manufacturers no matter sold here also 27" machines and had bad luck).

Miele too in some way is kidding in EU. They sell some W5000 ( 24" rated 8Kg ). Provided they actually have a same sized 78/80 litre drum like the american W48XX, the american drum has a larger diametre that allows a better tumbling action for a nearly double sized load and bulky items. Not a case the 8Kg commercial miele is as big as the W48XX

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 4:31AM
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Seems like there is lots of variations in sizes for unecessary reasons in applianes in general.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 2:22AM
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I too have noticed that when I fill my Duet up more than 2/3 (dry) that the clothes don't lift and drop like they need to to get clean. So I load it up between 1/2 and 2/3 dry and there is lots of room for the clothes to splash around in the water. Plus by doing that, I don't feel like I need to do extra rinse since the clothes can rinse better as well. If I do an unusually large load, I do extra rinse. Today was the first day I did laundry in a week. I did 5 loads. I think a lot of people would have made those 5 loads 3 loads. Still, even so, I'm still able to do pretty big loads at that rate. I keep seeing people say that the more you pack the drum, the cleaner the laundry gets.....I'm thinking.."HUH"? But I've seriously read that on other forums.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 3:33AM
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what you say makes a lot of sense with the americanized Duet with its short cycles.
But be aware that ALSO commercial washers use the same load ratio I mentioned in my previous post. Commercial euro frontloaders (be Electrolux, be Miele or whatever else) take just 45-50 minutes to run a normal 140°F cycle, yet they clean a real full load

As for "the more you pack, the cleaner ..." also agree about current machines.
But it was partly true with vintage frontloaders.
Let's see why.
Look at the above shoot (WhirlpoolTrainee's Zanussi-Electrolux level while rinsing): if it were a vid you could notice that, with such a high level, the load rather rolls than tumble. That's nice while rinsing or in a delicate cycle - gentler action and less wrinkling -
Not a case that machine uses a lower, non visible level in the main wash of the cotton/normal cycle
Some vintage machines used such a high level even in the main wash. To have actual tumbles you had to run only full, almost packed loads.
Otherwise a medium tableclothes/kitchen towels load would just roll and float without the proper tumbling action = no stain removal

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 8:23AM
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I pack my Miele W4842 to the brim. Once wet and tumbled a few times, the laundry quickly shrinks to approx. 2/3 to half the drum volume. Clothes come out squeaky clean.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 9:49AM
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don't get me wrong. When I put a load in the Duet, even though I don't pack it, it's still a LARGE load and everything comes out squeaky clean. If I fill it 2/3 full (dry) once saturated, the drum is about 1/2 full....To me, any more than that won't get as clean. Example......six pair of 32/32 jeans is a full load for me. I could fit seven or eight but I don't do it. Six pair of 32/32 Jeans is still a LARGE load.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 6:51PM
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Hidroman, or anybody, my little Supra does not take as much water as it used to. I wonder why. Before it was about 1/4 up the window, now it's less. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 10:54PM
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... 1/4 up the window on normal cycle while washing.... this make me guess it's a timer-dial machine without automatic load sensing like

If my guess is right, your machine has a "1/2" or "half load" button to reduce water level. Check it and in case push it off

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 12:15AM
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No, it's not the button. I never really used it anyway.
And yep, the water level use to looked like the one in the photo. Not anymore. Sometimes I add more water manually in.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 1:57AM
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Maybe it's yust the small hose between tub-pressure switch. If partially clogged it can fake the switch.
Try a boilwash with citric acid or some tang.

As for the LG scar, don't worry, a button can't damage the washer. However look out for bra wires and nails/clips/screws left in pockets

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 5:19AM
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