How to load a washing machine correctly for the best results

Loading your washing machine correctly can give you much better washing results, not to mention also help you cut down on waste.

So how can you be sure you always load your washing machine properly?

The first step when it comes to machine washing is the sorting. Whites, dark colours, light coloured clothes and delicates should be separated out and washed separately. For larger loads, sort by colour shade. You should also check their fabric care labels to make sure they don’t require special treatment.

One extra tip: Check all pockets to make sure no tissues, gum, coins, or anything else gets into the drum.

A full load

It’s worth waiting until you have a full load of clothes that needs washing. If you don’t fill up the machine, then you’re just wasting electricity and water. If you can, wait until you can wash on a full load. Otherwise, take advantage of your machine’s half load setting, if it has one.

On the other hand, if you overload your washing machine, you may easily end up with dirty clothes. Your over-sized laundry will absorb all the water, leaving no space for your detergent to dissolve, which can result in horrible detergent marks on your garments. Even worse, you can even damage your machine while washing your clothes, not to mention you can also end up with detergent residue in your machine. Overload your machine too often and you can damage your washing machine, so your loads actually come out smelling worse than when you put them in.

But how do you know if you’ve overloaded your machine? An easy way to find out is using the 1-palm trick. By placing your hand into your machine’s drum, you can see how much space is left. The perfect load is if you can’t fit anything else in the drum, just your hand and your laundry. If you can’t fit your hand into the drum, then your load is too big.

That isn’t the only way of overloading, though. Washing machine drums also have a weight limit. Generally, the average washing machine can take 5kg, although there are higher capacity machines available. So with a larger drum, you can get more washing done at once, by cutting down on the costs of more washes, as well as the time it takes. However, it isn’t as simple as that, as with more dirty clothes in the drum, there’s more dirt, so you’re going to need to use more laundry detergent in the wash. As always, check your washing machine instructions to be sure.

Washing Machine Instructions

Dose it right

While you load your machine, it’s also important to dose correctly. It doesn’t matter if you load the laundry perfectly if you add too much or too little detergent.

The simplest dose is with liquitabs: just throw one Ariel All-in-1 PODS Washing Capsule in the drum before adding the garments. Liquid can be measured out and goes either in the drum or into the dispenser drawer. Meanwhile, powder goes into the dispenser drawer.

It’s important to make sure you get the amount of detergent right for your wash, so pay attention to the detergent dosing instructions. If you’re running on a half load, use less detergent, and also take into account the hardness of your water hardness and the dirtiness of your garments.

When you load the clothes, you should be able to fit one hand into the top of the drum. If you can’t, take out something. If there’s too much space, add something else or consider waiting until you can do a full wash.

Turn it down

Finally, you get to select your wash cycle. It’s best to choose a lower temperature, as modern detergents, like Ariel Washing Gel Original, still give great stain removal results even when you wash at 15 degrees, so turn the temperature dial down. And if you’re washing delicates, try not to agitate clothes. Happy washing!