How Bad Is It To Underload Your Washing Machine?

Throwing a few clothing items into your washing machine and running a small cycle may not seem so bad; however, underloading the washer can actually come with a number of serious consequences that could damage either your appliance or your clothing.

Oftentimes, when there aren't enough pieces in the washer, it can become imbalanced, which could harm the drum. This can sometimes lead the cycle to never finish, meaning your clothes won't be fully cleaned. Further, underloading the washer can also cause you to accidentally use too much detergent, which may break down your clothing faster. Not only that, but it'll also force you to do more loads of laundry, which will take more time and use extra electricity and water.

At the same time, overloading the washing machine can come with negative side effects as well. To make sure you properly load your appliance every time, always fill it at least halfway, but also keep your laundry at least 6 inches underneath the top of the drum.

Signs you're not filling your washing machine enough

Just how bad is it to underload your washing machine? The consequences can vary, from unpleasant to serious and costly. If you've ever heard a loud banging noise while your washing machine was running, this could be an indicator you didn't put enough laundry in the cycle. However, know that it could also be a sign you overloaded the washer, unevenly dispersed your clothes, or that one of the appliance parts is loose or broken. This noise often occurs when the washing machine drum becomes imbalanced, and it's a serious issue, as it could damage the appliance.

Further, maybe you've opened your washer before and been met with a puddle of filthy water and soaked pieces. This means that, because you underloaded the drum, the washer couldn't finish the spin and drain cycles. Another sign you're underloading is if the clothes don't seem very clean after a wash, as all the pieces may have bunched up in one area of the drum. Similarly, you may notice your items feel stiff or full of detergent, which is an indicator you used too much product when compared to the small amount of clothes.

How filling your washing machine could save you money

Making sure your washer isn't underloaded, and instead filled at least halfway, could save you money in a few ways. Because you're cleaning more clothes in each cycle, you won't have to use as much electricity, which could lower your energy bill. You'll also end up using your dryer less, which will come with the same benefit.

Additionally, if you fill your washing machine up to the right amount, you'll most likely use less detergent and softener in the long run, and because you'll also run your clothes dryer less, you'll go through fewer dryer sheets, too. This will save you some big bucks over time, as you won't need to replenish these expensive cleaning products as often.

Filling the washer correctly will also protect your clothing from damage, which means you won't have to buy clothes as frequently. It'll also keep you from having to replace your appliance before it's time, and this is huge, as a new, mid-grade washing machine would cost about $500 to $1,200.