The Top-Load Washing Machine Mistake You Should Avoid At All Costs

Are you wondering why your clothes aren't coming out clean enough? Well, it might have something to do with the way you are loading your laundry machine. For optimal washing machine performance and to ensure your machine stays in good working condition, it's important to properly load your top-loading machine, whether it's an agitating machine or one with an impellor. No matter what kind of top-loading washing machine you're using, clothing should be placed along the sides of the machine.

You want to create loose bundles around the edges of your machine's basket ensuring that there is empty space in the middle if there is no agitator to take up that space. So, your clothes should be in the shape of a doughnut. This will ensure that your clothes have enough space to properly move around, which allows water and soap to go where they need to, and creates the friction needed to remove stains. You'll also want to make sure the weight of your clothing is distributed evenly around your machine. 

Why people get loading wrong

Most of us grew up with top-loading machines that have agitators in the center. These use fins that swish the clothes back and forth to remove stains. Loading these machines is pretty much a no-brainer. The spindle in the middle prevents you from filling the machine any other way than placing the clothes around it. The only thing you really have to remember is not to overload it, which could put too much weight on your machine and cause it to wear down and break over time.

But, now we have new high-efficiency top-load washers that are gaining popularity. These water-saving machines accounted for 28 % of washer sales in 2020, according to Consumer Reports. High-efficiency top-loaders don't have an agitator. They use impellors to rub your clothes clean. Instead of that spindle, it has a bump in the bottom center of the machine connected to a flat plate that spins and pulls your clothes from the outside of the drum to the center and back again. Most of us think you can just pile your clothes in any way you like, but this isn't so. They should be loaded in a similar fashion to agitator washing machines.

Why your impeller should be uncovered

Loading your high-efficiency machine incorrectly can lead to a lot of problems. TikToker @renduh, who repairs appliances for a living, says, "I hear people complaining about that style of washing machine not washing clothes properly all the time, and 99 % of the time it's because people are loading it wrong." Dumping your clothes directly into the middle of your high-efficiency washer can cause your clothing piles to dome or just flatten like pancakes on top of one another. 

In addition, blocking the impeller puts extra weight on the plate which makes it harder for your clothes to move around and get properly cleaned. This may lead to detergent deposits on your clothing. Whether you're using a high-efficiency washer or an agitating one, improperly loading it can cause your clothes to knot up or get twisted, which can damage them. It can also throw off the weight distribution in your machine, which can lead to it shaking excessively, creating errors that pause your machine, or even break it.