Let’s face it; no one wants to do laundry. So we place a huge load of clothes in the washer and hope for the best. Only to find out that things didn’t go exactly as planned and the washer didn’t clean the clothes properly. There are some pitfalls to overloading a washer and if you continue to do so you can do damage to your washer.
Most standard regular duty washer machines are designed to handle about 14 to 16 pounds of clothing. For heavy duty machines this can be a little more but you’ll need to check the washer documentation to be sure. For front loading machines you can sometimes even load more than double the standard load. The problem that occurs when you go beyond the recommended load and try to overload the machine. The results of this overloading can cause damage that could cost lots of money to fix.
Most washers have a belt system that works by an electric motor that turns the drum by this belt. Typically the belt is only about one half inches wide. Keep in mind that the entire load of clothes will be pulled by this single belt and that includes all the water that is in the tub as well. The belt could slip and get damaged. So simply overloading the machine just a few times means you may need to replace the belt on your washer.
If the belt doesn’t break or get damaged it could lead to the motor getting bogged down and possibly going bad because of the overloading. It will run much hotter than normal because of the increased load and may even burn out causing the motor to need to be replaced.
But the reason why overloading is such a bad idea is that it doesn’t clean your clothes like it would if you follow the recommended loads. Typically, most washers have the recommended loads printed on the lids of the washer. This is the ideal load for the best results. Adding more clothes may not only damage the washer but since everything is more bunched together and moving slower the clothes will not get as clean as they would in a normal cycle. For best results be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and you could add years to your washer’s life.