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How Big Should a Load of Laundry Be?

Every detergent bottle provides instructions on the appropriate amount of soap to use for small, medium, and large loads. But accurately gauging the size of your load can be a challenge. Overloading your washer not only strains the machine, risking eventual breakdown, but it also compromises cleaning efficiency. Clothes packed too tightly won't agitate well enough in the soap and water mixture.

Understanding how much detergent to use is equally crucial. Excessive detergent can lead to machine build-up and leave residues on clothes. To simplify this process, here's a handy washing machine load size chart to help you determine the appropriate amount of laundry for various load sizes.

How Big is a Load of Laundry?

There are several straightforward ways to estimate the size of a laundry load:

1. Armload:

  • Half an armload = small load

  • One armload = medium/regular load

  • Full armload = large load

  • Two armloads = extra-large load

2. Number of Items:

  • Small load: One pair of pants and four shirts

  • Medium/regular load: One pair of socks, three pairs of underwear, three pants, and eight shirts

  • Large load: Five pants, four pairs of underwear, six pairs of socks, and 12 shirts

  • Extra-large load: Six pants, six pairs of underwear, 12 pairs of socks, and 13 shirts

3. Pounds:

  • Small load: Three pounds

  • Medium/regular load: Six pounds

  • Large load: Eleven pounds

  • Extra-large load: Twenty-one pounds

How to Test for Overloading

If you're unsure whether you've overloaded the drum, here's a simple test: Insert your hand into the drum of your front-load washer. If there's a gap at the top between the clothes and the drum, your laundry can tumble freely, indicating an appropriately sized load.

Take a Load Off Your Shoulders

With this washing machine load size chart, you'll never have to fret over whether you're overfilling your washer or using too much detergent. It's a relief to have a straightforward guide for efficient and effective laundry care.

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