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How Do You Select The Right Washing Machine Capacity?

Gone are the days of hand washing clothes. With the advent of smart technology, washing machines have now replaced all the labour you would put into washing your dirty laundry. With many customized options available to suit varying lifestyles, buying a washing machine is no mean feat. There are multiple features to take into consideration and one essential one is- Capacity. Let's help you figure out this rough terrain and give you the knowledge you need to make a well-informed decision-

1) Meaning of “Capacity”

First, let us discuss what is meant by this term. Simply put, it is how many clothes the washing machine can hold at once. If you notice, every washing machine comes with a specification in kilograms. That is not the weight of the device but the load or the weight of dry clothes that can be safely washed at a single time. A regular washer suited for the majority of households is around 3.1 and 4.0 cubic feet and will let you load about 5 kg to 7 kg. Models between 4.2 and 4.5 cubic feet will let you load 9kgs or more. Buying the right capacity should be one of your foremost concerns, keeping in mind the changing requirements of you and your family.

2) Factors that determine the capacity

The capacity should be chosen according to factors such as-

  • Household size and needs

  • Place of installation

  • Washing habits

  • Amount and kind of load

  • Amount of soil

  • Washing programs preferred

  • Fabric of clothes

  • Upkeep costs etc.

3) Large Capacity versus Small Capacity

Large capacity, as the name itself implies, can hold more laundry at a single time, which means fewer washes. If the appliance isn't underutilised, this means it becomes more economical as it reduces water and electricity usage. These machines also have more programs for items that are bulky, like towels, bedding, etc. However, this comes at a higher cost. If you have smaller loads, a lower capacity is preferable to avoid unnecessary energy wastage. Also, if the size of the installation place is a problem, many models have a smaller frame but a bigger drum. These are priced a tad higher.

4) Front-Loading versus Top-Loading

If having similar capacities, a front-loading machine can hold a heavier load than a top-loading machine. It expands capacity as it doesn’t use agitators or impellers and instead uses a tumbling action. On the other hand, a top-loading machine is lighter than an equivalent front-loading machine and also has shorter wash cycles. However, in the higher-capacity variants of top-loading machines, the tub may be difficult to access. Also, in top-loading machines, an impeller powered machine is preferred over agitators as it frees up more space.

5) Washing machine load calculation

The washing machine should be at least 1/3rd or around 35% full and not more than 3/4th or 75% full. Real capacity is usually a bit less than the specification mentioned. Hence, the machine should not be full till the brim. Consider the average weight of your typical load. You can measure it with your bathroom scales. You can also follow this general guideline, irrespective of size and shape of clothes-

1 kg of laundry= 5 shirts or 1 shirt + 1 pant or 2 bath towels.

Keeping this in mind, you can calculate the capacity you need.

6) Problems of overloading and underloading

Overloading can cause problems like

  • Performance issues and shortening of lifespan

  • Dirty clothes with detergent not being rinsed out thoroughly

  • Clothing damage-tangling, creasing and clumping

  • Drainage problems

Underloading can cause issues like

  • Wastage of detergent, electricity and water

  • Disturbance of spin cycle

  • Lack of balance, making machine loud

  • Detergent ineffectiveness

7) Points for further consideration
  • The maximum capacity specified on the washing machines is generally for cotton material. Delicate fabrics like silk and woollens need smaller loads. Also, the specification is for dry clothes, not wet ones.

  • Always follow the instruction manual for capacity-related information. It is recommended that 75-80% of the capacity should be used for optimum performance. The capacity also varies according to the wash programs selected.

  • Bigger is not always better. If you are going for a big machine, avoid operating it until it’s filled to its capacity, to save energy.

  • Keep in mind that the "weight" of clothes is not always comparable with capacity. Items can be light but voluminous and some can be small but heavy.

  • Bulky items might fit in the drum of a large capacity washing machine, but they need special programs.

To sum it up, a washing machine is a one-time investment which also requires a lot of maintenance. Assess your needs thoroughly and keep in mind this list for making the investment last. To buy the appropriate washing machine and to get great advice, you can visit one of our retail outlets near you or call us at 8001279999 for assistance.