How Full Should You Fill A Washing Machine?

Posted by Stephen Steinberg on Sep 28, 2021

How Full Should You Fill A Washing Machine?

Stephen Steinberg, Founder of Raw Athletics and Vapor Fresh Stephen Steinberg | Updated April 20, 2021

There are a number of variables that determine how clean your clothes will be after a wash:

And if you’re , these become very important things to consider as it could mean the difference between dirty or clean laundry.

One often overlooked aspect of getting a truly clean load of laundry is how full you fill the washing machine with clothes because that will affect a lot of these factors.

If the washing machine is too full, some of the clothes will not be submerged in water long enough to get cleaned. Additionally, the clothes will not have enough room to swish around and therefore the dirt and grime will not be washed away entirely.

So how much clothes can you fit in your washing machine before it starts negatively affecting its cleaning power, and how can you tell if your clothes are actually clean?

First, How Do You Know Your Clothes Are Even Clean?

All of the recommendations in this article are general suggestions, but each washing machine model and each load of laundry will have their own specific requirements and recommendations. It's always best to start with our general recommendations and then adjust accordingly based on how clean your clothes do or don't come out of the washing machine. But how can you tell?

If you're using a laundry detergent with fragrances and dyes, how do you know your clothes are actually coming out of the washing machine clean and not just being covered up? Simple answer is that you don't, and that should concern you. On top of that, those fragrances and dyes remain on your clothes even after the wash is done, where they can irritate sensitive skin and clog the pores of the wicking fabrics in your favorite athleisure apparel and workout clothes.

Instead, consider upgrading to a laundry detergent that is so strong, it doesn't even need fragrances to cover up odors because it removes them all. Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent is specifically formulated to be strong enough for your dirtiest and smelliest gym clothes and sports apparel, but safe and gentle enough for the rest of your laundry. If you lead an active and healthy household, this detergent was made for you, and it's the only detergent you need.

Don't Fill Your Top-Load Washing Machine Beyond 2/3 Full


A top-load washing machine should never be filled to the top. The general rule of thumb is that you should add clothes until the machine is about two-thirds full. That’s two-thirds of loosely packed clothes, so don’t try to pack as many clothes as you can in that area either.

Some other general tips when using a top-loading washing machine is to add the detergent first, turn the water on, and then add the clothes. This will allow the detergent to mix well into the water and clean the entire load evenly and effectively.

Don't Fill Your Front-Load HE Washing Machine Beyond 80%


Front-loading high-efficiency (HE) washing machines can handle more laundry at once while also using less water. The general rule of thumb with them is to fill the drum about 80% of the way. It’s ok to pack the clothes in there within that 80%, but just don’t go overboard. The clothes still need room to tumble around.

Each HE washing machine is different, so you should follow the directions carefully in order to get the best clean. But generally, you should add liquid detergents into the detergent dispensing tray and add powder detergents directly into the drum with the clothes.

Wash All Your Laundry With Vapor Fresh Laundry Detergent

There are your general guidelines to how full you can actually fill your washing machine. Even the strongest laundry detergents on the market cannot overcome the problems of overflowing your washing machine with too many clothes, so follow these guidelines and you’ll always get a great clean!

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