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Everything You Need To Know About Washing Machines

Do you know your drum size?

As adult-y as it sounds, washing machines are crucial, and it’s not until yours breaks down that you really miss it.

Samsung EU 8kg Load, 1400 Spin QuickDrive Washing Machine with AddWash, €916.99
Samsung EU 8kg Load, 1400 Spin QuickDrive Washing Machine with AddWash, €916.99

But there’s a lot more to that big white box in the utility room than we even realised – from what size drum you need, depending on how many washes you do per week, to over or under loading (yep, that’s a thing!) – than we even realised.

So, in a nutshell, here’s everything you need to know about your washing machine.

What is the drum capacity?

Beko 8kg Load, 1400 Spin Washing Machine, €344.99
Beko 8kg Load, 1400 Spin Washing Machine, €344.99

A washing machine’s drum capacity is essentially the amount of dry clothes you can fit inside your machine safely in one go.  This is usually a bit less than you can physically fit inside your machine – we’ll get to overloading now in a minute!

Most washing machine drums range from 5kg to 12kg, so choose one that will generally fit your needs.

Cool! So what size drum do I need?

Swan 8kg Load, 1200 Spin Washing Machine, €324.99
Swan 8kg Load, 1200 Spin Washing Machine, €324.99

What does your household look like?  Are you single?  Just the two of you?  Or a full house – with a washer constantly on the go?  Typically a 7kg to 8kg size drum will suit a medium-size Irish family.  However if you’re a larger family, with multiple washes a week, you may need something more heavy-duty, so look for a 12kg drum size.

Equally, if you’re a small household with just a couple of washes a week, then a 5kg – 6kg drum should work just fine.

Is a bigger capacity better?

Samsung EU 8kg Load, 1600 Spin AddWash Washing Machine with ecobubble, €774.99
Samsung EU 8kg Load, 1600 Spin AddWash Washing Machine with ecobubble, €774.99

They have their pros and cons.  A bigger capacity obviously holds more, and is great for towels, duvets and curtains.  However, if you’re washing smaller loads in a bigger capacity machine, they can be quite heavy on electricity, making them bad for your pocket, and the environment.

What is overloading?

Smeg WDF147X 7kg Wash 4kg Dry, 1400 Spin Freestanding Washer Dryer, €1,169.99
Smeg WDF147X 7kg Wash 4kg Dry, 1400 Spin Freestanding Washer Dryer, €1,169.99

No one is going to weigh their washing before they put it in the machine – that’s just crazy!  But as a rule of thumb, your washing machine should be 80% full.  Overloading can lead to ‘clumping’ meaning all of your laundry will essentially clump together and your detergent won’t spread evenly.

Under-loading on the other hand is just wasteful.  Remember the Mom in Derry Girls looking for dark clothing so she could do a full wash?  She’s a great friend of the environment!

Remember, if your washing machine breaks down, you can get an express delivery*. When you order before 1pm, you’ll receive yours within three working days!

Up Next … 5 Ways To Organise Your Home In 2019

Fiona Hyland

Fiona loves nothing more than discovering new cities, brunch on Sundays, and a good documentary. If you don't find her cooking up a storm in the kitchen, you'll find her in an interiors store, feeding her very real blanket addiction.

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