New Top Loader Washing Machine Do's and Don'ts

 Thinking of one of those new top loader washing machines? I do love my new one, but let me share a few things I've learned since I got one.
Ok let me just have a moment of truth telling. I should name this "What I Learned from the Maytag Repairman" because he had to come out recently to service our fairly new machine, and I learned alot! What I mostly learned is that I had caused the issue by not taking the time to learn about and understand how the machine really works!

No Massively large loads!   I don't do much of those anyway, but if you look in the photo below (from my washing machine lid) the larger washer on the left shows the new machine only uses 3 inches of water. The machine on the right shows my old machine that used a TON of water. These new machines are meant for much smaller loads! There is a setting for "Bulky Items" such as sheets as well as a "Deep Water Wash". These settings will bring your water level up to 8 inches instead of 3, so use this for larger loads.

 Load Clothes Carefully!
These new machines use a "floating" bottom plate so if you just dump your clothes into the machine you can easily start the load off balance.  This was really my undoing. Because I didn't understand that with no middle agitator you have to be a bit more carefully how you load the clothes. I had unbalanced the agitator plate. The repairman did a simple calibration to fix it but he had me go get some clothes and he physically showed me how to load it.  Below I'll show you what he taught me:

Think of your machine like a clock.  Load the clothes into the machine by placing them one by one "around the clock".
Place one item at the "12:00" position, then the "3:00", "6:00" and finally the "9:00".  Then continue layering the clothes evenly. Remember you only have 3 inches of water so you should only fit maybe 8-10 items depending on size and kind.

Wash Like things together: Because of the floating plate and low water is best to wash Jeans seperately from other clothes. Same goes for towels. They are water hogs and also weigh down the plate off balance in comparison to say the  t-shirts. so keep them out of the regular loads. This will also help the load to spin nearly dry.

Use less Detergent: Reminder with the smaller amounts of water and super concentrated laundry detergent these days you really should use the recommended amounts. More soap is not better! It will not rinse well, and be harder on the machine also.

Reduce Your Drying Time:  Your dryer will get a lot less use! Regular clothes come out of these new machines, nearly dry sometimes! They really reduce the drying time in the dryer, so don't just set the timer out of habit, you may be over using your energy consumption needlessly!


  1. By only doing such small loads do you not have to keep your machine running all the time to keep up with laundry for a family of say 4? How many pairs of adult jeans can you put in one load? This is very informational and not at all what I thought the machines were capable of.

    1. I am an empty nester now, and when I was raising children, they did their own laundry, but I didn't get this new machine until just as the last one was leaving the nest... good timing!! If I was putting more than 2 pairs of adult jeans in the load (say with a few other items) I'd set it to the "Bulk" setting and run it with the 8 inches of water and then run say 4 pair or so. Does that help? The bulk setting on the machine runs it with 8 inches of water.

  2. so I am curious if you regret getting a top loader. I feel I can load a lot more than 10 items in my front loader- which means if I switch I may need to do more laundry ??!! I am going to need a new one soon so opinion welcome please.
    thanks for the information posted!

    1. Great question! I don't regret my purchase at all. BUT.. I do wish I had researched and known this before hand, and weighed this against what I have heard about all the issues front loaders seem to have. I am an empty nester now so smaller loads work fine, and I can always set it to the "bulk" setting to add 8 more inches of water for slightly larger load. If I still had my children at home... I just don't know.... 3 inches of water???? how is running a thousand smaller loads saving any of us energy, water, money or time, right???? I love my machine,but it's only my hubby and me now. How many inches of water do the new energy efficient front loaders fill too? This I don't know.


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