What Happens If You Overload Your Washing Machine? (Answered)

For any washing machine, one of the most common causes of a breakdown is overload.

Washing Machine is one of the most commonly used appliances in households for cleaning clothes and other laundry items.

But what happens if you overload them? I mean isn’t this an obvious thing that the washer will struggle to deliver the desired results and quickly wear out?

Well, the answer is yes but wait, there is more to it.

In this article, you will learn:

Let’s dive right into it.

What do you mean by an overloaded washing machine?

An overloaded washing machine is one that is full of clothes or mixed with excess loads far beyond its capacity.

When the washtub is filled with clothes beyond its capacity or simply filled to its level, it can cause the washing machine to work less efficiently.

This is where we tend to face issues such as excess vibration, noise, difficulty in completing the cycles, and at times unknown error that stops the washer in the middle of a cycle.

It can also lead to problems such as unclean clothes or clothes coming out wet after a complete wash cycle.

Overloading increases the risk of the machine breaking down in long run.

What happens if you overload your washing machine?

If you overload your washing machine, it can create a number of problems.

Here are some common problems that you may notice if you have overloaded your washer.

Unclean or worn-out Fabrics

Overloaded washers will not allow the detergent and water to mix well with the fabrics.

This will result in unclean fabrics after the wash cycle.

Not only unclean but it will also deliver wetter clothes than usual.

A jam-packed washer while in function can cause tangling or even amplify the wear and tear to your fabrics.

Main Motor

Overloading the washer can result in excessive heating of the main motor.

The motor may burn out or seize as a result of this.

Drive Belt

An overloaded washer creates immense pressure on the drive belt that is attached to the pulleys and the motor.

Chances are that the drive belts can wear out easily or even lose their footing.


The bearings are prone to damage in case you run a cycle with excess loads beyond their capacity.

These bearings are designed to hold a specific capacity of weight in evenly balanced conditions.

Worn-out bearings can result in an imbalanced washtub.

Door Seal

There are chances that the washer’s door seal may wear out due to the force generated during the wash cycle.

In the case of a front load washer, the overloaded fabrics can put enough pressure on the door during the tumbling process that may lead to loosening or damaging the door seal.

It may also result in leakage from the door of the front load washing machine.

Unbalanced washer

When the fabric struggle to tumble or agitate in a congested washtub then it is quite obvious that the loads become uneven.

This will further cause the washer to lose its balance during the wash cycle.

Your washer may wobble and vibrate abnormally and may result in a complete breakdown during the process.

It is always recommended to load the washer to or below its rated capacity.

Doing this will prolong the washer’s life and maintain its efficiency.

How can you avoid overloading your washing machine?

If you have an excess load of laundry to do, it can be tempting to just stuff everything into your washing machine all at once.

But count my words that’s a recipe for disaster.

Overloading your washer can cause all sorts of problems, from clothes, coming out dirty to your machine breaking down completely.

So how can you avoid overloading your washing machine?

Here are a few tips to consider.

  • Only wash loads of laundry below or up to the washer’s capacity. Your washing machine will work more efficiently and your clothes will come out cleaner if you stick to loads below the machine’s capacity.
  • If you have a lot of laundry loads to wash, break them up into smaller loads instead of trying to fit everything in at once.
  • Be careful about what types of clothing you put in the same load. Heavy items like towels or jeans should not be mixed with lighter items like delicate fabrics or shirts.
  • Make sure to group lighter clothes together and heavier clothes together. For example, if you have a load of towels, put them in one pile and put other items like shirts in another pile.
  • Break the load into smaller parts if you’re washing tons of laundry items.
  • Always use a suitable detergent that goes well with your washer. Excess suds can put a lot of stress on your machine and may affect the functionality of your washer, thereby resulting in a poor-quality wash.
  • Avoid filling excess water beyond the requirement for each load.
  • If you frequently do a lot of laundry then better buy a washing machine with a higher capacity.
  • As an alternative, you may handwash a few fabrics such as the delicates to reduce the washer’s load.

Final Thoughts

It can be tempting to put that one extra load in the washer in order to save time.

But if you are overloading your washing machine frequently, it can cause a number of problems.

The most common problem is that the clothes will come out wet, which means they’ll take longer to dry.

Furthermore, Overloading can also damage the washing machine itself, so it’s important to be careful not to overdo it.

If you’re not sure how much laundry your machine can handle, check the manual or ask a sales professional before you make a buying decision.

It’s important to know your washing machine’s capacity before you put in the load.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at) portablelaundry.com