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Home washing machines & driers are generally too small for Doonas and Blankets

Updated: May 23, 2018

Bulky items like blankets, curtains and doonas need a lot of room to wash properly. A washing machine with a smaller capacity- such as a top loader with a central agitator- may not only give your bulky items a bad clean, but it could also damage your items if they were to catch, tangle, stretch or tear.

While washing machine capacity is measured in kilograms, we don’t always think of our laundry loads regarding weight (unless we’re carrying them!).

One way to work out what size washing machine will suit your home is to find the weight of your average laundry load and search for washers with a matching capacity.  You could do this either by weighing each item on a kitchen scale and adding up their total mass, or by standing on a set of bathroom scales while carrying a full wash load in a basket, and subtracting your weight.

Remember though, if you want to wash bulkier items without wear and tear, try to choose a washer with a special Bedding cycle or something similar to provide these items with the best possible treatment.

Some washing machines have larger drums than others, but which one should you get? This section of our buyers guide helps explain what drum capacity really means, and whether a large or small machine is right for you.

When choosing a drum size, take into account your washing habits and needs. How large is your household? How many washes a week do you typically do? What kinds of loads are they?

In most cases, a 7-8 kg drum will comfortably serve a medium-sized household in the Australia. Machines in this size category will have enough space for standard washes and include programmes tailored for smaller loads too.

If you’re a large household that does numerous washes a week, with large or heavily soiled loads, a bigger drum capacity may suit you better. Equally, if you are a small household who only do a few washes, a smaller capacity might be more sensible.

It can be tempting to shove in those last few items to save yourself washing another load, but this can lead to performance issues.

If your drum is overfull, the items can clump together and rotate in this solid mass, meaning the detergent isn’t spread out evenly or rinsed out properly. Clumping also means clothes get very tangled and creased, plus they won’t have enough room to move around and dislodge dirt.

You probably won’t weigh your laundry every time you use the washing machine, but as a general rule, you should only fill the drum 80% of the way up.

A drum’s maximum capacity usually only refers to the main cotton programme, so bear in mind that other cycles may only take smaller loads. Silks, delicates or woollens need smaller load sizes so they don’t become damaged. This means you may not use the entire capacity on every wash.

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