If you’ve got a delicate item of clothing or large sheet you need to wash, it can be helpful to wash it on its own.
But is it ok to just put one item in the washing machine? That’s what we’ll cover in this article.
Can You Put Just One Item in the Washing Machine?
While it does depend on what the item is, it’s almost always fine to just put one item in the washing machine. This is true for socks, underwear, jeans, tops, etc.
The only time you need to be careful is if the single item could unbalance the washing machine’s spin cycle.
Can You Put Too Little in the Washing Machine?
You can’t really put too little in a washing machine. After all, you’re generally advised to run an empty clean cycle on a regular basis to clean the machine. So, running a cycle with just one item doesn’t pose any threat to your washing machine.
Just make sure that larger or bulkier items (such as pillows or duvets) are arranged properly or balanced so they don’t throw the spin cycle off.
It’s worth noting that washing a single item is uneconomical in terms of water and electricity usage. If possible, consider washing the item by hand instead, as this at least cuts down on the amount of water used.
A washing machine will use the same amount of water for one item as it would for a full load. Of course, sometimes washing a single item can’t be avoided though.
Tips for Washing a Single Item in the Washing Machine
Washing a single item isn’t difficult. Even so, here are some tips to make sure you’re doing it as efficiently as possible.
1. Choose a small load setting
Some washing machines have a small or half load setting. Unsurprisingly, this cuts down on the amount of water it uses. It’s still not that economical to wash a single item, but it’s better than running it on a full cycle.
2. Use the eco mode
Failing that, make sure you set your machine to the eco mode. This uses less power than a normal cycle. Also, use cold water as this cleans clothes just as effectively as warm water.
3. Choose a slower spin cycle
Setting a slower spin cycle can actually help when washing a single item. The spin removes water using centrifugal force, which won’t be as effective with just one thing in there. Set a slower spin and assume the item will take longer to dry.
4. Don’t forget your machine’s maximum load
Washing machines have a maximum load capacity, typically around 8 kg. If the single item you’re washing is something like a duvet or rug, make sure it’s still below this limit. Overloading the machine (especially with a single item) could cause damage.
Washing a single item in your washing machine isn’t the most eco-friendly option, but sometimes it’s necessary.
If you can’t wash by hand, make sure you change your machine’s settings to get the item as clean as possible.
Provided you adjust the temperature and spin cycle, it won’t be the biggest waste of resources.
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.