How Does a Top Loading Washing Machine Work

How Does a Top Loading Washing Machine Work?

With so much importance being attached to the washing machine’s existence, we’re not surprised that the appliance has become one of the most popular and important appliances in the world today, with many people investing a lot of money in them. The truth is, we wouldn’t be where we are today if washing machine brands hadn’t thought of new ways to make the washers serve their owners, making them get value for every penny spent on acquiring them. Today, several people across the United States and the rest of the world own a washing machine because it brings convenience and comfort to the things they do around the house.

The washing machine is considered one of the ‘basic’ appliances to have in the house because its importance cannot just be overemphasized. With the machine in your corner, you can be confident of getting your laundry done faster than it would have taken you if you had opted for the manual method, which is handwashing your laundry. Having your own washing machine is even better and more cost-effective than taking frequent trips to your local laundromat every time you need to do your laundry if you calculate the running cost of both options.

Households living without washing machines know how hard it can be to live without one of the most important basic appliances in their laundry room, but even with that, the ownership rates of washing machines across the world continue to skyrocket year after year. As of 2020, according to the information provided by the Statista Research Department, over 85% of the households in the United States owned a washing machine, with the numbers predicted to increase in the coming years. Also in the United Kingdom in 2016, BBC News reported that in 2016, the ownership rate of washing machines stood at a whopping 97%, further proving just how important the popular machine is to every household across the globe.

When the first automatic washing machine was invented in 1851, people knew how much convenience they would be getting by having one of those machines in their homes, but nobody thought things would be this amazing over a century later. Years later, as each day goes by, people have grown to appreciate and know the importance of the washing machine, thereby making the appliance a very essential one in every household across the globe today. Technology has made things even better because, today, people now have access to high-end washing machines with the latest tech-inspired features that make operating the washer very easy, improving the convenience that comes with the washing machine in the process.

Times have changed, and as people continue to embrace the importance of washing machines in their homes, washer manufacturers have also taken this opportunity to continue producing more efficient washers that will give people the best value for their money. People don’t have to go through the stress of dealing with big machines that used to prove too difficult to handle, or even handwashing which can also be daunting, especially when one is not used to it. The fact that washing machines are also available in different styles, sizes, colors, and prices makes them more accessible because you will always have several options to choose from.

Front-loading washing machines may be making waves across the United States and the rest of the world, but they take nothing away from top-loading washers, which are also known to be efficient and get the job done, especially when you consider how they’re built. Top load washers are also very popular in the United States and the rest of the world because they have components people think to make them more efficient than their front-loading counterparts, although that can be debatable. The debate of whether or not a top-loader is better than a front-load will never go away as long as both washing machine types continue to be in existence.

According to The Spruce, cleaning your clothes efficiently need the perfect combination of the thermal energy of temperature of the water, the mechanical energy of agitating the fabric, and the chemical reaction of the detergent you’re using. If you put all these factors into consideration, you’ll realize how great of an option the top-loading washing machine is, but not too many people have realized this yet because they’re blinded by how much they can get from their front-loading counterparts. The real question, however, remains ‘how does a top load washer work.’ In a minute, we’ll be answering that question, but before that, let’s take a quick look at the two major types of top-loading washing machines and their benefits.

What is a Top Load Washing Machine?

To simply put it, as the name implies, a top-load machine is a machine that can be loaded from the top, unlike a front-loading machine that can be loaded from the top, hence where the name “top load” comes from. All washing machines, regardless of the type, are tasked with the same purpose – to wash clothes. However, you’ll begin to realize how unique each washing machine type is when you get into details, including the difference between front load and top load washing machines, the two major washing machine types available on the market today.

According to Ariel, a reputable detergent brand, the major difference between a top-loading and front-loading washing machine is where the doors are located, just as we’ve mentioned earlier. This is not to say that there are no other differences between these two washing machine types, but since they both got their names from where their respective doors are located, it’s safe to say that’s the biggest difference you can find between the two washer types. A top-loading washing machine is also available in two types – agitator-type and impeller-type washing machines. We’ll be explaining how both top-loading washing machine types work as well as their pros and cons.

Agitator-type Top Loaders

Top loading washing machines are just as popular as their front-loading counterparts, and the standard ones in Australia, Canada, and the United States make use of a powerful center agitator with paddles that look like a propeller to move clothes through the water in the washer tub. What an agitator-type washing machine does is to use the agitator which is usually located at the center of the machine to move your clothes in a way that water and detergent are forced through your fabrics to help combat tough stains. A lot of people often opt for an agitator in their top-loading washing machines because they believe it brings the effect of handwashing into the modern way of doing the laundry, which is quite true.

On the flip side, others avoid using agitator-type washing machines because of the effect they later have on their clothes as time goes on. These agitators are usually finned or vaned, and they use the motion in the wash basket to give you the most efficient result you can hope for. Most people avoid using these washing machines because they practically destroy clothes sooner or later, and it’s only a matter of time before you start digging dip into your pockets to get money out for new clothes.


Shorter Dry Times

One of the people’s main reasons for investing in an agitator-type washing machine is that it helps them reduce the drying times because the machine spins clothes very efficiently, leaving you with less time to dry them. If you don’t love to waste too much time drying your clothes, getting a machine that can help you spin your clothes efficiently is one of the best ways to get your result as you don’t have to spend too much time drying your clothes. A top-loading washing machine with an agitator will guarantee you a shorter dry time as long as you use the spin cycle correctly.

They’re Perfect For Tough Stains

If you have younger children whose clothes get very dirty too often, you’ll understand the importance of having a washing machine that can efficiently and conveniently deal with tough stains. Having a top-loading washing machine with an agitator guarantees you efficient cleaning because the presence of the agitator helps combat tough stains in such a way other washing machines can’t, and that’s why many people opt for it despite being aware the agitator can damage their clothes in no time. Even if you’re dealing with clothes with the toughest stains, you can be confident of getting them properly cleaned because that’s what you get when you invest in an agitator-type washing machine.

They Rub Against Clothes

What makes an agitator-type washing machine special is the way it operates differently from other washing machines. Other washing machines, including impeller-type washers, will only create motion and use more water to have your laundry cleaned efficiently, but that’s not how a washing machine with an agitator works. Unlike other washing machines, agitator-type washing machines actually rub against clothes to give you the result you want, hence why it always later has a negative effect on the clothes as the component promotes early wear and tear.


They Get Clothes Damaged Easily

Ask anybody who has previously used a top-loading washing machine with an agitator or is still it and they’ll tell you that one of the things they don’t appreciate about the washer is how it can get their clothes damaged very easily due to its aggressive operation which can be a bitter-sweet experience. We all know how helpful the agitator is when it comes to cleaning clothes with tough stains on them, but the real problem kicks in when you have to use the washer more frequently and it starts taking a toll on your clothes by wearing and tearing them in no time. Thankfully, many washing machine manufacturers have identified this problem and have begun making agitator-type washing machines friendlier and gentler on your clothes so they don’t wear and tear them very easily.

They Are Not Energy-efficient

When we say agitator-type washing machines are not energy-efficient, it doesn’t mean you’re going to spend a chunk of your money on an electricity bill or even water because they’re going to consume a lot of those two elements. While they may not be as energy-efficient as impeller-type washing machines because they consume more water since they completely submerge clothes in water to clean them properly, you’ll still get the best value for your money because you may not even feel the effect on your bills at the end of the month. If energy efficiency is a big factor for you, you may have to think twice before you opt for an agitator-type washing machine.

Impeller-type Top Loaders

How do high-efficiency top-load washers work?” If you’ve ever found yourself trying to get an answer to this question, it means you must have been very interested in impeller-type washing machines at some point, or maybe you still are. These washers use an impeller which is located on the floor of the drum. What people like about these washers is that they’re very similar to front-loading washing machines because they operate almost the same way, only that it’ll always be a top loader, however “front-loading” it looks.

If you’re familiar with the principle of working of washing machines or the functioning of top-loading washing machines, you’ll realize that the impeller plays a big part in the popularity of top-loading washing machines on the market today, strengthening the competition further. An impeller-washing machine usually has a top load lid you can lift, just like a standard washer. The operation and spinning are just like a front-loading washer, only that it uses half of the required amount of water for a standard washer, which is why it’s a credible option for those looking for an efficient washing machine.


They’re Energy-efficient

If you’re buying an impeller-type washing machine, you should know you’re getting a washer that is a lot similar to a front-loading machine despite being a top-loader. Unlike the agitator-type washing machine that will submerge all your clothes in the water, a washing machine with an impeller saves you a lot of water because it only creates motion rather than having actual contact with your clothes. Clothes are never fully submerged in water, which also means that you’ll use less detergent. It’s a no-brainer that people often opt for impeller-type washing machines rather than their agitator-type counterparts.

They Spin Clothes Faster

Investing in an impeller-type washing machine means that you’re purchasing a washer that spins clothes at very impressive high speeds. This guarantees that your clothes won’t be as wet when you take them out of your washer, and that means shorter dry times. Even if you don’t have the best dryer in your laundry room, it still won’t take long for your clothes to dry because the washing machine has done most of the job, reducing the dry time in the process.

Advantages of Top-loaders

  • With top-load washers, you always have the chance to remove or add items mid-cycle, thanks to the beautiful feature the washers come with.
  • Top load washing machines are perfect for adults or anyone with back issues as they won’t need to bend their backs before loading and unloading the washing machine.
  • Top-loaders have a track record of being more stable even on dodgy floors, so even if your laundry room floor is not perfect, these washers will still work without vibrating much.
  • Because the door is located at the top of the machine, it is a perfect choice if you have kids at home because little children can’t easily gain access to the washing machine.
  • Top loader washers are also more lightweight than their front-loading counterparts, so you can easily move them around the house whenever there’s a need to.

Disadvantages of Top-loaders

  • With the kind of space top-loading washers take up in your laundry room, you’ll think they offer more capacity, which they should but don’t.
  • There is no standard dimension for most top-loading washing machines, so it’ll be harder to plan the layout of your laundry room.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does a laundry machine work?

Every washing machine, regardless of the type, only has one purpose and that’s to help make doing laundry more convenient. However, each washing machine type carries out this task differently because that’s just how it’s built. In this article, we’ve only focused on top-loading washing machines as a type of washing machine and how they operate.

2. What is the drum of a top loader washing machine?

Washing machine drums are more or less the same on every washing machine, regardless of their type.


Choosing between a top-loading and a front-loading washing machine is not the easiest task, but if you have the right information, it can make the process much easier than you’ll ever imagine. “How does a top load washing machine work” is one of the most frequently asked questions as far as washing machine types are concerned, and we’ve done justice to the topic in this article by providing the right information regarding the washing machine type.





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