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What is the Drum of a Washing Machine?

Drum Of A Washing Machine

All washing machines are not created equally. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all washing machine. So, when shopping for a washing machine, there are many different factors you need to take into account.

One such feature is the drum of the washing machine. So, what is the drum of a washing machine, and how does it influence your buying decision?


A washing machine drum is a rotating tub where you load your laundry. It moves during the cleaning cycle to agitate the laundry.

It moves around agitating water, detergent, and laundry during the washing cycle. Washing machine drums differ from each other in terms of the following:

  • Capacity
  • Type of material
  • Orientation

A typical washing machine has two tubs.

The first inner one is where you put your laundry, which spins around with perforated holes to allow water in and out.

The second outer one contains the inner drum and water, which support the inner drum and stops the water from leaking into the rest of the machine.

This article explains the main features of a washing machine you should know. We will also discuss how the parts of a washing machine influence your buying decision.

Features of Washing Machine Drum You Should Know

When getting a replacement for your old washing machine, choosing the right drum is one thing that confuses many buyers. While many options are available, choosing what will work best for your laundry is critical to getting value for your money.

If you need help figuring out where you are or where to start, below are features to look out for about washing machine drums that will help you make a suitable choice.

1. Drum Capacity

Drum Capacity

The capacity of a washing machine drum measures how much laundry the machine can handle. Manufacturers measure washing machines’ drum capacity in weight.

Typically the drum capacity of residential washing machines ranges from 5 to 12 kg. So, if you have a 5kg drum capacity, the washing machine can wash a total net weight of 5 kg in one cycle.

The right drum size for you depends on how often you wash. A 6 kg or 7kg washing machine drum will be adequate for a medium-sized household.

After all, if you can’t fit all the clothes in one cycle, you can always run the clothes in small batches. To put the size of washing machine drums in perspective, a 5 kg drum can take up to 25 T-shirts, while a 60 kg drum capacity can take up to 60 T-shirts.

2. Drum Type

Drum Type

Washing machine drums also have different types of material, positioning, pattern, and other factors. However, plastic and steel are the two most common materials used in making washing machine drums.

Plastic drums are particularly popular because they are more affordable. Manufacturers often use polypropylene (PP) resin in the most common types of plastic washing machines. Polypropylene is recyclable, easy to clean, and not corroded by hard water.

On the other hand, steel drums are often featured in premium washing machines as the steel is gentler yet thorough with cleaning during washing and spinning cycles.

Some manufacturers have their technology designs for steel drums, which explains why they are so exceptional. But steel drums are more susceptible to hard water corrosion than plastic.

3. Drum Orientation

Drum Orientation

Another feature of washing machine drums worth noting is their orientation. Most washing machines are either top or front loading.

A top-loading washing machine drum is one where its drum is positioned vertically, and you typically load your laundry into it from the top.

In contrast, the front-loading washing machine drum is one where its drum is positioned horizontally, and you load your laundry into it from the front.

Typically, top-loaded washing machines’ drums come equipped with an agitator that turns during the wash cycle to move the clothes through the water.

In comparison, vertically loaded washing machines’ drums use an impeller, which rotates the hub. The impeller moves the cloth more gently than an agitator does.

How Does a Washing Machine Drum Influence Your Buying Decision?

With these few distinctive features of washing machine drums, making the right choice for you should be easier.

Below are areas where the different washing machine drums influence your decisions:

1. Convenience


One of the first things to consider when choosing a washing machine drum that suits you is your convenience. Whether you are more comfortable with the top-loading or the side-loading washing machine, it is all about your preference.

2. Storage


Another thing to consider is how much storage space you have. If you have a tight space, you might want to place something on your washing machine.

Notably, top-loading washing machines do not support stacking. Also, some side-loading washing machines have their detergent dispenser on top, and staking on it would block it.

3. Energy Efficient

Energy Efficient

Modern washing machines are energy efficient thanks to their EnergyStar rating. Washing machines with an EnergyStar rating can save you nearly 25% less energy than a standard machine.

Typically, front-loading washing machines are more efficient even though they have a slightly longer cycle time. Perhaps it has something to do with the fast top-loading washers spinning faster than front-loading washers.

4. Water Efficient

Water Efficiency

Water efficiency is another thing to consider when choosing a washer drum. The front-loading washer tends to save you more water in the long run. With a side-loading washer, you can save as much as 35% more water.

5. Cost


Finally, the cost is another factor to take into consideration. While the front-loading washer may seem obvious to buy for many reasons, it’s also the most expensive.

So, whether the features a washer has to offer or its price tag is more important to you, the choice is left to you.


As you can see from this guide, a washing machine drum is pretty straightforward.

Once you understand how to take advantage of its capacity, consider the drum material when choosing the laundry to wash, and know there are different orientations of washer drums.

You have to choose whether you seem right in your eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are All Washing Machines the Same Width?

Not all washing machines are the same width. But a good number of them are about 600mm wide. To ensure its width is correct, check the information tab online before buying or its user manual for the unit’s specifications.

Can You Fit a King-Size Duvet in a 9kg Washing Machine?

Considering duvets are quite big and add more weight when wet, it’s understandable if you are wondering about the ideal washer that can handle it. However, a 9kg washer will easily handle washing a king-size duvet.

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