I have had a couple of instances where I'm washing bedlinens and I find the spin cycle is stuck because everything has ended up packed inside one duvet cover and the machine can't balance the drum.

Is there a way to bunch duvet covers up in a way that minimizes the risk of this happening?

  • Hi Haem, Welcome to Lifehacks. Do you wash more than one at a time or one with other items such as sheets, pillowcases?
    – Stan
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 0:06
  • @Stan Usually it's two bedsheets, two pillowcases and two duvet covers.
    – Haem
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 12:09
  • Long have I wished the protrusions in the drum that help spin the clothes also had some kind of clamp built in where you could attach corners of the sheet to and it would stop it balling up
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 23:10

2 Answers 2


I normally fasten a few of the buttons/poppers of the duvet cover before loading it, this usually stops anything from getting inside the cover itself.

As for a large item tending to gather smaller items into a ball, I think this is something I used to see with old-fashioned machines decades ago, but any machine designed in the last 20 years will normally have clever tricks to minimise this sort of "bunching" by reversing the drum etc to even-out the load. My current machine (Bosch) will actually refuse to spin the wash if it determines that it can't be balanced. This only rarely happens with washing an actual duvet rather than just a cover.


In a top loading washing machine, put in two similar duvet covers on opposite sides of the drum, and nothing else. In a front loading machine you might be able to do just one duvet cover (and nothing else). Wash your sheets and pillow cases in a separate load.

  • For a front loader: Hold them apart, on opposite sides of the drum, with pillows/cushions etc
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 12:32

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