If you want your washer to do its job, make sure that you are loading it properly. Clothes will get cleaner and you will save energy if you use your machine according to manufacturer's recommendations, which will keep the agitator moving and drum balanced.
Some tips for loading your washing machine the right way include:
Watch the agitator. If you use a top-load washer, make sure to never wrap anything around the agitator. If you have a particularly large item, place it on one side of the agitator and resist piling laundry on top of it for best results.
Keep heavier on the bottom. Top-load machine manufacturers often suggests that you load heavier articles on the bottom. This prevents smaller, delicate items from getting swallowed-up in the bulky items, and allows them to move-about the drum and get clean.
Stay loose. Whether you have a top-loader or an energy-efficient, front-load washing machine, make the effort to load the items loosely. Give your garments room to move around, which will result in cleaner clothes afterward.
Don't push or squeeze to make more room. Never push or squeeze laundry in the drum to make more space. You will end-up with a tangled ball of wet laundry that isn't as clean as it could be.
Start with your worst. When you are using a front-loading washer, try to load heavier-soiled items first. These will get the most action, water, and detergent if they are in the bottom of the wash-drum.
Go to the source. Perhaps the most important thing that you can do before loading your washing machine is to check the owner's manual. This will tell you exactly what the manufacturer suggests for optimal laundry results.
See what kind of job your washer does when you pay close-attention to how it is loaded. You may find that your machine works better and even lives longer, with consistency over time.