Well, with the new washer and dryer set came a cornucopia of choices on how to wash my clothes – Permanent Press, Brightening Whites, Bedding, Heavy Duty, Normal…
And frankly, I didn’t know the difference between any of them. Seriously, has anyone ever had washing machine cycles explained to them?
So here it goes, I dived in, did the the research and am going to explain what each washing machine cycle means and how they can help you take better care of your clothes.
Washing Machine Cycles Explained
Washing Cycle Defined: A washing cycle has a speed at which it agitates or tumbles the clothes and then another speed that it spins the water out of the clothes. In addition, if your washing machine has pre-set cycles, it will automatically determine what temperature of water and rinse to use.
Definition: For most fabrics including cottons, linens, and normally soiled garments.
When To Use It: It’s the good all-around best option for everyday fabrics and clothing. Perfect for whites, sheets, towels, underwear and heavily soiled items.
Definition: For sturdy, colorfast fabrics and heavily soiled garments. The purpose of this function is when you are washing a TON of heavily soiled clothes and not for every day use.
When To Use It: When normal isn’t going to cut it because of the level of dirt.
Definition: For sheer fabrics, bras, lingerie, silks, and other handwash-only items.
When To Use It: Silk, gym clothing, your favorite sweater and anything that says “gentle wash” on the tag.
Definition: For brightly colored or dark colored casual garments.
When To Use It: For colored garments that might bleed (think deep reds and blues) or fade. Also a good option when “normal” might be too harsh and “delicate” too light.
Definition: Normal soiled loads, but done super quick.
When To Use It: When the blouse and pants you want to wear to dinner are dirty and you only have an hour before you need to leave.
Definition: For bulky and large items, such as comforters, blankets, rugs and sheets.
When To Use It: For all your bedding, all of it. Anything that is heavy, big and bulky…this is your cycle.
Definition: For wash-and-wear, synthetic fabrics, and lightly to normally soiled garments.
When To Use It: When you want to minimize wrinkles in dress shirts and pants or preserve the finish on wrinkle-free items. Also a good option for items that wrinkle easily (silk, linen, loosely woven cotton).
Definition: For white fabrics with or without bleach.
When To Use It: For whites that need to stay white, like t-shirts, underwear, white jeans, or table linens.
Definition: For light soiled garments needed quickly.
When To Use It: If you have forgotten and left your wet clothes in the washing machine for a period of time and they need a refresh. Tip: Use less detergent, because the clothes aren’t dirty, they just need a little help.
Definition: For waterproof or water-resistant items.
When To Use It: For any item that has “water-resistant” as a description. Water-resistant clothes are treated with a chemical to keep them water-resistant, wash in the wrong cycle and they can lose the special coating.
Rinse + Spin.
Definition: Use for loads that need rinsing only or to add rinse-added fabric softener to a load.
When To Use It: When an item just needs to be rinsed out, but not washed…like swim suits or beach towels.
Definition: Drains water and spins at high speed.
When To Use It: If washing bulky items and the first spin didn’t do it’s job. Clothes should be damp, not wet, when they come out of the washer.
Definition: To kill off any bacteria in your clothing.
When To Use It: The more you wear (and sweat in) your clothes, the more they become a breeding ground for bacteria. The sanitize cycle kills off the bacteria with high heat, but can wear out fabrics and shorten their lifespan, so use sparingly.
Here is the kicker…
Did you know the right washing cycle and water temperature can help you keep your clothes looking newer longer?
I didn’t. I thought “normal” was the cycle for everything. No wonder I would experience pilling on sweaters or shrinkage on cotton shirts. The right agitation, couple with speed of spin and water temperature can make a cocoon environment for your favorite jeans, sweater or shirt. It gets it clean, but it doesn’t wear the item out.
Because these machines are so intuitive – it makes it almost fool-proof.
(Which is good for ME – because I’m still learning about the right cycle and water temperature for the right clothes.)
Thank you Nebraska Furniture Mart for continuing to help me “adult”. It seems like so many of my “adult” moments have happened at your store -upgrading couch from college futon, bedroom furniture with wedding gift money, cribs and rockers for new baby, high-end kitchen appliances because I love to cook, and now washer and dryer. Your delivery, customer service and pricing are the reason I keep coming back.
Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with Samsung and Nebraska Furniture Mart. I was provided with a new Samsung washer and dryer in exchange for two articles, but did not receive additional compensation. The words and opinions (and my OCD laundry tendencies) are entirely my own. Want more information – check out my full disclosure statement.