Selecting the right washing machine settings

How many times has an item been put into the washer only to have it come out looking way different than it did going in? A stretched out sweater, shrunken jeans, faded colors, etc. What happened!?

Everything was supposed to come out clean and looking new! Choosing the right washing machine settings could affect the results of how clothing looks after it is laundered. Here is a quick list and explanation of the various settings on a washer to help keep your clothes looking like new.

Hand Wash

This cycle is pretty handy to have especially if you don’t want to take the time to hand wash an item in the sink. The hand wash cycle gradually washes extremely delicate clothes that you don’t want to be stretched out or treated too roughly by the wash cycle. It will typically agitate briefly, allow the items to soak, agitate, soak, and continue to repeat this until it has finished the wash cycle. The spin-out cycle is very gentle and at a low speed, leaving more moisture in the item and extending the drying time, but is the gentlest option.  Sweaters and delicate materials appreciate this setting. Typically, only put one or two similar items at a time in this cycle. Multiple items could damage each other.

Delicate and Permanent Press

This setting uses more agitation than the hand wash cycle does, but is a much gentler setting than a normal wash.  It follows the agitate and soak routine like the hand wash cycle but does agitate more and soak less. When it completes the wash cycle and is spinning out, it typically doesn’t spin out at as high of a speed as the normal wash does which helps to prevent wrinkles. The permanent press setting is useful for dress shirts or slacks that you don’t want to have agitated so much that wrinkles are put into the clothes or the clothes are damaged.

Normal or Cotton

Normal wash is for everyday clothes or cottons. Within the normal wash settings, there are several options: light wash, normal, or heavy wash. If the clothes are hardly soiled and just need to be freshened up, then the light setting is the one to use. It is a slightly shorter wash cycle with less agitation but a high-speed spin cycle at the end to remove as much moisture as possible since the materials can handle it. The normal setting is for everyday clothes that aren’t extremely soiled but might have a stain to be treated and removed. The heavy wash is for dirty work jeans and other heavily soiled items. The heavy cycle is probably the longest cycle on the washer and allows time for extra agitation to remove as much of the dirt as possible.

Don’t forget the temperature settings!

Selecting the right temperature can make a huge difference in how laundry day turns out. Choosing hot water instead of cold can cause fading and shrinkage and essentially ruin the clothes. Washing on cold is a pretty safe option, but to get certain dirt or stains out of laundry, warm or hot water might be necessary as long as it is a safe option for the material type.

Adjusting Temperature

Quick Wash

Some newer washers offer a quick wash setting. This setting is typically much shorter than the other settings and allows someone to quickly wash needed items that are not heavily soiled. This can be a handy feature for work uniforms or other necessary items that might have been forgotten about.

Have a wash professional do your laundry!

At The Dutchman’s Laundry, we’ll do your laundry for you! Check out our drop off laundry service page for more information!