Have you ever looked at your washing machine and wondered—what on earth do all these different cycles do? If so, you’re not alone! Read on to learn what the different cycles mean and when to use them.
Washing Machine Cycles: The Basics
Most washing machine cycles follow the same basic pattern. Your machine fills with water, agitates your laundry to wash it, rests, rinses, and then spins to get the water out. It’s a tried and true method to remove dirt, stains, grime, and odors.
As technology has advanced, though, this basic wash cycle has been adapted for different types of laundry and different levels of soil. From delicates to bulky items, modern washers offer numerous cycle options. What do these different cycles do, though, and how do you choose the right one for each load?
The Nitty Gritty of Cycle Options
The names of most washing machine cycles have to do with the type of laundry, the level of soil, or both. That means you can choose a cycle based on what you’re washing and how dirty it is. Most machines will auto-select the appropriate water temperature based on the selected cycle. You can typically select the size of the load to further customize the process.
The Usual Suspects: Regular, Delicates, and Heavy Cycles
Let’s start with two of the most standard cycle options. A “regular” cycle is best suited to everyday clothes and laundry in sturdy fabrics that have a normal level of soil. This cycle uses warm water and a high spin speed. A “delicates” cycle, on the other hand, is for laundry items made of easily damaged materials like silk or lace. It uses cool water and a gentle spin speed.
Many washers also have a “heavy” setting for laundry that is heavily soiled and/or features thick or dense fabric. This cycle uses hot water and a high spin speed to ensure an effective cleaning process.
Color Care and Bulky Loads
Next up are two settings based on laundry color. A “whites” setting is, as the name suggests, used for a load of all-white laundry. It uses hot water and you can add bleach to the cycle in order to remove stubborn spots and stains from white garments. A “colors” setting uses cool water to keep colors intact when washing dark and color-rich laundry.
If your washer has a “bulky items” setting, this is best suited for sheets, blankets, comforters, and anything else that takes up a lot of space. It uses a large amount of warm water and a low spin speed to fully clean bulky items without damaging them or the washer.
Many washers feature additional cycle options that are based less on the type of laundry and more on the action you require from your machine. For example, a “quick wash” cycle is just that—an accelerated wash designed to clean a few items fast so that you can get them out as soon as possible.
Your machine might also have a “rinse and spin” cycle. This is great for items like swimsuits that just need to be rinsed out rather than having a full wash with detergent.
A “drain and spin” cycle is even more bare bones. It doesn’t use any water, but rather drains away water that’s present and spins the laundry to remove additional water. You might select this cycle if you need to remove water from hand-washed items or from thick fabrics that have retained water even after a regular wash and spin process. You can also use it if you interrupt another cycle and need to drain and reset the washer.
The moral of the story—don’t be intimidated by the cycle options on your washing machine! They’re each there for a specific purpose and you can confidently use them based on what you’re washing and how dirty it is.
If you have washing machine questions or need washing machine repairs in Rockaway or the Morris County area, call the pros at Morris County Appliance Repair today. Our team has over 50 years of combined experience in washing machine repair and we’re licensed and insured for your peace of mind. Morris County Appliance Repair—You Can Count On Us!