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Wash  your clothes with confidence—Understanding Your Washer’s Cycles

Mind KEY / Lifestyle  / Wash  your clothes with confidence—Understanding Your Washer’s Cycles
Take the stress out of understanding laundry washer cycles Sean David Wright

Wash  your clothes with confidence—Understanding Your Washer’s Cycles

By Lizbeth Fabian

Whether it’s bright colors, flannel sheets, or jeans you’re washing, throwing them all in the same load would be a mistake. It would be like treating all of your kids the same way, and we all know that can become not only counterintuitive, but also a disaster. Just like children, each article of clothing should be treated with specific and individualized care. If you’re frustrated about laundry washer cycles, and are ready to throw in the towel, then it’s time for a new spin on things. Since this month’s theme is about cycles, we thought this the perfect time to share this life-tip, courtesy of A&B Family Appliances in Wakefield, RI.

Understanding Washing Machines

Each setting, cycle, and wash temperature determine the vibrancy and life of your clothes. If you can afford to buy new jeans every month, then by all means, live on. But if you’re a lover of saving money, time, and constant trips to the mall, here’s a better understanding of your washer cycles to ensure your clothes last.

According to, a lifestyle and home decor website, there are three choices you must make before each load is set to wash:

  1. Water level (determined by load size)
  2. Water temperature
  3. Cycle setting

These three things are determined by what exactly you are washing. If your load does not fill the washing machine, then you can choose to use less water– generally, you want to ensure that everything in the load is covered by water.

For clothes that could bleed colors or shrink, a cold temperature is the way to go. Cold water is most gentle on your garments. Warm water is typically used for sheets and towels, where hot water is used for heavily soiled garments or things that need to really be sanitized (think cloth diapers and sweaty sports uniforms).

While you may have to determine these three things  for when using a typical washing machine, with the new high-tech machines, the only choice you may have to make is the cycle setting. Simple, right?

Laundry washer cycles

A cycle is plainly a preset program. Each cycle has it’s own spin speed, estimated wash time, and uses a certain amount of water. Most washing machines have Normal, Delicates, or Permanent Press options; these are your most common cycle settings. Anything more and you might have to use your best instinct to determine how you’re washing loads, or you can turn to the owner’s manual.

With any washing machine, the owner’s manual will become your best friend. It has all the information on each cycle, which settings to use for different loads, and how to change any setting on that specific machine.

Thanks to, here’s a well-rounded list of your most common loads and their appropriate cycles.

  • Normal cycle is the go-to option for many loads, great for “most fabrics including cottons, linens, and normally soiled garments.”
  • Permanent press is great for “wash-and-wear, synthetic fabrics, and lightly to normally soiled garments. Use it when you want to minimize wrinkles in dress shirts and pants or preserve the finish on wrinkle-free items.”
  • Delicates, or hand-wash, is “for sheer fabrics, bras, lingerie, silks, and other handwash-only items” like “silk, gym clothing, your favorite sweater or anything that says ‘gentle wash’ on the tag.”

Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty! Happy washing!

Lizbeth Fabian

Hi there, I'm Liz. I'm a writer and editing intern with Mind Key. Born and raised in a big city, I grew up surrounded by many different cultures, people, and learned about different forms of art. Thanks to that, I have big dreams I'm ready to fulfill. Currently, I'm finishing up my B.A. at William Paterson University and looking for a great Graduate program to further my education.

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