Following your clothing’s care tag and understanding your washer’s laundry symbols is the best way to choose washing machine settings and dryer cycles, keeping in mind that cycles may vary for between front load and top load washers. Take the guesswork out of caring for different fabrics with this guide to washer and dryer settings.
Washing machine cycles explained
There are several washing machine cycles, and each setting is designed to provide the right spin speed, temperature and rinse for items with certain fabrics and soil levels. Whether you have a front load or top load washer, general washing machine cycles include normal, colors, whites, quick wash, rinse and spin, delicates, bulky/sheets and heavy. Some Whirlpool® washers even include a sanitize setting that uses extra-hot water to eliminate 99.9% of common household bacteria.1
Remember to always follow the instructions on your garment’s care tag for the recommended washing machine cycles and dryer settings.
Washing machine temperature settings
Your washing machine has hot, warm, cool, cold and tap cold temperature settings to provide the right care for your garments of various sizes and fabrics. Always follow the care tag’s water temperature recommendations for the right setting for your fabrics.
What dryer setting should I use?
The dryer setting you use depends on the fabric and recommendations on your garment’s care tag. Dryers from Whirlpool brand can have settings of no heat, timed dry, normal, permanent press, tumble dry, less dry, more dry and very dry to properly care for your clothes. Some Whirlpool® dryers also have a Wrinkle Shield™ option to help prevent wrinkles in your clothes, as well as an AutoDry™ Drying System that automatically senses when your clothes are dry and stops the cycle.
As a general rule, higher temperatures are best used for heavy items, like towels, jeans and jackets. Low to medium heat settings are ideal for sheets, blouses and undergarments, while no heat settings are designed for heat-sensitive fabrics or garments containing rubber or plastic. When in doubt, always refer to your garment’s care tag for specific drying instructions to keep your family’s clothes ready to wear.
Choose the right laundry cycle for every fabric
Choosing the right cycle starts with how you sort clothes. If an item’s tag says “dry clean only,” you will want to select the gentle cycle and wash that item by itself. Sort by fabric type first. If you’re worried about colors bleeding from newer items or using different additives in the wash cycle (for instance, bleach with whites or brighteners with colors), further sort laundry by color. Take special items, like cheesecloth, into consideration when sorting laundry to avoid shrinkage and ensure it's washed properly.
Looking for more customizable laundry cycles?
Whirlpool® washers and dryers with Intuitive Touch Controls make it easy to choose the right settings for each load—just select “what” and “how” you want to wash or dry. With different cycles and customizable settings, washers and dryers from Whirlpool brand can provide the right fabric care for your family’s favorite outfits and help take the stress out of laundry day.
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More laundry tips and tricks
What do those laundry symbols actually mean?
We get it; your clothes’ care tags are as indecipherable as your kids’ geometry homework. We’ll help crack the code.
What does tumble dry mean
To tumble dry or not to tumble dry: that is the question. Wait, what does tumble dry even mean? Find out here.
Why you should be using HE detergent in your washing machine
Like your young athletes who perform best when they’re fueled with healthy food, your HE washer works best with HE detergent.
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1. Bacteria tested were S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, K. pneumoniae.
2. affresh® brand products and the recommending brands’ products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.
3. Based on an 8-lb. load.