A hand setting a wash cycle on a front load washer

How long does a washing machine take to wash clothes?

Sometimes it can feel like laundry takes all day, but it usually only takes around an hour per load to wash clothes. Read on to get more info and answers to all of your wash time questions.

A hand tapping a washer touchscreen with an estimated time remaining shown A hand tapping a washer touchscreen with an estimated time remaining shown


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Minimum cycle duration

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Maximum cycle duration

How long is a wash cycle?

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Normal cycle: around 50m to 1h

Normal wash cycle time range graph

A normal wash cycle usually takes between 50 minutes to an hour to complete. However, this time could be faster or slower depending on load size and the cycles or options you choose. That’s one of the reasons it’s important to know how to choose the right washer cycle. Tightly packed clothes, unbalanced loads and excessive suds may also lengthen wash times. Some modern washers account for these differences by providing an estimated time remaining. 

How long is a Quick Wash cycle?

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Quick Wash cycle: around 15m to 40m

Quick Wash cycle time range graph

On some washers, you can get small, lightly soiled loads clean in 15–40 minutes with a Quick Wash cycle. 

How long does a Heavy Duty wash cycle take?

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Heavy Duty cycle: around 1h to 2h 15m

Heavy Duty cycle time range graph

A Heavy Duty wash cycle, which helps handle heavily soiled items, can take anywhere from 1 to just over 2 hours to wash heavily soiled items.

Scheduling Tip: No matter whether your wash time is quick or a little longer, Schedule Wash Cycle in the Whirlpool® app lets you tell the washer when you'll be home by so it starts and ends the cycle on your schedule.1

How long is a Delicate wash cycle?

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Delicate cycle: around 45m to 1h 20m

Delicate cycle time range graph

It takes between 45 minutes to an hour and twenty minutes to clean items like sheer fabrics, lingerie, sweaters, blouses, pants, jeans or anything recommending a “gentle” cycle on the tag. Learn more about the delicate cycle and how to use it.

How long does a Sanitize wash cycle take?

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Sanitize cycle: around 1h 30m to 1h 50m

Sanitize cycle time range graph

A Sanitize cycle takes between one and a half and two hours to complete, but it pays off. On Whirlpool® washers, the Sanitize cycle with Oxi eliminates 99.9% of common household bacteria by mixing detergent with an oxi additive.2

How long does it take to wash and dry clothes?

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A normal drying cycle can add around 45 minutes to your laundry routine for a total washing and drying time of about an hour and 45 minutes. Drying cycle times can vary, with delicates cycles taking around 15 minutes and heavy duty towels cycles taking close to 3 hours. Load size, type, dampness and washer rinse temperature can all change how long your clothes take to dry. With these differences in mind, doing a load of laundry from start to finish can take as little as 45 minutes or as long as 5 hours.

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Available in a range of sizes and styles, Whirlpool® washing machines offer a spacious design that helps you approach laundry day with confidence. Browse the full collection of washers by Whirlpool brand for a smoother laundry experience for your home.


See more cycle wash times

Download our wash cycles chart to see how long your cycle might take.

Download Chart

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Bacteria tested were K. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa, S. aureus.