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Washing Machine Cycles Explained

Want to learn more about washing cycles and settings on your washing machine? All is explained in this comprehensive Canstar Blue guide.

Whether you’re a laundry novice or a seasoned pro, understanding the various washing machine cycles can be a tad confusing. Each washing machine offers a unique array of cycle options, which can make it difficult to choose the right one for your laundry needs. In this guide, we take an in-depth look at the different washing machine cycles.

The Fundamentals of Washing Machine Cycles

Every washing machine operates using a series of cycles to clean, rinse, and spin your laundry. These cycles are designed to cater to different types of fabric, levels of dirt and load size. Choosing the right cycle will not only ensure that your clothes are cleaned effectively, but can also help extend their lifespan.

Key Washing Machine Cycles

Regular or Normal Cycle

The regular or normal cycle is the most commonly used on most washing machines. It uses a fast agitation speed and high spin speed, which makes it ideal for washing cotton, linen, towels and jeans.

Delicate or Hand Wash Cycle

This cycle uses a slow agitation and spin speed, making it perfect for handling delicate fabrics like silk, lace and wool. The hand wash cycle mimics the gentle action of washing clothes by hand, reducing the risk of damage.

Heavy Duty Cycle

The heavy-duty cycle is designed for sturdy fabrics and heavily soiled items. It features a longer wash time, fast agitation speed, and high spin speed to effectively remove stubborn dirt and stains.

Specialised Washing Machine Cycles

Modern washing machines come with specialised cycles to cater to a variety of specific needs.

Quick Wash Cycle

This is a time-saving cycle for lightly soiled garments or small loads. Despite its shorter duration, the quick wash cycle provides a thorough cleaning.

Eco or Energy Saver Cycle

This cycle uses less energy and water but takes a longer time to complete. It’s ideal for less soiled items and for those who are conscious about their environmental impact.

Bulky Cycle

The bulky cycle is designed for larger items such as blankets, comforters and rugs. It uses a slow agitation speed and lower spin speed to clean these items without causing damage.

Customising Your Washing Machine Cycles

Most washing machines in New Zealand allow you to customise your cycles, providing flexibility based on your specific needs. You can typically adjust the water temperature, spin speed, soil level, and sometimes even the cycle’s duration.

Washing Machine Cycles Explained: Making the Right Choice

Choosing the right washing machine cycle is crucial to effective and efficient laundry. It’s important to read the care labels on your garments and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember, not all fabrics are created equal.

Mastering Washing Machine Cycles

Armed with this understanding of different washing machine cycles, you’ll be better prepared to handle your laundry needs. With the right selection of cycles, you can keep your clothes clean, extend their lifespan, and even save on energy and water consumption. Always remember, the key to mastering laundry is knowing which cycle to use when.

Compare Power Companies with Canstar Blue

Washing machines can burn through power, especially on hot washes. And where electricity use is concerned, it always pays to check whether you’re getting the best deal. If you can switch to using your washing machine at a certain time of the day, why not swap to a provider that offers a free hour of power each day? Your savings could be considerable. To make choosing the best electricity provider easier, Canstar compares them on value and service.

Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.

See Our Ratings Methodology

Compare power companies

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.

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