Permanent press vs delicate dryer cycles compared

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Here is a detailed comparison between permanent press vs delicate dryer cycles to help you do your laundry correctly.

What setting have you been using for washing and drying your clothes?

In this article, I will be helping you understand permanent press vs delicate dryer cycles- I want you to get to know when it is best to use each of these frequently-confused cycles..

Permanent press vs delicate dryer cycle

Before we look at their comparisons and differences

Let us begin by looking at what each cycle is.

What is permanent press setting on dryer?

On some models, this setting is known as perm press, wrinkle control, or casual cycle.

What you need to know is that the purpose of this cycle is to minimize wrinkles on clothes(in both washers and dryers)

Side note: To prevent wrinkles on your clothes, promptly remove your clothes from the dryer as soon as the cycle is done. Once you have removed them, hang or fold your clothes.


What are some of the benefits of permanent press?

  • Keeps wrinkles at bay-designed to keep natural fibers that wrinkle easily from wrinkling
  • Plenty of savings- It takes less time and uses less heat than normal/regular cycle thereby saving you both time and electricity.
  • Prevent fading- It typically does not fade clothes.
  • Anti-shrinking – There is less risk of your clothes shrinking with this cycle.


And what is delicate cycle on dryer?

This cycle is purposely designed to wash/dry heat-sensitive clothes- it achieves this by drying your clothes at low temperatures.

Quick Note: Be sure not to confuse this Air Fluff Cycle, which tumbles your clothes at room temperature.  


What are some of the benefits of delicate cycle?

  • Great for heat sensitive clothes- Perfect for washing and drying clothes that are heat sensitive.
  • Saves energy- It uses low temperatures so it cuts on electricity consumption.
  • Anti-shrinking –It does not shrink your clothes too.

With that out of the way, let us now compare delicates vs perm press on dryers in more detail…


On heating temperature ,water temp, and drying/washing your clothes

Now, there’s a wide difference in the temperatures used for these cycles.

You see, in both dryers and washers, the perm press cycle uses medium heat(heat ranges between 135⁰ – 140⁰ F).

Remember that the medium temperature softens your fabrics(which helps to smoothen any wrinkles that may be on your clothes).

Likewise, the warm water/temperatures- in washers, it uses warm water to wash – releases any creases present in your clothes.

Another thing that helps greatly when washing is the slow spin- it goes a long in helping ward off new wrinkles(they can start forming with fast spinning).

On the other hand, the delicate cycle uses low heat to dry your clothes.


Well, for the simple reason that the cycle is meant to safeguard your heat-sensitive fabrics(I will give you examples shortly).

Moving on, the delicates cycle uses cold water to wash your clothes..Cold-water washing again reduces the risk of your clothes wrinkling, fading, or shrinking.

So, what type of clothes should you use each of these cycles for?

This is what we are looking at next…


Delicate vs perm press dryer –on clothes drying

When to use delicates cycle

You guessed it right: Delicates is for any clothing that can be affected by heat(the type that may stick together, fade color, or fray when subjected to heat).

To be clear, below are garments that we recommend you dry with the delicate setting:

  • Clothes made from spandex.
  • Garments made from shrink-prone materials such as wool.
  • Rayon and silk garments.
  • Any clothes that have embellishments, especially from sequins or light beading.
  • Garments that have iron-on decals(e.g. sport jerseys).
  • Lace and chiffon garments.


When to use permanent press cycle

In contrast, permanent press is used on a wide array of clothes.

In fact, it works nicely for nearly all clothes that are not affected by heat so it’s the most commonly used cycle, between the two.

Also, if you have clothes that should not be ironed but easily get wrinkled, then perm press is the cycle that you should use.

Here is a complete list of garments that permanent press setting can be awesome for:

  • Synthetic/ polyester fabrics.
  • Lightweight cotton.
  • Clothes made from linen.
  • Clothes made from natural fibers.
  • Garments made from ramie.
  • Nylon garments.

In other words, permanent press is suitable for most clothes that we wear on a daily basis including shirts, socks, slacks, and much more. 


How to decide on the cycle to use

When it comes to washing and drying, you want to do it right the first time- make a slight mistake and your garment might permanently get damaged.

So, how do you know when to use each cycle when you’re unsure?

Well, before washing or drying your clothes, always check their labels to know which cycle is best.

Here is the thing:

Permanent press vs delicate washer cycles

For clothes that require to be washed with the delicates cycle, you should see the following label:

what is the difference between permanent press and delicate cycle dryer

On the contrary, if your cloth has the following label, then you should wash it with the permanent press cycle(Notice it has one line-for delicates there are two lines under the tub):

dryer permanent press vs delicates

Permanent press vs delicate dryer cycles

And for drying, clothes that will need the delicate cycle will have this label:


permanent press vs delicate cycle dryer

As for those that will require the permanent press cycle, they will have the following label:


perm press vs delicate dryer

Perm press vs delicate dryer: On drying/cycling time

As regards how long each cycle to complete drying/washing time, it will once more vary between both cycles.

This is due to 2 key factors……

  1. The amount of load you put in your dryer/washer.
  2. The material your clothes are made of.

Put another way, no cycle takes longer than the other and the above 2 factors instead have more influence on the drying/ cycling time.


Permanent press vs delicate washer

As I had mentioned earlier, in a washing machine, the perm press cycle washes clothes in warm water.

It then rinses them in cool water.

And as for the agitation and spin cycles, they tend to be mild.

Now, for best results, remove your clothes from the washer as soon as the cycle is complete(leaving them in the damp environment tends to create the perfect environment for wrinkles to set in).

In contrast, the delicate cycle will wash your clothes in cold water (and with slow tumbling and spinning).

I should add that this washing cycle is traditionally shorter than the former.


Permanent press vs delicate dryer cycle – final words

Because they both have their own unique use cases, here there is no winner or loser.

So choose the best setting depending on what you’re drying/washing.



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