How long does a washing machine take to wash clothes?

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So, how long does a washing machine take to wash clothes?

The answer is it depends on the wash cycle you have selected- and this again is determined by what you’re washing.

To be specific, heavier items tend to take more time to wash.

Likewise, for the most part, heavily soiled clothes will tend to wash for longer than clothes that are not very dirty.

Also, the size of the load matters- and a larger load will take more wash time because the machine has to do more work to get everything sparkling clean.

But exactly how long does a washing machine take to wash clothes? Is there an exact cycle time?

Well, I can only give you a general idea because as I have indicated above, it primarily boils down to the cycle setting you have chosen.


How long does a washing machine take to wash clothes?

Usually, a normal faster wash cycle takes about an hour though it can take more with a larger load size and dirtier clothes.

In fact, most newer washers have a normal energy and water efficient eco wash that typically takes 2-3 hours to do the job and a faster 1 hour-ish wash you can use when you’re in rush.

And the truth is it’s way more efficient (when it comes to electricity and water) to wash a little bit slower.

Yeah, there is no better way to wash if you want to get your clothes super clean while saving you some money and reducing emissions.

That said, many washers have a 30-35 minutes quick wash option to freshen up your clothes (those that aren’t dirty).

So if you’re looking at just freshening up your clothes, your washer is likely to have some steam/speed options that will be super-fast though they use more electricity. 


Other problems with quick washes

Overall, I do not like using quick washes.

You see, besides being more wasteful, sometimes clothes come out smelling like sweat since they are not being washed long enough.

So if you’re still sitting on the fence about using eco programs because the washing machine takes 3 hours to wash, you can now see that quick washes are not very good.

I should add that I have seen some washers come with an “eco-cotton” cycle that takes well over 5 hours!


How long does a large load of laundry take to wash?

It largely depends on the wash program you have selected- Eco programs will take super long(but save you bucks) while speed washes will be shorter but energy and water inefficient.

Just to add, the most important thing to keep in mind if you’re washing a large load is to ensure you do not overload the washer because it can lead to a lot of problems down the road including making it break.

Something else:  An overloaded/unbalanced washer will additionally take more hours to wash(due to the additional rinse cycle it performs to correct the out-of-balance issue).


How long does a medium load of laundry take to wash?

You can go expect between 60 -80 minutes.

But you now understand that this is not cast on stone and the actual wash cycle length will vary depending on all the factors I have repeatedly mentioned including the cycle you select.


How long does it take to wash a small load of clothes?

23-28 minutes for small loads(of 10 items max).

And that is if you’re using a quick wash cycle(most machines have one).

It’s worth mentioning that the time can be 30+ minutes if your load has extremely dirty items.


Why is my washing machine taking longer than usual?

A few issues can cause your machine to take longer than you had expected according to the program you choose..

Here they are and what to do to reduce the cycle time:

  • You have too big a load- try to sort your laundry into some smaller loads
  • The load is not balanced- Ensure that the load is properly balanced by adding soap and laundry (in the tub) first (before starting the cycle).
  • Low water pressure- Make sure water coming to your clothes washer is doing that at the recommended pressure.


Why does my washing machine take 2 hours

See the previous section for ideas on what’s causing this and how to ensure it is completing washing within the standard time.


How long does a washer take on heavy?

On the whole, it can be anywhere between 1 to 2 hours (it can occasionally extend slightly).

I’m sure you recall that this cycle is for your heavily soiled items.

How long does a load of laundry take to wash


How long does it take to wash and dry clothes?

When it comes to washing and drying in combined washer-dryers, I would say 3 hours are reasonable.


You see, a standard washing cycle tends to be about an hour.

Now add the drying time –and remember you want to dry your clothes gently enough (to not shrink them)- which can be around 2 hours.

So 3 hours is a good estimate.

Of course, the time will go down if you are talking about clothes that don’t usually hold water so well.

On the other, things like towels are likely to take longer to wash and dry for obvious reasons.


How long does a load of laundry take to wash? Recap and final words

There are some really energy and water-saving long wash cycles that can take 3+ hours and a faster standard program that washes in about 1 hour.

To be sure, look up your washer’s user guide- it’ll give you full information on the specific cycles available, their durations, temp, etc.


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