Wash cycle times for top load washers [complete guide]

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You may have heard/read that top loading washers wash faster than front loading washers..

But exactly how fast are top load washers?

Well, this is a complete guide about wash cycle times for top load washers(the approximate time each cycle takes).

As a bonus, I will tell you about what you should ideally wash in each cycle/setting.

Let’s get started..

Wash cycle times for top load washers –complete guide

Normal cycle

Average wash time: 60-80 minutes.

Items to wash: Best for light to normally soiled clothes like cotton, towels, shirts, denims, and, finally mixed loads.


Comforter cycle

Average wash time: 1 hour to 2 hours

Items to wash: This cycle best washes comforters

Quick tip

Don’t wash so many comforters at once- it’s best to add just one or two at a time. Also, press the comforter at the bottom of the tub maximally before filling the tub with water(this prevents them from floating).


Heavy duty cycle

Average wash time:1 to 2 hours.

Items to wash: This cycle is specially designed for heavily soiled, durable garments like towels, your sports gear, and fabric tote bags.

Quick tip

For the best results, use the hottest water setting available on your washer as long it is safe for the fabric you’re washing.


Delicates cycle

Average time: 45 minutes-1 hour 30-minutes.

Items to wash: Lightly soiled knits and delicate clothes that require gentle washing.


Bedding cycle

Average wash time: 1 hour but it can complete washing in 50 minutes(depending on your washer model)

Items to wash: This is the best cycle for large items like your blankets, sheets, mattress pads, duvet covers, and similar items.


Jeans cycle

Average time: 50 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes

Items to wash: Use this cycle to wash your soiled denim jeans or sturdy cotton khakis


Quick wash cycle

Average time: Takes between 14-58 minutes.

Items to wash: Wash small, lightly soiled clothes.


Kids wear cycle

Average time: 45minutes to 1 hour

Items to wash: This a cycle for washing normally-soiled kids’ wear plus baby wear.


Wool cycle

Average time: Takes between 50 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Items to wash: Usually designed for a small load of(machine-washable) woolen.

I should add that the wool cycle uses gentle washing action along with cold rinses. That way, it eliminates shrinking and other possible damage to the wool.

Quick Tip

Use wool detergents when washing your wool garments.

Whites cycle

Average time: 1 hour 25 minutes to 2 hours 47 minutes(max).

Items to wash: A cycle for white fabrics and light-colored clothes.

Quick Tip

In the event that you’d like to use liquid bleach (think chlorine bleach) to help remove stains/ whiten garments, always refer to the fabric care label first to be sure it will be safe.

Besides, when using bleach, using hot water is recommended for optimal bleach activation.

Finally, add an extra rinse to this cycle-it helps achieve peak rinsing(you don’t want any chlorine residues on your clothes).


Wash cycle times for top load washers-more cycles

Drain and spin cycle

Average time: Takes about 12-30 minutes.

Items to wash: This a cycle that you use anytime you want to drain water from the washer and then spin out the load.


Rinse and spin cycle

Average time: Takes about 30 to 50 minutes.

Items to wash: Clothes that need cold rinsing-it is also a good cycle if you want to add some fabric softeners that may have been omitted during a regular cycle.


Presoak  cycle

Average time: 15 to 30 minutes

Items to wash: Best for heavily soiled and stained items before washing(you’re basically soaking your clothes for some time before the actual wash to make it easier to get rid of stubborn stains)

Quick Tip

When using this cycle, any temperature except hot may be selected.

That said, for the most part, you should soak in cold water (cold water works amazingly on most stains and is the way to go unless your washer’s manual suggests hot water)


Temperature cycle

Here you choose the temperature you want your laundry to be washed.

Here is how the times vary depending on the temp you choose:

Hot setting

Average time: between 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Temperature: This cycle typically washes at 140 degrees Fahrenheit/60 degrees Celsius (and above).

What to wash: Best for heavier and soiled garments with tough stains, especially those that you want to sanitize (The hot setting kills bacteria).


Warm setting

Average time: 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Temperature: the water temp is usually between (90-110 degrees Fahrenheit/32.2-43.3 degrees Celsius)

Items to wash: Use this temp to clean normally soiled white / colorfast cotton blends.


Cool setting

Average time: 55 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes.

Temperature: The temperature is between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit/ 15.5-26.7 degrees Celsius).

Items to wash: Use the setting for normally soiled sheets, casual items, and machine-washable woolens. You can also use it for lightly soiled non-colorfast items like knits, delicates, etc.


Bonus tips

Be careful about the load size

All the above wash cycles can either be faster or slower depending on your load size so be sure not to violate load size recommendations for your specific top load washer

Using hot water is not always a good idea

If it is not necessary to wash your clothes using hot or warm water, just use cold water as hot water (and even warm water) tend to shrink clothes.

Treat stains first

To cut down on laundry time, try to treat stains before washing- and there are a lot of great products you can use to help remove stains.

Use the highest spin speed

A good way of reducing the wash time is by using the highest spin speed available in your washer.

You see, the faster it spins, the quicker your top loading washer will remove water from your items(when the cycle ends).

Just do not forget that the highest spin speed could damage delicates, if you’re washing delicate fabrics


Wash cycle times for top load washers-Final words

Keep in mind that the above is a general guide- the times may vary a little for your model.

But it should give you an idea whether you have been looking for information about Whirlpool top load washer cycle times, GE top load washer settings and times, or whatever other top loading washer model cycle times


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