Is A 30 Minute Wash Enough To Get Clothes Properly Clean?

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byPenny
Is A 30 Minute Wash Enough To Get Clothes Properly Clean?

My washing machine takes at least three hours to run a normal wash. It washes really well in that time, using less water and less energy than my previous washing machine did.

However, I don’t always have three hours to wait!

Sometimes I need something quickly. My machine also has a thirty-minute quick wash that can run either warm or hot. I like to use that when I have less time.

But can it clean as well as the three-hour wash?

In today’s post, I’m going to spill the beans on what I do to get a great wash in just a thirty-minute cycle.

In a nutshell:

To ensure a 30-minute wash is enough to get your clothes clean, run a much smaller load. Pretreat all stains. Raise the washing temperature. Never mix whites and darks.

How to get the best wash in thirty minutes

When you have no time, and you need your stuff clean now, a 30-minute wash to freshen up clothes is the answer.

Here are my top tips for getting the best washing results in just 30 minutes:

Don’t put badly soiled or smelly clothing on a quick wash

dirty laundry

If you have lots of smelly or dirty clothing to wash, a 30-minute cycle probably isn’t going to get them clean. Save those items for a full length wash.

Don’t overload the machine

The quick washes on front-loading machines are designed for a smaller load than you would normally run.

Adding too many items on a quick wash, will result in poor cleaning. It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Check the instructions for your particular machine for the optimal amount on short cycles.

Pretreat stains

Quick washes are designed for washing lightly soiled laundry.

Short cycles generally aren’t ideal for visibly dirty, stained, or smelly clothing.

If you have lightly soiled laundry, but with one or two stains, pretreat them first.

I find that spraying stains with some diluted laundry liquid works wonders and everything comes out clean in a short wash.

Go for something ‘biological’ (i.e. contains enzymes) for the best results because it will tackle protein-based stains like greasy food stains easily.

Go for a higher temperature

washing machine dial

For shorter cycles, the higher the temperature, the better the wash will be.

High-efficiency machines can get away with washing at cooler temperatures because the washing time is much longer.

For quicker washes, always choose either warm or hot, and you should still get good results.

The quick wash on my machine can be run on warm or hot. I use the hot one for washing a small load of bedding and the warm one for colored clothing.

Avoid mixing lights and darks

lights and darks in the same wash

For a shorter wash, stick to either lights or darks. That way you can increase the washing temperature without worrying about your whites going dull or, even worse, getting stained.

You can mix whites and darks in a pinch in a cold water wash, but for warmer, shorter washes you’ll end up with dull whites, or even worse, color bleeding.

What temperature is best for a short wash?

For lightly soiled colored clothing, a warm wash (30c or 85f) is perfectly fine. For your bedding, I recommend a hotter wash (60c or 140f) is best. If you have more time, set a longer wash, and you can reduce the temperature.

Is a 30-minute wash enough for bedding?

washing bedding

So far, I’ve been talking about washing clothes, which are generally fine on a short wash, as long as they aren’t too grubby.

But what about bedding, will a short wash get that clean too?

Well, actually the same rules apply for bedding as they do for colors.

Here are some tips for getting the best washing results for your bedding:

  • Don’t overload the washing machine. Short washes are designed for small loads. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum load for quick washes.
  • Pretreat stains before you wash.
  • Go for a hot wash. A short wash needs a higher temperature than a long wash does, especially for bedding.

Is a shorter, hotter wash more efficient than a longer, cooler wash?

When it comes to the age-old debate of shorter, hotter washes versus longer ones, it’s all about finding that sweet spot.

While a shorter, hotter wash might seem like the quick fix for getting things clean, a longer wash actually has some tricks up its sleeve.

Here’s the deal: a shorter, hotter wash can be tempting because it gets the job done fast, but it might not be as thorough when it comes to really digging into those stubborn stains.

On the other hand, a longer wash gives the detergent more time to work its magic, especially on heavily soiled items.

When it comes to efficiency, a longer wash can actually be the winner. That’s because it can use lower temperatures, which means it’s gentler on your clothes and saves energy in the process.

In the end, it’s all about finding the right balance between speed, heat, and efficiency to keep your clothes looking their best.

Sparkling Penny

Penny | Sparkling Penny

Penny’s expert cleaning advice has been featured repeatedly by Homes and Gardens Magazine, and also at wikiHow, The Daily Express Newspaper, and Glam Magazine to name a few! SparklingPenny.com was founded in 2019 and has since helped millions of people achieve a cleaner living space.


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A short wash is perfect for lightly soiled items as long as your load is small and you pretreat stains. Find out more inside this post.