Newer washing machines, especially high-efficiency front-loaders, seem to take an age to finish don’t they!
You would think that a high-efficiency machine would take less time, but the opposite is actually true.
The reason for the long cycle length is that they have to use less-water, which means the wash and the rinse take longer.
Long cycles also tend to use lower temperatures. But, to get the cleaning results of a traditional higher temp wash, the washing time is extended.
If I let my machine run normally, the wash time is about three hours. Sometimes I simply don’t have the time to wait that long.
So, if you don’t have much time to wait, here are my biggest tips to reduce the washing machine time:
To get your washing done quickly, run a half-load and pick the quick wash cycle, or reduce the washing temperature. If you have lots of stains, pre-treat them, so there is no need to run a longer, more intensive cycle
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How to reduce washing machine time
The latest washing machines are designed to use less water and less energy, and they can only do that as well as washing well by extending the wash time.
If you have the time, I recommend you let your machine do its thing and take its sweet time. You will get a better wash, and you save on the bills too. But sometimes we just need something cleaned quickly.
Here’s how to do that:
Tip 1: Reduce the washing temperature
My top tip for reducing washing time is to run a cold cycle. This means you don’t have to wait for the water to heat up.
A cold wash also means that you use much less electricity, too.
I do all my washing now on cold and the results are just as good. When I select cold, it shaves off about 30 minutes from the whole cycle.
Tip 2: Raise the washing temperature
Colder temperatures can reduce the wash time, but conversely, higher temps can give you the same washing results that a longer cooler wash can.
For a quicker wash, select a higher temperature, and don’t press the eco button on your machine.
Some machines have a quick high temperature wash. Mine has a hot quick wash that takes 30 minutes. So if I have a small amount of bedding, that gets it done quickly.
Raising the washing temperature means that you risk damage to clothes that need lower temps. Don’t put clothes in that need a cool wash!
Tip 3: Choose a quick cycle
If you have no time and need to get something clean quickly, use the quick wash cycle.
For a quick wash to be most effective, you need to (at least), halve the amount of washing because this cycle is designed for smaller loads. Bigger loads won’t get washed properly.
Tip 4: Pretreat stains
Pretreat all your worst stains. This avoids having to run a longer cycle. I find that even the long cycle never removes the stains as well as when I pretreat them.
The best way to pretreat your stains is to dilute some good quality liquid detergent.
I put a couple of tablespoons in a spray bottle and then add water. Make sure the detergent is ‘biological’. This means it has enzymes in it that love to eat protein-based stains like greasy food stains.
Simply spray the stain, making sure that it seeps into the fibers of the clothing. You want to see it come through the other side. Then simply toss in with the rest of the wash.
Tip 5: Buy a new machine with a quick wash cycle
If you are in the market for a new washer, you will find that most of them have very long cycles.
Look for one that has a good quick wash. My washer has a 30-minute quick wash. It is a Zanussi, however I don’t recommend my particular model because when I choose the 30-minute cycle, it doesn’t spin for as long. I always need to re-spin, otherwise tumble drying time is too long. It’s so frustrating!
Why is a normal wash cycle so long?
If you are wondering why washing machine cycles are so long, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
One major reason for the seemingly endless normal wash cycles is the reduced water usage in high-efficiency front-loaders.
To cut down on water consumption and be more environmentally friendly, these machines use significantly less water. As a result, the wash and rinse phases are extended to ensure that your laundry gets the thorough cleaning it deserves, despite the reduced water volume.
Another reason for the extended wash cycles is the lower operating temperatures in modern washing machines.
Even though they run at lower temperatures, these machines are designed to deliver cleaning results that rival those achieved with traditional higher temperature washes.
How? Well, it’s all thanks to advanced cleaning technologies and smarter use of detergents and wash actions.
Longer cycle times give the machine a chance to work its magic, ensuring that your laundry comes out squeaky clean and fresh, even at lower temperatures.
It’s a bit of a trade-off – longer wash and rinse times for top-notch cleaning performance and water conservation.