bubbles from a washing machine

How to Pick Washer Settings

Washing your clothing can be confusing. How come there are so many options to pick washer settings from? What setting should be used, and can it just be that one option every time? It would be best to learn the differences in the settings available on the standard washing machine. While there are more settings and features available, we will only touch on a few of the most common and when to use them.

Pick a Normal Washer Setting

This setting is going to be for your standard cotton or cotton blend fabrics. It is usually a warm water wash, so you’d want to ensure nothing you put in can shrink. 

Speed or Express Wash

This setting is generally intended for a small load or just a few articles of clothing. If you have an outfit that you really want to wear out tomorrow, the express wash will do the job. It runs through a quick wash and has a faster than usual spin cycle to speed up drying the clothes after. It’s not a good idea to wash anything that may be delicate in the express wash setting. It would definitely wear the delicate item out quickly.

Permanent Press 

This setting is used for general colored clothing. It works best for blended fabrics and anything synthetic. Great way to wash a large load of laundry. Doesn’t use hot water and spins thoroughly to remove any excess. Usually dries quickly afterward. This is a unique choice to pick washer settings.


delicate sweater to pick wash settings

This is, as the name indicates, the setting used to wash your delicates. There is a surprising amount of clothing that falls into this category. Read your labels and follow their recommendations. 

The delicate cycle will also work with hand wash only items and wool. Never put wool in the dryer as it will shrink significantly.

Heavy-Duty Washer Settings

pick wash settings for heavy duty fabric

This cycle cleans large heavily soiled loads, jeans, and towels. It has a longer wash cycle and a high-speed spin cycle to get the laundry as dry as possible for the dryer. Great for heavier items like towels. 


This setting is, wait for it, for your white clothes! Big surprise there, but this setting uses very hot water to keep your clothes as white and bright as possible.

These are the basic settings on most washers. Remember that there are always exceptions, (because what would doing your laundry be like if there weren’t) so make sure to read the labels and follow the instructions there.