Washing Machine Programme Times

If you have recently purchased a new washing machine, you may be asking the same question as everyone else in your position – why is my wash taking so much longer to complete, and what can I do about it?

The reason the wash is taking so much longer than your old machine is due to EU regulations, which were brought in to save energy.  This is what drives the A or AA or AAA+ rating.  By reducing the energy used you also reduce the amount of water needed for each wash, but the downside is that it will take much longer for the wash to be completed.

If you generally use a 40 Degree washing programme, the average time for this is about two hours across all makes and models.

Programme Options

There are many different options you can use when choosing a programme cycle, such as delicates only, woollens only, half wash etc. all of these will take only a few items at a time and will take far less time than your main wash. They have been specifically designed to deal with these particular fabrics and will give you a much better result.  However, there is generally a programme cycle that will be called Quick Wash or Fast Wash and these are the ones that a lot of people have started to use for their main wash – this is not what they are designed for.

These Quick/Fast Washes can run in time for 15 minutes upwards.  In order to save time a lot of people are trying to use these programmes for their normal family wash, unfortunately, over a few washed this will have a detrimental effect on your clothes.

Quick wash

In a normal wash load, there will be a proportion of time that will be used to heat up the water, say, 10-15 minutes.  At the end of the wash cycle, you will have a rinse and spin cycle which will take, say, at least another 15-20 minutes.  This leaves about 1 – 1.5 hours for your clothes to go through the normal wash cycle.  At the end of this time, your clothes will be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed.

If you are using a 15 minute Quick/Fast wash you can immediately see there is no way your normal wash load can be cleaned in the same time frame.  For a start the water will only reach a low temperature, the wash cycle will just be a splish splosh affair, with very little time left for a rinse and spin.

These programmes are really designed more as a ‘refresh’ programme rather than any kind of deep clean.  They certainly have their uses and can be invaluable for rinsing a garment through quickly if you have spilled something over yourself.  If you do it quickly it can help stop the stain from getting hold of the fibres but it will not get rid of the stain entirely.

What happens if you use this programme for your normal wash is that your clothes are getting a bit of agitation and a rinse through in fairly cool water.  On initial inspection your clothes may look clean, however, over time the grit and grime not removed will start to build up in the fibres of the clothes.  The result is that your clothes start to get that grey look, and also will not be smelling that sweetly either.  Unfortunately, the build up of grime over time will start to damage the clothes and will reduce the lifespan of the item.

You will be surprised to learn there is no industry standard governing these fast programmes, so it is impossible for you to check one off against the other to look for the best.  All you will get is advertising blurb but no facts.

For your own sake and for the sake of your clothes, only use this type of programme for refreshing an item quickly, or for a quick rinse through.  They are not designed for your main wash, and you will end up with clothes that are not really clean, which will have a much shorter life.

It is a fact of life that to wash your clothes thoroughly you need to allow the time for that to happen.












Disclaimer: The information provided has been prepared as a guide only and the steps taken are likely to vary for different appliance models. We strongly recommend using a qualified engineer to undertake major repairs and fault finding.


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