Why do washing machines have a fast wash facility?

When people are looking to purchase a new washing machine they very often think that a Fast Wash is a very desirable option.  If you read the various manufacturers’ handbooks, there is really no description of what you should expect from this Fast Wash.  In truth, the Manufacturers generally provide this programme cycle due to consumer demand.

A few years’ ago, the EU introduced the energy labels.  All manufacturers wanted to be in the market with A rated products, and customers made it clear they also wanted to purchase the A rated machines.

The reason the manufacturers went down this route was because they knew customers wanted it, and most customers purchased these machines because they felt they would be less damaging to the environment.

The A rating will indicate that the amount of water used in each wash is decreased, which lowers energy used in heating the water.  This does mean that the wash timing has increased to cope with the reduced water.

Many people are unhappy with this increased time, and have been drawn to the carrot of a Fast Wash.  Unfortunately, a Fast Wash is not capable of washing a full, or even a half, load of clothes:

Washing machine


  •  There is insufficient time for the water to heat to the correct temperature – in a normal wash this process usually takes about 10 minutes

  • The detergent will have insufficient time to dissolve correctly through the wash

  • It is not possible to rinse clothes thoroughly within the timeframe.  This usually takes 4 – 6 minutes in a normal wash.
  • This means you have taken 16 minutes to heat the water and rinse the clothes, all within a 15 minute programme.  Where is the time to actually wash the clothes? 

Basically, you will be wasting a further 15 minutes of your precious time that could have been used for a normal wash.
If you think about it, how could a 15 minute Fast wash give you the same results as a normal 30 or 40 degrees wash, which could take up to 2 hours.

A Fast Wash is not a total waste though, there are occasions when someone spills something down themselves – you could use a Fast wash for one or two items as this might save the garment until you have more time to deal with it properly.  It is also quite useful if you have very young children for those little accidents, when you are running out of clothes and need to get something rinsed and dried quickly.  There is no need to add detergent, as a detergent residue will be left on the items.
Apart from this, it is not that easy to think of other uses.


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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