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What Does Permanent Press Even Mean? Confusing Washing Machine Cycles, Explained

Do you ever wonder about the purpose of the "Permanent Press" washing machine cycle? How does the "Sanitize" cycle effectively eliminate germs? And can you interchange the "Bulky" and "Heavy Duty" cycles? If you consistently rely on the "Normal" setting, you might be leaving dirt and bacteria trapped in your fabrics or gradually damaging specific items. Allow us to demystify these perplexing washing machine settings, enabling you to use your washer as intended and maintain your laundry's freshness and cleanliness.

1. Permanent Press Flattens Wrinkles:

The "Permanent Press" cycle serves as a wrinkle-prevention feature. High spin speeds can cause wrinkles in your clothing, but this cycle addresses that issue by gently spinning your clothes at a slower pace. It helps prevent wrinkles and can even smooth out existing ones. The water temperature is kept warm, and agitation is gentle. Additionally, this cycle gradually introduces cool water during rinsing, ensuring your clothes remain wrinkle-free.

2. Sanitize:

Eradicating Bacteria For germ-free laundry, opt for the "Sanitize" cycle, which employs scalding temperatures of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to annihilate bacteria. This cycle is also effective at eliminating stubborn odors. However, exercise caution when using it frequently, as the extremely hot water may break down fabric fibers.

3. Bulky for Bedding:

Ideal for Bedding Items such as comforters, pillows, and rugs are considered bulky and require extra water to thoroughly soak and clean them. The "Bulky" cycle accomplishes this and employs a slower spin speed to prevent imbalance. It's also suitable for full loads of towels or cleaning a sleeping bag after a camping trip.

4. Heavy Duty for Stubborn Stains:

When your clothes are caked in mud, grass stains, grease, oil, sweat, or grime, the "Heavy Duty" cycle comes to the rescue. This cycle combines vigorous agitation with a high spin speed to effectively clean heavily soiled laundry. It dedicates 1-2 hours to scrubbing your clothes thoroughly, leaving them impeccably clean.

5. Whites Made Bright:

A Bright Solution The "Whites" cycle increases the heat (without worrying about dye bleeding), vigorously agitates, and spins rapidly to remove dirt and stains from your white fabrics. Use this cycle sparingly to preserve the integrity of your laundry fibers over time.

6. Rinse and Spin:

Soap Removal and Drying Prep Whether you're sensitive to detergent and need a thorough rinse or want to remove excess water from a bulky blanket before drying it, the "Rinse and Spin" (or "Drain and Spin") cycle comes in handy. It skips the soap and agitation, providing an additional rinse and efficiently spinning out excess water.

7. Temperature Tips:

Always refer to clothing labels for specific cycle and temperature recommendations. As a general guideline:

  • Use cold water for items you want to avoid shrinking, delicate fabrics like lace, silk, wool, dark or new clothes to prevent color bleeding, and items with elastic, such as athletic shorts.

  • Opt for hot water for deep cleaning of cotton fabrics, heavily soiled items, heavy-duty work clothes, and stain removal.

  • Warm water is suitable for synthetic fabrics and normally soiled items.

In closing, you'll no longer find yourself puzzled by the array of washing machine settings. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of these "Non-Normal" cycles, you can confidently operate your washer and maintain your laundry's freshness and cleanliness.

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