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I’m a Laundry Expert… Make Your Clothes Last Longer With the Correct Washing Machine Settings

I’m a Laundry Expert… Make Your Clothes Last Longer With the Correct Washing Machine Settings

Laundry is one of those chores that none of us can get away from. In fact, the average person spends at least 3 hours a week on laundry. But from throwing everything into your white washing machine to selecting the wrong settings, you could be doing it wrong.

Salah Sun, Head of Product Marketing at Beko Plc UK & Ireland, says: “People actually make it much harder for themselves by choosing to throw everything into the same wash. By spending the extra five minutes separating your laundry and selecting the right cycle, you can prevent any damage, fading, or misshape of your clothing – making them last longer and saving you money in the long run.”

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The basics you need to know

Salah says: “Many of us likely put our washing machine on the same setting for every laundry load, but this isn’t the most effective way of cleaning your clothes, and it could be costing you extra. Using the same cycle on every piece of clothing won’t leave your clothes as clean as they should. These appliances have many easy-to-use settings which, with a quick switch, could make your laundry easier.” 

Spin speed

One setting you might want to take a closer look at is your spin speed. This determines how fast your machine’s drum spins when getting rid of your excess water and aiding in drying your clothes to a fresh damp rather than soaking wet.

High spin is great for thick, robust fabrics such as denim. If you’re washing your jeans with a low spin speed, you might find they come out damper than you expected and take longer to dry. However, more delicate fabrics, such as silk and wool, should stay at a low spin speed. High spin speeds can also increase creases in your clothes, so if your silk shirt is a nightmare to iron, try adjusting your washing machine settings.


A washing machine’s temperature can range between 15 and 95 degrees Celsius, with both high and low temperatures having their own benefits. A lower temperature can lower your energy consumption, whereas a higher temperature is perfect for decontaminating heavily soiled clothing.

Again, temperature is something you should be considering. Some fabrics, such as wool, shouldn’t be washed at a high temperature. However, keeping your temperature setting at low might not clean effectively. If your family is fighting a sickness bug, higher temperatures can help kill the bacteria on your clothing and bedding, alongside a good detergent.


Picking the right setting for your laundry also means understanding agitation. This is how gentle or rough your washing machine treats your clothes. A high agitation setting will have more movement for those tougher items, whereas a low agitation setting is better for more delicate items.

The truth of it is, using the same cycle setting won’t give your clothes the agitation they need each time. Some items, such as your towels, should be on a high agitation to get them clean, while your underwear would only need some gentle movement. This is why we recommend separating your towels from the rest of your laundry.

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Common spin cycles you should be using

Common cycles can include eco-mode, delicates, regular, and quick wash. Each of us has a preferred cycle that we likely use for every laundry run. But swapping out your everyday cycle for something more bespoke for your laundry load is a must for the best clean.

There are plenty of settings to play around with that can give you the best cleaning action from your washing machine. You don’t want to be wasting time drying too-damp towels or ironing overly creased items that could’ve come out of the washing machine much better. Spending some time getting to know your machine, and your laundry needs, means you can spend less time doing laundry and more time wearing the clothes you love.

Delicate cycle

One cycle you should be switching to every now and then is the delicate cycle. This is a common washing machine feature which provides gentle agitation to keep your most precious pieces of clothing safe.

The delicate cycle is great for your underwear and silk blouses, but don’t keep using this for everything. This won’t work the best on your towels or jeans, which will need a more aggressive cleaning approach.

Quick wash

The quick wash is a popular one, providing clean clothes in as little as 30 minutes. However, with a quick wash, you don’t always get the time you need. Heavily soiled or wool items might require a soak beforehand, meaning that a longer wash time is a must.

Use your quick wash cycle if you need something last-minute, but make sure not to put everything into your drum with it. Keep any items that need some extra attention, including your favourite jeans with the stain on, to the side to be treated properly.

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Clean cycle

The one washing machine cycle you should be using, but you might forget, is the clean cycle. This cycle takes only a couple of seconds to get running and will guarantee a cleaner and better working washing machine.

One easily forgotten cycle that you should be using once a month is the clean cycle. This helps to keep your washing machine working its best, keeping your clothes clean and the drum smelling better.

“Empty your drum, add a cap of vinegar to your drawer, and run your clean cycle. This will take your machine through a hot cycle, which can help remove limescale and grime build-up that you might not be aware of. Make sure you’re regularly cleaning around the door, drum, and even your drainage point at the bottom.

Whether you’re doing laundry once a day or once a week, we’ve all quickly closed the door and used the previous cycle, even when it isn’t the right choice. But by spending those extra seconds finding the right cycle and settings for you, you could be saving time drying and ironing your laundry – making it a quicker, and better, experience overall.

Top photo by Nick Page on Unsplash