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How Long Does It Take to Wash Clothes? It Depends

How long does it typically take to wash and dry your clothes? Is there a way to do your laundry faster? Get your answers here.

Don’t feel bad if laundry isn’t your favourite chore — you’re not alone. At times, it seems to drag on all day and feels so tedious that the pile of clothes just doesn’t seem to get any smaller, even if it only takes an hour. If you think this way, let’s talk about some things you might wonder about doing laundry and, more specifically, how long a wash cycle typically lasts.

When Does a Standard Wash Cycle Finish?

Normal cycle: Typically 50 minutes to 1 hour

Are you wondering, “How long does a washing machine take to wash clothes?” It’s typical for a normal wash cycle to take anywhere from 50 minutes to one hour, depending on load size and cycle options. Let’s quickly emphasize the importance of choosing the proper washer cycle while we’re on this topic. Sometimes, tightly packed clothes, unbalanced loads, and excessive suds can cause you to wait a little bit longer for the cycle to end. There are some washers that account for this by offering an estimated completion time.

How Long Does a Quick Wash Cycle Take

Quick Wash cycle: Generally 15 to 40 minutes

Some washers let you toss in small, lightly soiled loads for about 15 to 40 minutes and get a speedy clean in that time. This is the Quick Wash cycle, and it’s best with clothing you need right away.

When Does a Heavy Duty Wash Cycle Finish?

Heavy Duty cycle: Commonly anywhere from 1 to over 2 hours
A heavy duty wash cycle takes a bit longer than the others, with a finish time that can extend to a little over two hours. Since a heavy duty cycle is typically for a heavily soiled wardrobe, you can expect to spend more time than usual waiting for your clothes to finish washing.

How Much Time Does a Delicate Wash Cycle Take to Finish?

Delicate cycle: Often 45 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes
When it comes to the lighter fabrics like lingerie, sweaters, blouses, pants — essentially, anything with a “gentle” recommendation — you’ll want to pop them in the washer on the “delicate” cycle, which can take up to an hour and 20 minutes since the washing of the clothing is gentler and slower than the normal cycle.

How Much Time does a Sanitize Wash Cycle Take?

Sanitize cycle: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours

A sanitize cycle involves submerging your clothing in sweltering hot temperatures for an extended period to kill bacteria. This cycle can also be quite long, potentially up to two hours. An effective washer, such as a Whirlpool® washer with a Sanitize cycle in combination with a laundry detergent containing Oxi, is capable of eliminating 99.9% of common household bacteria ¹.

When Will Your Clothes Fully Wash and Dry?

Since a drying cycle can be around 45 minutes, your total time in the laundry room in a day may easily exceed an hour. However, drying delicates may take only about 15 minutes, while drying heavy-duty towels can take up to three hours. The level of dampness and the washer rinse temperature will both play a part in how long it takes your clothes to dry.

With all that said, you can count on the entire washing and drying process to take anywhere from about just under one hour to as long as five hours. For example, if you’re quick-washing some delicates, you may have your clothes ready to go in less than an hour. On the other hand, if you’re sanitizing some heavy duty or filthy items, expect your appliances to spend some time working at them.
¹ Bacteria tested: K.pneumoniae, P.aeruginosa, S.aureus
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