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How to choose laundry cycles

Get the right clothing care for every fabric

Take the guesswork out of caring for clothes with our guide to washer and dryer settings. If you’ve ever wondered when and how to wash different fabric types, keep reading.

Since cycles may vary across appliances — even between front load and top load washers from the same brand — be sure to check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations.  

Models shown: WTW7500GC & WED7500GC

Clothing care for washers and dryers

How to choose washing machine settings and dryer cycles

Choosing the right cycle starts with how you sort clothes. Sort by fabric type first. If you’re worried about colors bleeding from newer items or using different additives in the wash cycle (for instance, bleach with whites or brighteners with colors), further sort laundry by color. 

Cotton and linen settings

Cotton and linen clothing

Washing machine settings: Normal
Dryer settings: Normal, Cottons or Less Dry

Bright and dark colors

Washing machine settings: Colors, Darks or Cold Water Wash
Dryer settings: Colors or Darks

Whites

Washing machine settings: Whites
Dryer settings: Whites

Care Tip: The Whites cycle will dispense liquid chlorine bleach at the right time.

Denim and jeans clothing care

Denim and jeans

Washing machine settings: Normal, Darks or Heavy Duty
Dryer settings: Jeans, More Dry or Very Dry

Care Tip: Wash your favorite pair of jeans on the Normal or Darks cycle. For denim work clothes that need extra help getting clean, turn to the Heavy Duty cycle.

No-iron and synthetic washing machine settings

Dress clothes with no-iron or synthetic fabrics

Washing machine settings: Wrinkle Control, Permanent Press or Casuals
Dryer settings: Wrinkle Control, Permanent Press, Casuals or Less Dry

Hand wash cycle

Sweaters and wool

Washing machine settings: Delicate, Hand Wash or Gentle
Dryer settings: Delicate or Less Dry

Care Tip: Prefer to dry without heat? Choose a No Heat, Fluff Air or Air Only cycle.

Use the delicate cycle to dry athletic wear

Athletic wear

Washing machine settings: Casuals, Permanent Press or Wrinkle Control
Dryer settings: Delicate or Less Dry

The delicate cycle is the right setting whether you’re washing or drying.

Delicates, machine washable silk and lace

Washing machine settings: Delicate, Hand Wash or Gentle
Dryer settings: Delicate or Less Dry

Washing with hot water

Coats and jackets

Washing machine settings: Bedding, Sheets or Bulky
Dryer settings: Bedding, Sheets, Bulky, Heavy Duty or Heavy Dry

Care Tip: Heavier items require higher temperatures to dry.

Use specialized laundry settings for bedding.

Bedding

Washing machine settings: Bedding, Sheets or Bulky
Dryer settings: Bedding, Sheets, Bulky, Heavy Duty or Heavy Dry

Care Tip: These cycles use wash action designed to help keep large items from tangling or balling up.

Clothing care for towels

Towels

Washing machine settings: Heavy Duty or Towels
Dryer settings: Towels, More Dry, Very Dry, Heavy Dry or Heavy Duty

Care Tip: Refrain from adding fabric softener to loads of towels, as it makes them less absorbent.

Looking for more customizable laundry cycles?

Consider washers and dryers with Intuitive Touch Controls. The unique design makes it easy to choose the right settings for each load — just select “what” and “how” you want to wash or dry. See our full lineup of washers and dryers designed to help you keep up with everyday messes.