A closeup of Maytag® washing machine cycles and settings

WASHING MACHINE CYCLES AND SETTINGS EXPLAINED

Whether you need a normal wash for everyday clothes, a specific cycle for colors or fabrics, or a power boost for tough stains, understanding washer settings and cycles can help you get the right clean for the fabric type and soil level of your laundry. 

Read on to discover how to choose a wash setting, along with washing machine cycle times. Make sure to refer to your model-specific owner’s manual for more information on selecting washer cycles. Always check clothing care tags for instructions before choosing washing machine settings.

Washer cycles graphic with quick descriptions of cycle functions Washer cycles graphic with quick descriptions of cycle functions
Normal Wash Cycle Icon

NORMAL WASH CYCLE

Combines high spin speeds and warm water.

WHEN TO USE

For normally soiled cottons, linens, sheets and mixed garment loads.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Warm

CYCLE TIME

About 50 minutes to 1 hour

Learn more about auto sensing on washing machines.

A person adding laundry items to a Maytag® dryer in modern laundry room A person adding laundry items to a Maytag® dryer in modern laundry room
Whites Wash Cycle Icon

WHITES WASH CYCLE

Uses a longer wash time with extra rinsing, and an extra-fast-speed spin to help provide optimal cleaning and rinsing when bleach is used.

WHEN TO USE

For heavily-soiled white fabrics and garments. You can also add chlorine bleach when washing white cotton, synthetics or other bleach-safe fabrics, if it is safe for your washer.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Very Warm/Hot

CYCLE TIME

About 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours and 50 minutes

A closeup of clothing washing in a washer tub A closeup of clothing washing in a washer tub
Colors Wash Cycle Icon

COLORS WASH CYCLE

Combines cool water with a high spin speed.

WHEN TO USE

For heavily-soiled bright- and dark-colored mixed laundry loads with items such as activewear and jeans. 

WATER TEMPERATURE

Cool

CYCLE TIME

About 55 minutes to 1-1/4 hours

Delicate Wash Cycle Icon

DELICATE WASH CYCLE

Combines gentle wash action and low-speed spin for gentle cleaning and reduced wrinkling.

WHEN TO USE

For lightly soiled sheer fabrics, lingerie, sweaters, blouses, pants or anything recommending a “gentle” cycle on the tag.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Cold

CYCLE TIME

About 45 minutes to 1-1/4 hours

Water splashing in a Maytag® washing machine drum Water splashing in a Maytag® washing machine drum
Cold Water Wash Cycle Icon

COLD WATER WASH

Uses cold water with additional wash action to help gently lift stains.

WHEN TO USE

For washing bright or darkly colored cotton, linens, casual items, mixed loads or clothes with cold water stains.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Cold

CYCLE TIME

About 50 minutes to 1-1/2 hours

A closeup of laundry items spinning in water in a Maytag® washing machine drum A closeup of laundry items spinning in water in a Maytag® washing machine drum
Rinse & Spin Wash Cycle Icon

RINSE & SPIN CYCLE

Combines a rinse and high-speed spin. Use on its own or add to loads needing an extra rinse.

WHEN TO USE

For items that need a rinse without detergent, such as swimwear.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Varies

CYCLE TIME

About 15 to 20 minutes

A closeup of the Quick Wash setting on a Maytag® washer A closeup of the Quick Wash setting on a Maytag® washer
Quick Wash Cycle Icon

QUICK WASH CYCLE

Combines high-speed tumbling, a shortened wash time and an extra-high-speed spin for reduced drying times.

WHEN TO USE

For small loads of 2-4 lightly soiled garments that need to be cleaned quickly.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Warm

CYCLE TIME

About 15 to 40 minutes

Maytag® stainless steel top load washing machine against a black background Maytag® stainless steel top load washing machine against a black background
Permanent Press Wash Cycle Icon

PERMANENT PRESS CYCLE

Uses warm water and slower spin cycles to release existing wrinkles and help prevent new ones from setting. Some washers have wrinkle prevention cycles that function in a similar way to permanent press, like the Wrinkle Control option by Maytag brand.

WHEN TO USE

Used for washing fabrics that wrinkle easily like dresses and professional clothing. This setting also works well with fabrics designed to be wrinkle-free. Look for the permanent press symbol (above) on your item’s care tag.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Warm

CYCLE TIME

About 50 minutes to 1-1/4 hours

A person adding laundry items to a Maytag® top load washer in a modern laundry room A person adding laundry items to a Maytag® top load washer in a modern laundry room
Wrinkle Control Wash Cycle Icon

WRINKLE CONTROL CYCLE

Reduces wrinkles with warm water and low spin speeds. During a Wrinkle Control cycle, warm water helps keep fabrics from relaxing and creasing during spins, while lower speeds help minimize tangling and decrease the force of clothes as they rub against the basket walls.

WHEN TO USE

For no-iron fabrics and professional clothes such as button-up shirts, blouses, trousers, pants and dresses.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Warm

CYCLE TIME

About 50 minutes to 1-1/4 hours

Colored clothing items spinning in water around agitator inside washing machine Colored clothing items spinning in water around agitator inside washing machine
Sanitize Wash Cycle Icon

SANITIZE WASH CYCLE

Uses hot or extra-hot water to help kill the most common bacteria found in laundry. Some sanitize cycles require the use of an Oxi product in the Oxi dispenser of the washer.

WHEN TO USE

For clothes, bedding and towels that require sanitization.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Hot/Extra Hot

CYCLE TIME

About 1-1/2 hours to 1 hour and 50 minutes

A person adding towels to a Maytag® top load washer A person adding towels to a Maytag® top load washer
Heavy Duty Wash Cycle Icon

HEAVY DUTY WASH CYCLE

Combines extra wash action, heated water and high spin speeds for a deep clean.

WHEN TO USE

For sturdy, extra-dirty loads that need intense cleaning. On select Maytag® top load washers, you can use the Extra Power button during the Heavy Duty cycle, or any cycle you choose, to boost stain-fighting performance with a dual-temperature wash.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Very Warm/Hot

CYCLE TIME

About 1 to 2-1/4 hours

A closeup of the Extra Power button on a Maytag® washer A closeup of the Extra Power button on a Maytag® washer
Extra Power Setting Icon

EXTRA POWER SETTING

Combines increased time with a vigorous wash motion. Extra Power boosts stain-fighting performance on any wash cycle with an intense pre-wash and extra agitation.

WHEN TO USE

Use when you need to add stain-fighting power to any laundry load.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Varies

CYCLE TIME

Varies

A closeup of a knob turned to “auto sensing” on a control panel of a Maytag® washer A closeup of a knob turned to “auto sensing” on a control panel of a Maytag® washer
Deep Water Wash Cycle Icon

DEEP WATER WASH CYCLE

Additional water works with robust wash action to effectively break down and rinse away everyday tough messes. For more water when you want it, the Deep Fill option fills the wash basket with your choice of deeper water levels.2 This option is only available on top load washers.

WHEN TO USE

For heavily soiled casual and mixed loads. Items could include towels, jeans and sturdy fabrics.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Warm

CYCLE TIME

About 1 to 1-1/4 hours

A person selecting a wash cycle on a Maytag® top load washer in a modern laundry room A person selecting a wash cycle on a Maytag® top load washer in modern laundry room
Bedding Wash Cycle Icon

BEDDING WASH CYCLE

Fills the washer with enough water to wet down the load. Some washers fill with higher water levels than other cycles.

WHEN TO USE

For washing large items like sheets, pillows, sleeping bags, small comforters, jackets and small rugs.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Warm

CYCLE TIME

About 50 minutes to 2 hours

A closeup of a person adding laundry items to a Maytag® top load washer A closeup of a person adding laundry items to a Maytag® top load washer
Towels Wash Cycle Icon

TOWELS WASH CYCLE

Uses a higher default water level that provides additional water and alternating wash action.

WHEN TO USE

For heavily-soiled towels, jeans, mixed loads and sturdy fabrics.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Warm

CYCLE TIME

About 65 minutes to 2 hours

A Maytag® side-by-side top load washer and dryer in a modern laundry room A Maytag® side-by-side top load washer and dryer in a modern laundry room

SHOP MAYTAG® WASHING MACHINES

With a Maytag® washing machine you can tackle your laundry messes with features on select models like Extra Power and the Sanitize cycle. Backed by a 10-year limited parts warranty, Maytag brand washing machines are built to last.3

DISCOVER MORE FROM MAYTAG BRAND

Was this article helpful? Pass it on

1. Models with Extra Power option: MVW8230H, MVW7230H. Based on cleaning score of 18-lb load, among leading top load brands, 5.0–5.4 cu. ft. capacity agitator washers; models MVW6230H & MVW6230RH based on 16-lb load, among leading top load brands, 4.5–4.9 cu. ft. capacity agitator washers; model MVW7232H based on 18-lb load, among leading top load brands, 5.0–5.4 cu. ft. capacity impeller washers. All models with Heavy Duty cycle plus Extra Power vs. comparable cycles and options.

2. Bulky Items cycle only available with deepest water level.

3. See product warranty for details.