Close up of control panel and knob for washing machine cycles

Washing Machine Cycles

The normal wash cycle is a go-to for day-to-day loads. But when different stains and fabric types pile up in the laundry basket, you need a wash cycle that goes beyond the norm—like a heavy duty cycle engineered for extra dirty items or a delicate cycle designed for gentle cleaning and reduced wrinkling. Most wash cycles take about 1–2 hours to complete, but specific wash times vary by model and cycle setting. 

Before washing, check your owner’s manual for specific cycle info and use and care instructions. Always check your clothing's care tag for specific requirements like dry cleaning.

Finger pressing extra power button on washing cycle control panel Finger pressing extra power button on washing cycle control panel
Normal Wash Cycle Icon Normal Wash Cycle Icon

Normal Wash Cycle

When To Use

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

How It Works

Combines high spin speeds and warm water. This cycle is designed to provide the most energy efficiency.

Water Temperature

Warm

Cycle Time

About 50 minutes to 1 hour

User adding towels to front load washing machine User adding towels to front load washing machine
Whites Cycle Icon Whites Cycle Icon

Whites Cycle

When To Use

For heavily soiled white fabrics and garments. Add chlorine bleach when washing white cotton, synthetics or other bleach-safe fabrics.

How It Works

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

Water Temperature

Very Warm/Hot

Cycle Time

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

Water splashing in washing machine drum Water splashing in washing machine drum
Cold Water Wash Icon Cold Water Wash Icon

Cold Water Wash

When To Use

Washing bright or darkly colored cotton, linens, casual items, mixed loads or clothes with cold water stains. Find out which stains need cold water with this quick guide.

How It Works

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

Water Temperature

Cold

Cycle Time

About 50 minutes to 1-1/2 hours

User adding clothing to top load dryer User adding clothing to top load dryer
Delicate Cycle Icon Delicate Cycle Icon

Delicate Cycle

When To Use

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

How It Works

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

Water Temperature

Cold

Cycle Time

About 45 minutes to 1-1/4 hours

Blue and purple clothing items spinning in water in washing machine drum Blue and purple clothing items spinning in water in washing machine drum
Rinse & Spin Cycle Icon Rinse & Spin Cycle Icon

Rinse & Spin Cycle

When To Use

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

How It Works

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

Water Temperature

Varies

Cycle Time

About 15 to 20 minutes

Close up of control panel knob set on Quick Wash cycle Close up of control panel knob set on Quick Wash cycle
Quick Wash Cycle Icon Quick Wash Cycle Icon

Quick Wash Cycle

When To Use

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

How It Works

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

Water Temperature

Warm

Cycle Time

About 15 to 40 minutes

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

Permanent Press Cycle

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.

How It Works

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.

Water Temperature

Warm

Cycle Time

About 50 minutes to 1-1/4 hours

User adding towels to top load washing machine User adding towels to top load washing machine
Heavy Duty Cycle Icon Heavy Duty Cycle Icon

Heavy Duty Wash Cycle

When To Use

For sturdy, extra-dirty loads that need intense cleaning. Use the PowerWash® cycle on select Maytag® washing machines to help remove everyday tough stains in a single wash by using a combination of extra wash action and heated water. Or, on select Maytag® top load washers, press the Extra Power button during the Heavy Duty cycle to boost stain fighting and get the powerful cleaning you depend on.

How It Works

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

Water Temperature

Very Warm/Hot

Cycle Time

About 1 to 2-1/4 hours

User pressing button on white top load washing machine User pressing button on white top load washing machine
Bedding Wash Cycle Icon Bedding Wash Cycle Icon

Bedding Wash Cycle

When To Use

Washing large items like sheets, sleeping bags, small comforters, jackets and small rugs.

How It Works

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

Water Temperature

Warm

Cycle Time

About 50 minutes to 2 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 Icon

Sanitize Wash Cycle

When To Use

For clothes, bedding and towels that require sanitization.

How It Works

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.

Water Temperature

Hot/Extra Hot

Cycle Time

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

Close up of knob turned to “auto sensing” on control panel of washing cycles Close up of knob turned to “auto sensing” on control panel of washing cycles
Deep Water Wash Cycle Icon Deep Water Wash Cycle Icon

Deep Water Wash Cycle

When To Use

For heavily soiled casual and mixed loads. Items could include towels, jeans and sturdy fabrics. This is only available on top load washers.

How It Works

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

Water Temperature

Warm

Cycle Time

About 1 to 1-1/4 hours

Side-by-side washing machine and dryer in white on pedestals Side-by-side washing machine and dryer in white on pedestals
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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.