Washing machine settings and laundry detergents.

Helpful guide on washing machine programs

Modern washing machines have a large range of different wash programs. However, the important questions are - which wash program should I use? Which laundry detergent should I use?

In the following article we will show you the different types of washing machine programs and explain when to use them. We will also give you some helpful tips and advice on laundry detergents. There are so many laundry detergents to choose from nowadays such as: liquid, powder, coloured laundry detergent or fabric softener. This can all seem a bit overwhelming, but our helpful guide will tell which laundry detergents you need to use.

Washing machine programs

Washing machines are a great invention as they help us to clean and look after our clothes. Newer models have a variety of wash programs that can be used on different materials. The question is which washing machine program should you use?


In general, each wash program is broken down into three stages. Firstly, the washing will be washed, then rinsed and finally spun. The only differences between the individual wash programs are the duration, the temperature, the recommended amount of washing and the washing machine spin speed.

Standard washing machine wash programs

Regardless of the manufacturer some wash programs are standard on all washing machines. These types of programs are known as standard wash programs.


If items of clothing are particularly dirty it is recommended to put the clothes on a pre-wash. This wash program will soak your clothes to help remove any stubborn stains. When using the pre-wash mode make sure to use less laundry detergent in comparison to what you would normally use on a full wash.

Wash program for colours

This type of wash program is recommended for coloured fabrics. To stop the fabrics from fading you should wash them at a maximum temperature of 60°C.

Washing at a high temperature

This wash program is commonly used for heat resistant fabrics such as cotton. The high temperatures will help to kill most of the germs or bacteria on your clothes and the temperatures can go up to 95°C. This setting also helps to whiten white fabrics. This wash program is ideal for baby clothes, towels, bed linen and work clothes.

Wash program for synthetics

This refers to synthetic fibres, such as nylon or polyester as well as mixed fabrics. This wash program washes up to a maximum temperature of 60°C and it is suitable for dirty or stained blouses and shirts made out of synthetic fibres. Make sure to only half fill the washing machine drum so that your clothes don’t become creased. It is also important to check that the rpm number is very low.

Wash program for delicates

This wash program is particularly suited to delicate materials such as silk, satin or lace. It washes the fabrics at a lower temperature with plenty of water and at a low speed to protect the fibres. These types of materials should not be washed above 40°C. Therefore, you should only put a couple of items of clothing into the washing machine.

Handwashing and wash programs for wool

Make sure to check the care label before putting your favourite woolly jumper in the washing machine. Most items of clothing made out of wool can be washed in the washing machine without any problems. It’s important to choose a delicates wash program with a low temperature and a low spin speed. Some washing machines do not have a special wool program, however, a handwash program can also be used. On some washing machines these two wash programs are also linked. When washing make sure that the washing machine isn’t too full and wash at a maximum temperature of 30°C and choose the lowest low spin speed possible.

The different wash programs: an eco cycle is an energy-saving wash program.

Eco cycle

An eco cycle is more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. In comparison to other wash programs the eco wash cycle usually lasts longer because the washing machine uses less energy to heat the water to the required temperature.

Special wash programs

The standard wash programs are available on all washing machines, however, there are a number of other programs, which can help to make washing easier. These special programs are not necessarily available on all washing machine models.


When you select this option the washing machine will spin your washing again. You can always use this option if you want to help your laundry dry quicker and it isn’t prone to creasing.

Gentle spin

When you select this option your washing will be spun again and this is the same as a normal spin cycle. However, this spin cycle is a bit gentler as the washing drum rotates at a lower speed. This option is ideal for wool.

Drain and spin

Before selecting a spin cycle make sure to remove anything made out of a delicate material such as wool or silk. The "drain" option pumps the excess water out of the washing machine.

Quick wash

This wash program is ideal for quickly washing clothes, which don’t have a lot of stubborn stains.

Some washing machine models have other special programs, which can be used for shirts, sportswear or for outdoor clothing and for curtains.


Have a look through the manual for your washing machine to find out more about the different wash programs and how full you can load the washing machine drum.

The different types of laundry detergents

To make your clothes longer lasting it is important to choose the correct wash program and a suitable laundry detergent depending on what you are going to be washing. Below we will explain the different types of laundry detergents and when to use them.

Washing powder or liquid detergent?: liquid detergent in a pod.

Washing powder or liquid detergent?

There are three different types of laundry detergents: washing powder, liquid detergent and pre-dosed laundry detergent in a tab or capsule, which are usually referred to as capsules and pods. Choosing what laundry detergent to use is always a personal preference.

Liquid detergents are easier to measure out and they also usually leave no residue on clothes. Therefore, liquid detergents are great for washing any dark coloured fabrics. They are also not as good at removing tough stains because they do not contain any bleaching agents, which is why stains such as tea and coffee are usually more difficult to remove.

Washing powder is more environmentally friendly as it is does not contain any preservatives, which is not only great for the environment but also for people with allergies. The bleach in washing powder will help to keep your whites looking clean and white. However, always make sure to not use too much washing powder as it can leave marks and streaks on your clothes. Therefore, it is recommended to regularly clean the washing machine drawer.

The different types of laundry detergents and their use

Not only is it important to choose the correct laundry detergent, but it is also important to check if it can be used on certain materials. There are all-in-one laundry detergents, delicate laundry detergents, colour laundry detergents and special laundry detergents. Deciding on which laundry detergentto use, depends on the type of stains and how dirty something is and whether it is made out of a delicate material. By choosing the correct laundry detergent you can remove stubborn stains.

All-in-one laundry detergent

An all-in-one laundry detergent should only be used on non-delicate fabrics including cotton. This type of laundry detergent is a standard laundry detergent that can be used for washing at different temperatures and for removing stains. Therefore, this type of laundry detergent is recommended for everyday use at home. However, it does contain bleach, therefore, you shouldn’t use it on light or dark coloured fabrics.

Colour laundry detergent

A colour laundry detergent is an all-rounder and great for everyday use. This type of laundry detergent does not contain bleaching agents or optical brighteners, which makes it ideal for washing coloured clothes and fabrics. In addition, you can wash up to 60°C with a colour laundry detergent.

Laundry detergent for delicates

For delicate items of clothing it is recommended to wash at a low temperature and to use a laundry detergent for delicates. Laundry detergent for delicates produces a finer foam that is gentler on the fibres. Delicates should not be washed at any higher than 40°C.

Special laundry detergents

This category includes all detergents that have been developed specifically for certain materials. For example, there are special laundry detergents for wool, down or sportswear.

Using the right type of laundry detergent: laundry detergents for different types of washing.

When should you use fabric softener?

In addition to all the different types of laundry detergents, there are also fabric softeners. Fabric softener is used to help stop your clothes from becoming too stiff or feeling rough. This always happens after your clothes have dried and they become stiff. Fabric softener ensures that the fibres remain soft. The ingredients from fabric softener wrap themselves around the fibres in the material and then change their properties, which keeps them feeling soft.

You don’t always need to use fabric softener. If you use fabric softener on towels they will become very soft, however, they will lose their absorbency. In addition, you shouldn’t use fabric softener on the following materials: wool, down or fleece because it can damage the properties in the material. It is advised to only use fabric softener sparingly in order to protect the environment. For most materials you won’t need to use fabric softener.

Conclusion: choosing the correct laundry detergent and wash program

Each washing machine is different and there are variety of wash programs available. Standard wash programs are ideal for everyday laundry and specialised wash programs are ideal for washing delicates or certain materials. In addition, depending on what you intend to wash always make sure to not overfill the washing machine drum. Washing some materials at high temperatures will not damage them, however, for example wool should be washed separately and never at a high temperature. Make sure to always check the laundry detergent and its intended use. For example, an all-in-one laundry detergent is not suitable for coloured fabrics because it contains bleach.

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