When you consider the number of steps to wash clothes, from collecting dirty laundry and running the wash cycle to drying and folding, it's understandable why you might think laundry eats up a big part of your day. But in reality, washing clothes doesn't need to take as long.
So, how long does laundry take? It depends on a few factors, such as the type of fabric and the washing method you choose. Generally speaking, an average load of laundry can take anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour to complete, including the spin cycle.
Below, we discuss some methods to reduce laundry time and make this chore less of a marathon and more of a sprint.
On Average, How Long Does It Take To Do Laundry?
If you ask us how long a washer cycle is, we'd say it depends on the machine settings. It may take just 30 minutes on some settings. On others, it could run for 50 to 60 minutes or even a few hours.
However, when you wash clothes, you don't just throw them in a washing machine and call it a day. There are some other steps too, and they all take time.
Here's a list of the main steps of the laundry process and the average time they take:
If you have a laundry chute in your house, you're a lucky one. Everyone can simply toss their dirty clothes into it, and you don't have to go from room to room collecting them.
For the rest of us, this task can easily take 15 minutes or more. During this prep step, you may also have to sort clothes, pretreat stains, get laundry detergent, check pockets for forgotten items, and remove lint from the dryer filter.
Washing and Drying
A front load washer runs for about 60 to 80 minutes on the normal cycle. However, if you pack the clothes tightly or there are too many suds, the front loader may take more time to complete the cycle.
A top loader also takes the same time, but you may have to run it longer for dirty items. Here's how the cycle duration differs for different settings:
Quick Wash: 15 minutes to 1 hour
Cotton Cycle: 1.5 hours to 4 hours
Synthetic Cycle: 2.5 hours to 3 hours
Delicates Cycle: 45 minutes to 1.5 hours
Temperature Cycle: Varies depending on your water heater
Washing machines also have a spin cycle to remove excess water from clothes before you transfer them to the dryer. It usually takes around 3 minutes but may range from 2 to 12 minutes. If your clothes are still dripping wet after the cycle completes, you may need to run the spin cycle on your washer again.
Now, let's move on to drying. A typical dryer cycle takes 45 minutes, but you may have to run it longer for bulky items. For instance, delicate cycles take about 15 minutes, whereas bulky items like a towel or bedding take two hours or more to dry fully.
You can also air dry clothes by laying them flat or hanging them on a rack. The method takes longer, but it's gentler on fabrics and doesn't use any electricity.
An average load of laundry takes roughly 20 minutes to fold. However, the duration can differ based on the number of people you're folding clothes for and your speed.
Like folding, putting clothes away also takes about 20 minutes. Depending on the person, it can range from 5 to 30 minutes, but on average, it is a quick task.
How Long Are Wash Cycles?
Some common wash cycles for washers include normal, heavy-duty, delicates, bedding, and standard. They all have different durations, which can affect the time it takes for you to do laundry.
Here's how long these cycles take:
- Quick Wash: A speed cycle or quick wash cycle takes 15 to 30 minutes. Use this cycle for lightly soiled clothes or in a pinch when you need clean clothes quickly.
Standard or Normal: A regular wash cycle takes 40 to 90 minutes, depending on your washing machine and its capacity. It's the most commonly used cycle and is suitable for everyday laundry.
Permanent Press: Think of it like an at-home dry cleaning, but for clothes that wrinkle easily. It lasts roughly 50 minutes and retains the color of dark-colored fabrics for the long term.
Delicates: The delicate wash cycle takes 35 minutes in most washing machines. You can use it for delicate fabrics like silk and lace.
Heavy Duty: A heavy-duty wash cycle is for heavily soiled clothes and can last from 60 to 120 minutes, with an average of 90 minutes.
Rinse and Spin: Taking 25 minutes, the cycle is ideal if you want to rinse and spin out excess water from your clothes.
Bedding: To clean bulky bedding items like comforters and blankets, this setting can take about 90 minutes to 3 hours.
Spin: Use the spin cycle if your clothes are still wet after the wash. It takes around 10 minutes.
Alternatively, if you hand wash clothes, the time it takes will depend on your technique. The steps are still the same: soaking, scrubbing, rinsing, and drying. It can take you 5 to 20 minutes per garment, depending on the fabric and level of dirt.
How Long Does The Drying Process Take?
We've already established that a dryer cycle takes ~45 minutes. But this duration may be longer or shorter, depending on the type of drying cycle. Here are a few standard ones:
Quick Dry or Manual Dry: Usually, the quick dry setting takes between 15 and 30 minutes. As the name implies, you choose the drying time yourself with manual dry.
Standard Dry: As discussed earlier, it takes 45 minutes.
Permanent Press: Its duration is 45 minutes to an hour. The permanent press cycle is ideal for synthetic clothing.
Delicates: The delicate drying cycle takes 15 to 20 minutes.
Heavy-Duty: You'll have to wait for 90 minutes for this one to end. It's because those jeans and jackets need a little more time to dry.
Line Dry: You can also let your clothes dry on a line. Typically, this takes a few hours, depending on the weather conditions and humidity level.
The Key to Speeding the Laundry Process
If you don't want to spend all day washing clothes, these tips will help you speed up the process:
Pre-sort Laundry: You know it's laundry day today. So, you should pre-sort your laundry the night before. Put the laundry bag by the washer for easy access the next morning. Also, put your supplies, like the detergent and fabric softener, on top of the washer. If you are going to a laundromat, the same prep rules apply.
Select the Right Cycle: Don't just select the standard drying cycle and be done with it. Choose the one that's ideal for the fabric type. For example, delicates don't need to be in the washing machine for 45 minutes.
Don't Let It Pile Up: The more laundry you have to do, the longer it will take. Try to wash smaller loads more frequently instead of waiting for a mountain to grow that will overwhelm your appliances.
Multitask: You don't have to sit and stare at your washer while it's running. Use that time to get something else done, like folding clothes from a previous load or doing the dishes.
Alternatively, you can send your clothes to a professional laundering service like Rinse. First, it saves you a ton of time you can spend on other important things. Second, outsourcing your chores lets you relax. Third, professionals know what they're doing, so you can rest easy knowing your clothes will come back clean and fresh.
Contact us at Rinse today to see our skill in action.