When you look at washers today you'll find many different cycles and options to wash your clothes. Why do we need so many cycles? Because today there are many fabric types, and by washing them in the correct cycle, your clothes will look newer longer.
Washer cycles today take all the guess work out of doing laundry. In the past, you needed to select the size of the load being washed, and depending on the type of fabrics, you would choose the agitation speed and the final spin speed, and, lastly, you needed to select the wash and rinse temperatures. Today's machines are smart. You select the type of fabrics being washed, and your washer will make all the proper adjustments. Of course, you can always customize these settings if you wish.
A normal cycle is typically used for soiled, dirty, and sweaty clothes, like jeans, towels, and bedding items. The permanent press cycle will prevent a good amount of wrinkling. This mode is great for synthetic fabrics, reducing not only wrinkling, but, also, pilling. The delicate cycle is great for garments that have appliques or sequins, lingerie, and extremely sheer fabrics, like pantyhose or loosely woven items. The delicate cycle is designed to be less abrasive, using less agitation, so while it provides less wear and tear on your clothes, it, also, decreases the level of clean in some instances.
Many washing machines today offer a large selection of specialty cycles, everything from whitest whites, to steam clean, to sanitary cycles. The difference of most of these cycles is some cycles offer a pre-soak. Some cycles offer a longer agitation time, and some cycles offer a predetermined time during the wash cycle to add laundry boosters, like bleach. A steam cycle uses steam at pre-programmed times to combat stains. Steam boosts the temperature inside the washer drum, causing fibers to relax and more efficiently absorb water, releasing the deep down dirt and stains. Detergent dissolves quickly and works better in higher temperatures, which will, also, kill bacteria. A sanitary cycle uses the washer's internal heater to boost the water temperature up to a hundred and fifty degrees. Steam and the higher water temperature is typically used to sanitize clothes. This combination is helpful in getting rid of built up grime, washing cloth diapers, or washing heavily soiled work clothes.
In selecting a washer today, look for a washer that has the cycles that best fits your lifestyle.