How Long Will A 90 Degree Wash Take? (here’s what you need to know)

Depending on the make and model machine you own, a 90 degree C wash can take anywhere between 2.5 to 3 hours. 

On all washing machines the 2 hot washes (60 degrees C & 90 degrees C) will be the longest of all washes, with the exception of the eco wash which can be over 4 hours in some cases.

Why Is The 90 Degree Wash Cycle So Long?

In the past 10 years or so we’ve noticed that all wash cycles have started to be longer as new washing machines are developed. The reason for this is that as technology advances, all modern washing machines use water more efficiently.

This might be frustrating especially if you just want your laundry done as soon as possible. But, it does mean that your clothes leave the drum super clean and it’s better for the environment (and your bank balance).

Plus if you’re really in a hurry there’s always the quick wash. Unfortunately the quick wash won’t remove germs and bacteria like the 90 degree C wash can.

The 90 degree C wash cycle takes such a long time to ensure that all of the germs and bacteria have been eliminated. It is also great for removing stains and dirt from heavily soiled garments.


Can You Wash Everything Using The 90 Degree Wash Cycle?

You should always check the wash care labels in your laundry to ensure it is safe to wash them using the hottest wash cycle. There are many items that are likely to shrink or become damaged in a 90 degree C wash.

The 90 degree C wash cycle is great for removing stubborn stains, getting whites bright and sanitising socks, underwear and towels. However, you should only wash 100% cotton clothes in a 90 degree C wash because this is really the only fabric robust enough to withstand such a high temperature.

Even denim, which we think of as a tough, hard wearing fabric would shrink at 90 degrees and should be washed at 40 degrees C to preserve its longevity and keep it looking good.

What About Cotton Sheets & Bedding?

You shouldn’t wash cotton sheets or cotton bedding at a temperature any higher than 60 C.    This is also true of baby clothes, underwear and towels. In fact coloured towels should be washed at no higher than 40 C to prevent the colours from running.

White towels will be fine at 60 C but should not be washed at any temperature above 60 C. The only exception to this is 100% Egyptian cotton white towels, these can withstand the 90 degree C temperature.

So, What Is The 90 degree C Wash Cycle For?

90 Degree Wash Cycle

The 90 degree C wash cycle is one of those wash cycles that isn’t used for much at all. It’s a great cycle for deep cleaning the washing machine and is often used as a service or maintenance wash.

The high temperatures ensure the removal of germs and bacteria which keeps your clothes relatively bacteria free.

It is also used to remove stubborn ingrained stains on 100% cotton garments, However, you should always check that the garments you’re washing can withstand such a high temperature cycle. 

If you decide to use the 90 degree C wash cycle on your washing machine, be prepared for a long wait because these hot wash programmes run for the longest time. You can expect anywhere between two and half to three hours or even longer in some cases.

Is There Any Way To Speed Up The 90 C Wash Cycle?

One tip that might be helpful to those who have modern washing machines that feature KG mode (sensors that weigh your load and determine the duration of your wash cycle) will benefit from not overloading your washer when doing a 90 C wash.

This is because it’ll take even longer to complete as there’s more items to clean.

So if there’s anything you can remove from this load and put into a separate wash later down the line that’s not as hot, that’ll really speed up the process.

Consider The Delay Start Feature If Timing Is A Concern

If your concern about the length of time a 90 C wash is going to take is due to it not fitting around your other activities during the day, the delay start feature can be a real god-send.

This will allow you to get the wash cycle ready now, and schedule it to start at a designated time. 

You can then go about your daily business, knowing it’ll finish at your desired time – ensuring you don’t need to leave your laundry sitting in the drum wet for hours on end while you’re out getting shopping.

We’re aware this will actually increase the amount of time it’ll take for your clothes to get cleaned, but that may well actually solve your problem in some circumstances.

SEE ALSO: How Long Does The Delicate Wash Cycle Take?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wash bedding on 90?

Whilst it is possible to wash bedding at 90 degrees C, it’s not advisable. Bedding should be washed at 60 degrees C, if you want to be sure it is sanitised, you should use a laundry sanitiser with the wash.

Is a 90 degree wash too hot?

A 90 degree C wash is too hot for many clothes and fabrics. It could cause clothes to shrink, tear or become misshapen. You should always check the care label on your clothes before washing anything at 90 C.

Can I wash my towels at 90 degrees?

Towels are best washed at 60 degrees if they are white and 40 degrees for coloured towels. The only towels that can be washed at 90 degrees are 100% Egyptian cotton white towels.

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