LG Washing Machine Cycles Explained (front load & top load)

If you own an LG washing machine and you want to make your laundry day even easier, you need to know the correct program to use. The best program or cycle available will let you wash your clothes in the best way you can. Using the wrong cycle could lead to damaged clothes and damage to your washing machine.

This post is designed to help you get to understand the cycles used on LG washing machines. This applies to front loading machines as well as top loaders and will be useful if you have just bought an LG washing machine or are considering buying one.

Each specific cycle has a specific purpose and it’s important to use the correct cycle for the type of laundry you intend to wash.

If you’re looking to find out which washing machine cycle you should be using for your specific needs, you’re going to be very pleased you landed on this guide…

LG Washing Machine Cycles

LG washing machines have a number of default settings and cycles which can range from temperature, spin speed, materials being washed as well as how dirty the clothes are and a whole lot more. It doesn’t matter whether you choose a front loader or a top loader, the cycles will be the same.

Normal Or Cotton Cycle

The cotton or normal cycle is used for washing dirty clothes which are agitated in the drum in various directions. In the default settings, this is the program that will start if you press the “Start/Pause” button without selecting a cycle.

This cycle is recommended for jeans, T-shirts, towels, sheets or anything made from cotton. However, it is not recommended for delicate items like those made from silk or wool.

Hand Wash/Delicate/Wool Cycle

These cycles are the ones you should choose for washing lingerie (machine washable), lacy or sheer clothing. Including silks, woollens and any other delicate items of clothing you own.

These cycles have a low speed wash and spin cycle as well as operating at low temperatures. 

If you have items which should be hand washed, select the hand wash cycle. 

For wool items choose the wool cycle and for any other delicate items like nylons, lacey clothes etc, choose the delicate cycle.

Also remember that wool clothes need a special detergent for machine washable woollens.

Heavy Duty Or Large Cotton Cycle

This is one of the longest cycles on the machine because it has to work the hardest. This is a tough wash program which is designed to use less water by adding extra drum agitation. 

It should be used on the appropriate fabrics which are heavily soiled.

Sanitary Cycle

This is the hottest wash you can do on your machine and is designed to kill germs and bacteria thanks to the high temperature wash cycle.  

It is mainly used for heavily soiled items like bed sheets which have been soiled with vomit, urine or faeces. 

Bright Whites Cycle

As the name suggests the bright whites cycle is designed to wash all of your white clothes cleaner. It is specifically for washing white garments and keeping them bright white. 

The cycle takes around 75 minutes to complete.

Towel Cycle

This is the cycle which should be used on the dirtiest stained cotton clothes as well as towels. It uses a hot wash cycle and will make your towels smell fresher. 

When washed using this cycle, they will also feel softer and more fluffy.

Allergiene Cycle

This cycle uses steam to remove up to 95% of the allergens which are commonly found in most homes. Including; 

  • Dust mites
  • Pet Dander
  • Mould Spores
  • Household Dust
  • And more

This is a great program to use to wash sheets, pillow cases and underwear.

Permanent Press Cycle

This cycle is designed for formal wear and any other items of clothing you want to remain free from wrinkles after they dry. It should only really be used for clothes which have the “permanent Press” label.

It is really a milder version of the cotton cycle which washes at a lower temperature. This helps to protect clothing which has been heat-treated to retain their shape.

Tub Clean Cycle

This is the extremely hot cycle which is designed to clean the machine and remove all types of mould spores, mildew and other bacteria and germs. It is recommended that this cycle is run once a month without clothes but using a washing machine cleaner.

You can buy proprietary washing machine cleaners or you could run this program using a cup of white vinegar or bleach. 

If you do use bleach or vinegar you might need to run an extra rinse cycle to ensure all traces have been removed before washing any clothes in the machine.

Rinse + Spin Cycle

Not available on all LG machines but if yours has this feature it allows you to give a final rinse to your clothes

Remember though, this cycle doesn’t wash clothes.

Drain + Spin

Designed for clothes with excess moisture retention which need an extra spin to remove more water. 

This is a short cycle which will add around 20 minutes to your wash time.

Baby Wear Cycle

This is the best cycle to select to wash baby clothes which have been stained with baby food etc. 

It has a prewash and hot wash program and will clean baby clothes and leave them feeling soft.


Additional Downloadable Programs

The following are extra downloadable programs which are available on some LG washing machines once you connect to the LG ThinQ app. You’ll need to check your user manual to see if they are applicable for your particular machine.

Small Load Cycle

This cycle is for washing exceptionally small loads (less than 3lbs).

Colour Care Cycle

This cycle prevents your colours from fading.

Beach Wear/Swim Wear Cycle

This cycle is designed for washing bikinis, swimming costumes, etc. Specifically to remove chlorine and salt from your swimwear.

Sportswear Cycle

Specifically designed to remove dirt, stains and sweat from your sportswear.

Gym Clothes Cycle

Very similar to the Sportswear cycle as it’s designed to remove sweat etc from your gym clothes.

New Clothes Cycle

This cycle is designed specifically for washing new clothes and keeping them looking new.

Denim Cycle

Designed specifically for washing jeans, dungarees and jean jackets.

Blanket Cycle

This should be used to wash any blankets except for woollen blankets which should be washed using the wool cycle.

Collars + Cuffs Cycle

This cycle uses hotter water to help to remove stains from shirt collars and cuffs.

Delicate Dresses Cycle

This is for washing slightly soiled cocktail dresses and the like.

Juices + Food Stains Cycle

This will remove many stubborn stains from many fabrics by using a hot water wash combined with extra agitated drums.

Econo Wash Cycle

This cycle is designed to reduce energy consumption whilst washing.

Overnight Cycle

This cycle will wash your clothes during night time hours at lower volume and is perfect for those of you on economy 7 or other cheaper night time tariffs. 

It also prevents wrinkling by continuing to tumble once the cycle is finished.

Half-Load Wash Cycles

This cycle will detect and optimise for the best settings for smaller wash loads.

Full-Load Wash Cycles

This cycle will detect and optimise for the best settings for full wash loads.

Useful Tips For Using LG Washing Machine Cycles

With so many cycles and extra cycles available it can often be difficult to remember everything you need to do. You will always want to utilise the best cycle and program your LG washing machine accordingly. So here are a few reminders of the basics;

  • Always select the most appropriate wash temperature (check the clothing label)
  • Always check the spin speed for your particular wash cycle
  • Always ensure all traces of bleach have been removed after a Tub Clean Cycle – Before washing any clothes.

Points To Consider Before Buying Either A Top Or Front Loader

If you’re reading this guide to learn about the wash cycles on an LG washer before you buy one, you’ll also want to consider a few other factors as well. For example, you’ll need to check the area it’s going to be situated. Because there are a few design differences which will make a difference when it comes to buying a top loader or front loader. 

Door Clearance

For instance, a front loading washing machine will have a door that swings out at the front. So you’ll need to allow extra space in front of the machine to accommodate that opening door action. Plus the door will need to be left open after the wash has completed to allow the machine to dry out and prevent bad smells and black mould or mildew.

Height Issues

Front loading washing machine doors are fairly low to the floor which can be an issue if you’re tall or have problems bending. However you can put the front loader on a raised pedestal to help with this. Please note using a pedestal will add both to the expense of the machine as well as to the overall height of the machine (think of that overhead cabinet).

Likewise on a top loader the opening is on the top of the machine, so you’ll need to allow for that. So a top loader couldn’t be placed under a low hanging cabinet for example. Top loading machines can be filled without having to bend down and some of the larger capacity machines can handle extra large loads of laundry. However, if you are slightly shorter than average, it can be difficult to reach all of the laundry when it comes to emptying the machine.

You’ll need to think about who is responsible for laundry duties in your home, and how easy it will be for them to use whichever type of machine you purchase. If you get your children to do the laundry as one of their chores, they might have difficulty reaching the bottom of a top loader. This can be overcome by keeping a small step ladder next to the machine or by purchasing a front loader.

Adding Clothes After The Cycle Has Begun

Then there’s the way you wash your clothes, do you find yourself adding extra items once the machine has started? If so, a top loader is going to be more convenient, because even though it is possible to add clothes to both types of machine, with a top loader you won’t have to wait for the water level to fall before you can open the door.


Another point worth considering, is a front loader generally has a longer wash time than a top loader. On average the wash time on a front loader is around 15 to 20 minutes longer than a similar wash on a top loader. With that said, front loaders have a far better spin cycle which means your clothes will spend less time in the dryer.


When it comes to energy and water efficiency, front loaders are generally slightly better than top loaders. Added to which, front loaders tend to be gentler on your laundry due to the washing motion.


When it comes to price, top loaders tend to cost less than front loaders and they need less maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the major difference between top load and front load washing machines?’

The major difference between top load and front load washing machines apart from the obvious door position is spin speed. Front loading washing machines have a much faster spin speed. Compared to top loaders, a front loader has around twice the spin speed.

How long are wash cycles for the LG front load washer?

The time it takes for wash cycles to complete on LG front loading washing machines is approximately 58 minutes for a normal wash, 75 minutes for a bright whites wash, 34 minutes for a delicate wash, 73 minutes for a towel wash and around 50 minutes for a small load. 

How long is a top load wash cycle?

The average time it takes for a top load washing machine to perform a wash cycle is around 60 to 80 minutes depending on the make and model.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *