What Does Permanent Press Mean On Washers & Dryers?

So you’re about to do a load of laundry and you’ve noticed your washing machine or tumble dryer has a setting for “Permanent Press” and you’re wondering what that means, and whether it’d be good for your current load.

And you’re likely thinking it surely can’t be the same thing on 2 totally separate machines, right? 

Well in this article we’re going to: explain exactly what this program means on both machines, clear up all the misconceptions about the permanent press program, find out why it’s a good option to have and also explain which fabrics you should never use it on (unless you love ruining your favourite clothes).

Keep reading to find out more!

What Does Permanent Press Mean On A Washing Machine?

“Permanent Press” on a washing machine means a special setting designed for clothes made of synthetic materials. These clothes have special chemical bonds that prevent wrinkles. 

When you use the permanent press cycle, the washing machine uses warm water to relax the fabric and remove creases. It also uses a slow spin speed to relax the fibres and release existing creases whilst preventing any new creases from forming. 

This cycle also helps prevent fading, shrinking, and pilling in synthetic fabrics.

The permanent press cycle is gentle and great for synthetic fabrics, but it can also be used for thin cotton clothes to avoid ironing. However, delicate clothes should not be washed using this cycle.

If your washing machine doesn’t have a permanent press cycle, look for the “casual” or “wrinkle Control” cycle.

What Does Permanent Press Mean On A Tumble Dryer?

The “Permanent Press” setting on a tumble dryer uses medium heat and ends with a cool down period. Its purpose is to dry clothes with fewer wrinkles and creases, while avoiding shrinkage or damage. 

Remember, never tumble dry delicate clothes, even on the permanent press setting. Delicate items can get damaged from the heat and rough tumbling action of the dryer.

Is Permanent Press Only For Synthetics?

Although originally designed for use with synthetic, man made fibres, the permanent press cycle can be used for natural fibres that are known to wrinkle or crease easily.

This is because the permanent press cycle is gentler on clothing creating less stress on the fabric. In fact, some tumble dryers even change from warm air to air at room temperature towards the end of the program.

Although permanent press can be used on many different types of clothes, you should never use the permanent press cycle on delicate clothes. If the clothing says delicate in the label, you should only use the delicate cycle on your machine.

Washing Machine

How To Use The Permanent Press Cycle In The Washing Machine

If your washing machine has a permanent press cycle, you should;

  1. Separate your laundry by fabric, colour and care label instructions
  2. Place the laundry into the drum of your machine
  3. Use the correct detergent in the correct detergent tray
  4. Add any fabric softener that you usually use
  5. Select the permanent press option
  6. Press start
  7. As soon as the machine finishes, remove the clothes immediately to help prevent any creases or wrinkles forming in the drum

How To Use The Permanent Press Cycle In The Tumble Dryer

If your tumble dryer has a permanent press cycle, all you need to do is;

  1. Check the care label on your clothing and place the appropriate items in the dryer’s drum
  2. Select the permanent press cycle
  3. Press start
  4. Once the dryer has finished, remove the items as soon as possible and hang them to prevent any new wrinkles or creases from forming

Using the permanent press cycle on a tumble dryer is also good for colours because there is less chance of them fading at this medium temperature.

What Clothes Can Be Washed & Dried Using The Permanent Press Cycle?

As we said earlier, the permanent press cycle was originally designed for man made synthetic materials but that’s not all. You can use the permanent press cycle for;

  • Synthetics
  • Semi-Synthetics
  • Blends
  • Natural Fibres (that crease easily)
    • Button Down Shirts
    • Wrinkle Free
    • Wash And Wear

These items should be washed and dried in the permanent press cycle because ironing could harm the fabric causing irreparable damage.

What Can You Do If Your Machine Doesn’t Have A Permanent Press Cycle?

As you can see, using the permanent press cycle has many advantages. But what if your machine doesn’t have permanent press or casual or wrinkle control?

The way to reduce wrinkles and creases is to use warm water and a slow spin speed because this will relax the fibres and help to prevent any new creases from forming. This means if your machine doesn’t have the permanent press option, you should choose a similar setting.

We would suggest selecting the delicate cycle at 40 degrees and a low spin speed. Another good tip is to not overload the drum as this will increase the risk of clothes wrinkling.

As soon as the machine is finished you should remove the laundry from the drum and hang immediately.

If the tumble dryer doesn’t have a permanent press setting, select a medium heat setting and once again, remove the clothing as soon as the dryer finishes and hang the clothes to prevent any new wrinkles forming.

What Does Permanent Press Mean On Clothing?

If you see “permanent press” on the label it refers to the material the item has been made from being less likely to wrinkle when washed or dried. 

Permanent press items of clothing are typically made from man made synthetic materials like polyester or have been treated to protect against creases.

SEE ALSO: What Is A Quiet Mark Certified Washing Machine?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a permanent press in a washing machine?

The permanent press cycle on a washing machine refers to a warm water, low spin speed cycle designed to prevent clothes from creasing or wrinkling. It is perfect for synthetic fabrics and for those of us who want to reduce the need to iron clothes.

What does permanent press mean on a dryer?

The permanent press cycle on a tumble dryer refers to a cycle that uses medium heat which is gentler on clothes and reduces the chances of the clothes becoming creased and wrinkled.

Is permanent press the same as delicate?

Permanent press and delicate are different programs designed for different items of clothing. You can wash clothes that carry a permanent press label in a delicate wash, but delicate items should only be washed in a delicate cycle-not permanent press.

Does the permanent press dryer cycle shrink clothes?

The permanent press cycle on a tumble dryer is less likely to shrink clothes because it uses a medium heat setting. However, if you’re concerned about a particular item shrinking in the dryer, you should select the delicate cycle.

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