What Does Easy Care Mean On A Washing Machine? (& when to use it)

Washing machines tend to have so many programmes nowadays which can make washing the laundry very confusing. 

One programme that is often the cause of confusion is the easy care programme. The easy care cycle is exactly the same as the synthetics cycle and should be used for washing clothes made from synthetic materials.

If you want to know what the easy care cycle is actually for and when to use it, keep reading.

What Is The Easy Care Cycle?

We said earlier that the easy care cycle causes some confusion. This is because clothes that should be washed using the easy care cycle are anything but easy to care for. Clothes made from synthetic materials make up around 62% of all clothes sold in the UK.

These synthetic clothes need to be washed in a particular way to ensure they last. This means the easy care cycle is a gentle wash cycle.

It uses a low spin speed (typically 600 to 800 RPM) and minimum agitation coupled with low water temperatures and a short cycle.

Your machine will either have a synthetic cycle or an easy care cycle because they are one and the same thing.

Synthetic clothes tend to be moisture repellent, fast drying and easy to clean and the easy care cycle reflects these qualities. Which is why the easy care cycle uses low temperatures, low spin speeds and reduced agitation.

What Clothes Should Be Washed Using The Easy Care Cycle?

Polyester Scarf

The types of clothes that should be washed using the easy care cycle are all clothes made from synthetic, man made materials. Clothes including;

  • Lycra
  • Spandex
  • Acrylic
  • Elastane
  • Rayon
  • Nylon
  • Polyester

Plus any fabric made from a derivative of the petrochemical industry and any fabric made from natural products that have been chemically treated to produce a fabric.

When Should You Use The Easy Care Cycle?

The easy care cycle should be used to wash synthetic clothes in your washing machine. The cycle is designed to give synthetic fabrics the care they need to get clean without getting damaged.

How To Wash Clothes Using The Easy Care Cycle

The first step in using the easy care cycle on your washing machine is to sort the laundry into separate piles. The initial sorting should leave you with two piles, one for natural fibres and the second for synthetics.

You then need to go through the synthetic pile and sort it into different piles for specific types of synthetics. Blended items which are a composition of typically polyester and cotton, should be washed on the blended cycle.

Rayon should be hand washed or dry cleaned, which should then leave you with the remainder of the synthetic fabrics like; nylon, polyester, elastane, Lycra and acrylic. These can all be washed in the easy care cycle.

It’s a good idea to not fill the drum too tight to help prevent creasing and you should also wash clothes inside out to help prevent colour fade.

It’s also advisable  to use a detergent designed for synthetic fabrics or a mild detergent. 

How To Dry Clothes Washed Using The Easy Care Cycle

clothes on a drying rack

Synthetic clothing should wherever possible be air dried. It won’t take too long to dry because synthetic fabrics tend to repel water so there will be hardly any water absorbed during the easy care wash cycle.

If you decide to use a tumble dryer, you should select the low or no heat setting and tumble for the shortest time possible.

Why Should You Use The Easy Care Cycle?

The easy care or synthetics cycle is specifically designed to wash those clothes that are made from synthetic man made materials. Using one of the other cycles on synthetics like the cotton cycle for example, could damage the synthetic fabrics.

They could fade, become creased or wrinkled and generally wear out faster than normal.

Do You Need To Iron Synthetic Fabrics?

Many synthetic fabrics that have been washed in the easy care cycle, will not need to be ironed at all. If you find some items do need to be ironed, check the care label first.

Most synthetic clothes will have an iron with one dot symbol – This indicates that the garment can be ironed at a low temperature. We recommend that you keep the iron moving at all times and don’t allow it to stay pressed on one area for too long.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does easy care mean on a washing machine?

The easy care cycle is the same as the synthetic cycle and should be used on synthetic fabrics.

What temp is easy care on the washing machine?

The easy care cycle on a washing machine uses water at a temperature of between 30 to 40 C.

What is the spin speed of an easy care cycle on a washing machine?

The typical spin speed of an easy care cycle on a washing machine is between 600 to 800 RPM.

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