Today’s popular washing machines come with a ton of special features. From pre-wash cycles to specialized settings for towels, bedding, allergens, and waterproof items, there are a lot of options on a modern washing machine. For the most part, the cycle settings are pretty straight forward. But the “pre-wash” cycle might leave you scratching your head. Why in the world would you want to pre-wash your clothing?

What is the Pre-Wash Cycle?

The pre-wash cycle is an extra cycle that can be added at the beginning of most of your washing machine cycles. Most machines don’t allow pre-wash for the Speed Wash, Delicates, Rinse and Spin, and Wool cycles.

Before running the regular cycle, the pre-wash cycle will fill with water, agitate, and spin. Once the pre-wash cycle is complete, the washer will run the regular cycle you select.

Why Do You Need the Pre-Wash Cycle?

The pre-wash cycle is a must-have option if your family deals with a lot of heavily soiled clothing. When you’re dealing with piles of clothes soiled from sports games, yard work, construction jobs, and mud runs, the pre-wash will do wonders for removing the odors and dirt, as well as preventing stains.

The pre-wash cycle is also useful for families with babies or toddlers in the house, especially if you’re washing cloth diapers. The pre-wash will rinse away urine, dirt, food, and other not-so-pleasant soil so that the normal wash cycle can disinfect and clean the clothing in fresh water.

How to use the pre-wash cycle of your washing machine.

For the most accurate instructions, it’s always best to reference your washing machine’s Owner’s Manual. All washers will have slightly different settings and control panels. However, the process below will apply to most machines.

  • Load your clothing into the washer.
  • Add the correct amount of soap to the pre-wash and detergent compartments.
  • Select the wash cycle you desire to use (Normal, Heavy, Towels, Bedding, ect.).
  • Press the Pre-Wash button located on the control panel.
  • Close the washer lid and press start.
  • The pre-wash cycle will automatically run prior to the wash cycle you selected.

Try the pre-wash cycle next time you have an exceptionally dirty load of laundry. You may be surprised by how well the pre-wash cycle removes and treats stains.