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Thread Number: 68552  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Does anyone else hate the "normal" cycle on new washers?
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Post# 913053   12/29/2016 at 20:19 by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

Hey all,

So while doing the weekly laundry, I noticed something, and wonder if this is common or if I'm in the minority here.

Ever since I got my new WTW4815FW Whirlpool washer, I tend to avoid the "normal" cycle. I don't like it much. I hate the spray rinse, rather than the deep rinse, and the temperatures are really dumbed down on that cycle. Must be the new energy standards or whatever, but all the same, that cycle stinks in my opinion. I find that "heavy duty" does pretty much the same thing and much more satisfactorily IMO.

For example, this week I did 5 loads of laundry. Towels, on "heavy duty." Socks, underwear, and t-shirts/pajamas on "heavy duty." Nicer pants, my wife's tops, my polos, etc on "casual." A small load of my wife's skirts and a couple sweaters on "delicate." And, finally, blue jeans and a couple pairs of sweats on "heavy duty." All the "heavy duty" cycles would have been my "normal" loads on an older style washer, but I just don't find it does the job anymore, especially on the rinse cycle.

Anyone else have this experience with modern washers? All in all, I really like my washer, once I found out that I should just stay away from that setting generally.


Post# 913054 , Reply# 1   12/29/2016 at 20:33 by duke (lexington SC/usa)        

Sorry, We all have to give up some cleanliness for climate change.Learn to swallow your government changes to industry. Funky run times,dishwashers that run 4 hours,and 19 short cycles and dirtier clothes.Sure do hate you can't pay for what you want though.Perhaps buy a reconditioned older unit.

Post# 913056 , Reply# 2   12/29/2016 at 20:46 by ea56 (So. Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
Ryne your washer is essentially the same as the Maytag MVWC415EW that I recently purchased. From what I can gleen from reading the FAQ on Maytag's site the Powerwash (the equivalent of Heavy Duty on yours) and Deep Water Wash on my washer use a little more water, don't use a spray rinse and the warm and hot water settings actually provide just that, real warm and hot water, not cold and warm instead. Consequently, I also use these two cycles primarlily, unless I'm washing a large item like a bedspread, then I use Bulky. I have only used Normal for washing a small, slightly soiled load, and it did just fine for this purpose.

Take a look at Whirlpool's website and you will find out a lot about your washer. For instance, I learned that running the Clean washer cycle monthly not only cleans theh washer, it also resets the calibration so the Auto Sense feature works properly and fill to proper and adequete levels, who knew?

I too really like my washer too.

Post# 913061 , Reply# 3   12/29/2016 at 21:11 by duke (lexington SC/usa)        

mvwc415ew -- check it---

Post# 913064 , Reply# 4   12/29/2016 at 21:21 by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

I did not know that about the "afresh" setting redoing the calibration. Where did you find that? Never seen that anywhere.

Post# 913065 , Reply# 5   12/29/2016 at 21:37 by ea56 (So. Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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This is where I found the info about the Affresh Clean cycle. Select not filling as symptom, then Casual, Heavy Duty, Deep Water as the cycle being used. I would imagine that Whirlpool also has a similar website as they make Maytag. Hope this helps.


This post was last edited 12/30/2016 at 01:59
Post# 913066 , Reply# 6   12/29/2016 at 21:54 by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
Using a Speed Queen FL here:

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I never use the Normal/Eco cycle.  The Heavy Duty does basically the same thing without dumbed down water temps.  I use this with hot water and second rinse for daily loads.  My clothes have never been this clean.  For dirtier loads I use the Whites cycle and add extra rinses.  Your mileage may vary as I  am working with what is basically a commercial washer dressed up for home use.


Post# 913075 , Reply# 7   12/29/2016 at 23:08 by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

I had a GE TL with a plate in the bottom and 2 cups of water per load so I understand your pain. If the tips above don't work out, you could just do what I did before discovering

Wash everything twice; I used vinegar as the 'detergent' in the second wash:-)


Post# 913081 , Reply# 8   12/30/2016 at 00:23 by Johnb300m (Chicago)        

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No. My Normal cycle in my front loader works fine.
My water bills are lower. My detergents/softeners last longer, and my clothes are cleaner and less beaten up.
I'm happy with my "government issue" HE washer.

If I need anything really autoclave washed, I have a 140deg SaniWash cycle.
Normal doesn't need to be boiling hot.

Post# 913097 , Reply# 9   12/30/2016 at 03:06 by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

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Sadly, most of today's new washer's NORMAL cycle are most likely "eco-friendly"...a.k.a. less water use, dumbed down water temps., and clothes not being cleaned the way that we would like. This is all due to our wonderful government and it's regulations that they implemented.

Now for the most part we have to resort to "deep water" cycles or "heavy duty" to hopefully get more water into the machine and maybe even a truer water temperature.

I regrettably have to deal with what comes with the apartment that I live in and deal with that. (dumbed down temps- I just leave the machine on "HOT" which if I'm lucky is tepid at most) If I ever move into another place where I have a choice of machine I will definitely be looking for a good used machine that's in decent shape from the past.

Post# 913100 , Reply# 10   12/30/2016 at 05:00 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Eco friendly is good, but only to a certain point. I think in the case of HE top load washers it is WAY WAY overdone. When a washer on the normal cycle will not even clean or rinse your clothing, that is taking it way too far! I think it is ridiculous to sacrifice having perfectly clean clothes free of soap residue for the sake of having eco friendly machines. I have to admit that even my front load HE machine will really skimp on washing and rinsing on the regular or normal cycle. I too use the heavy duty cycle and add extra rinses. It does wash with a greatly reduced level of water, but seems to get everything clean and rinsed well on that cycle. But then a front load washer is designed to use much less water anyway.

Post# 913106 , Reply# 11   12/30/2016 at 07:31 by henene4 (Germany)        
Dishwashers that run 4 hours

I don't see why that bothers people.

Those dishwashers that actually run 3-4h on their rated cycles are usually so quiet that noise shouldn't be a complained.
Usually, there are at least 3-4h between meals, so not having dishes shouldn't be a problem.
If someone has to do several loads a day on a frequent basis, a normal household DW isn't ment to keep up with that workload anyways.

The only thing might be not being abled to load dirty dishes and thus not getting them off the counter.

Post# 913108 , Reply# 12   12/30/2016 at 08:02 by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Normal Cycle on Elux617

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I have been using the Normal cycle on my Electrolux 617 Washer and I'm still trying to figure it out. Altering the soil level seems to change more factors than simply wash time. For example, the HOT wash on a Normal soil level produces the little eco-leaf. The temperature of the glass to your hand is warm, like just above room temperature. However, bumping the soil level up to HEAVY or MAX and the glass is HOT to the touch and the Eco-Leaf is off.


Post# 913113 , Reply# 13   12/30/2016 at 08:23 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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each machine is going to be a little finicky in its operations, and how much you can alter it.....

first of all, before even talking about a machine, and hot water, what exactly is your heater set at?....I get real hot and warm washes because mine is set at 160....and because were in the winter season, cold water temps for many areas is going to cool that temp down fast...

I have an older Cabrio, direct couldn't trick it by taking out the temperature sensor...but you could remove the restrictor on the hot side to allow more of that temp....faster fill times as well....

I have had both, direct drive, and belt drive of these machines, the direct drive gives better washing results....

'normal' cycles are the most eco its what most people select without thinking......frankly, I would stay away from that one...

'colors/towels' works best for everyday loads

'sheets' adds a LOT more water....but not a full tub

not sure of all machines, but on this one, selecting 'fabric softener' allows for a filled deep rinse, not a spin spray....

but, you can allow the default spin spray, and add softener to the dispenser, it will dispense, and waterfall spray the load, then spin out....

Post# 913117 , Reply# 14   12/30/2016 at 08:32 by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
my mom and i have a ge profile dishwasher

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my mom and i have a ge profile dishwasher if you take the normal cycle with sani rinse on heat dry it takes 2 hours 19 minute to run the cycle add the bottle jet option raise the cycle to 2 hours 42 minutes and if you need the steam prewash the cycle lengh is 2 hours 69 minutes all of this is related to the energy star qualification.

Post# 913118 , Reply# 15   12/30/2016 at 08:32 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
I use the Normal cycle quite a bit

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It is my default cycle when the machine is powered up.  It is also my cycle of choice for my permanent press clothes, and T-shirts and under clothes.   Heavy cycle for bath and kitchen towels, as well as sheets and bedding. 


Rarely do I use the Whitest/White cycle, as I can modify the other cycles with extra rinse, steam, or extended spin.  Though I do have a sanitize option with the three main cycles, I have only used it twice.  Whitest/Whites with sanitize option is the longest cycle at about 3:30, I just don't see the benefit I will just wash the effected articles in hot wash with LCB and call it done.



Post# 913129 , Reply# 16   12/30/2016 at 09:58 by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        
Fabric softener seleciton

I often forget about the fabric softener selector, and that it fills the tub on what would otherwise be a spray rinse cycle. That's the main problem I have with the normal cycle, as I normally wash clothes in cold/cool water anyway, really only use hot for really soiled clothes or towels and bedding. However, my wife itches a lot so I need deep rinses in order to ensure all the laundry detergent is rinsed away.

What's frustrating is when I'll have the settings the way I like them, soil level, fabric softener selector on, etc, and someone else will use the washer and not tel me they switched the options. Ugh, I'm blind, that would be nice to know. That's why I tend to use cycles where it uses a deep rinse, no matter what.

I may give normal a try though with fabric softener selected, if it gives a deep rinse that would be the best for my everyday loads.

Post# 913135 , Reply# 17   12/30/2016 at 10:45 by mayken4now (Panama City, Florida)        

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Ryne, back to your original Question.  NO, you are not a minority.


IMHO Erase NORMAL off of every appliance.  No such thing.  define Normal??????????????????

Post# 913138 , Reply# 18   12/30/2016 at 11:02 by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
to have a true normal cycle

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to have a true normal cycle and true wash rinse water tempatures you would have to go with a vintage washer before 2009 and now like 1969 to 1999 and credit to members who pictures i am using as exemple i also posted exemple pictures

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 8         View Full Size
Post# 913145 , Reply# 19   12/30/2016 at 11:43 by appnut (TX)        

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I would print a sign and put it on the wall near the washer which essentially says if the user changes options on a cycle to let you now so you can make modification again in the future to suit your needs.  I cannot believe anyone is that thoughtless to use your machine and not realize you've put in effort to put in settings you kn9ow you want and with you being blind. 

Post# 913146 , Reply# 20   12/30/2016 at 11:58 by henene4 (Germany)        
Normal cycle in Europe

Before the new energy label, the normal cycle (usually called Cottons or Boil-/Coloredwash, roughly translated) at 60C/140F was the normal labeled cycle, and some other cycles thrown in I think.

After the new label came along, manufacturers needed ways to improve efficency. Thus, they reduced temperatures on the label cycles, therefor added soak periods and extended the cycle times.
BUT they did not make that verry clear. Mieles 60C cycle for example just suddenly took an hour longer.
Some already implemented seperate cycles trimed for efficency, but didn't make it clear that the label would only apply to those cycles. Whirlpools Super Eco cycle is one of the early examples.

Then, some consumer report type magaziines acrosd Europe became aware of that fact and as a result, the EU regulations were changed.
Now, at least on laundry appliances, the cycle the energy ratings are based on are labeled with a small tag simbol.
Thus, you always know if you get the efficency trimmed or the normal cycle version.

Post# 913443 , Reply# 21   1/1/2017 at 07:39 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Appliance manufacturers have a sort of wink, wink, nudge, nudge deal with the bean counters at the Department of Energy that there will be a cycle labeled Normal on washers and dishwashers that will be the default setting for users and testers. It is the cycle that most washer users, ignorant of how to do the job properly, will used when they dump in white and colors and it is the cycle that will be used to get the energy rating for the appliance.


For dishwashers, it might not be as bad. I have watched people load their dishwashers after meals and they not only rinse every last bit of food off the dishes, they do it with hot water. It's like in the early 50s when family friends were using the early Apex, Youngstown, GE and KitchenAid machines.

Post# 913445 , Reply# 22   1/1/2017 at 08:22 by washman (Butler, PA)        
Proof positive

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that the government does not know what is best.

Post# 913461 , Reply# 23   1/1/2017 at 10:19 by Wishwash (Illinois)        
My take on the normal cycle.

I'm using an early model kenmore vmw. If I have a small load of cottons to wash then the normal cycle works just fine. I don't like to run a long wash time on small loads to avoid wearing them out so fast. They get plenty of rollover in the short wash time (I think 8 or 12 minutes). I also find no difference between a spray rinse and deep rinse on these smaller loads pending the load is made up of cottons that are easily soaked without agitation. I've even tried bypassing the lid lock and physically moving the clothes around while the water sprays down on them. The difference is negligible. Why waste the extra 10 gallons when they come out just fine? I wouldn't run the normal cycle on a larger load of heavy cottons or with sheets, towels etc, the rinse doesn't cut it. I find that it works fine for a small or medium load of T-shirts, socks and such.

For the heavier loads I like to use the casual cycle, again because I don't like super long wash times. My clothes aren't normally super dirty. This does stick me with a slow speed spin but I'm fine with that. I always use the heavy duty cycle for towels or work clothes for the long wash times and high speed spin. In these cases the deep agitated rinse is necessary.

I don't see the need to complain about the new generation of appliances when they are giving you more flexibility. Most of them on the market right now give you the option for the deep rinse. Those who don't like them have plenty of used or reconditioned machines to choose from.

Post# 913469 , Reply# 24   1/1/2017 at 11:52 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        
Normal Cycle

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I used it twice on my 5 year old Miele 4842.

After programming it for WaterPlus, I use the Extra White, Custom (Make your own program), Handwash, and Express.

I also never ever use the maximum extraction speed. I think High (1,000) is plenty. Maximum Speed (1,200) just wrinkled items too much. And only load the cylinder 3/4 full. I get very nice results plus good rinsing.

Post# 913500 , Reply# 25   1/1/2017 at 14:36 by washerdude (Canada )        
My thoughts

We still use "Normal" on our front loader about 80-90%. Normal for front loaders IMO is still fine. The spray rinse on HE top loaders is what really hindered my decision to avoid buying another top load.

A "Normal" cycle on my duet takes around 36-45 minutes (timed) which includes a proper softener rinse, one that actually adds drama as many have said. Something that really bugs me is that on HE top loaders a typical cycle can be 36 minutes WITHOUT a proper rinse, but upon selecting a deep rinse or fabric softener option, the cycle times budge well over into an hour. An hour per load? I think that crosses the line even for me. An hour long cycle is what I expect for a large load in a heavy duty cycle not your typical everyday load.

Back to the spray rinse however, I can't see how in any way this is okay for people with sensitive skin. It's almost funny to see how the rinses went from full tub, to 1/4 tub and now to a spray rinse over the years. One thing I would try though if I was one of the manufacturers would be to make a disguised normal cycle and label colors or something of that nature. That cycle could use more water and help to cut down times at the same time, maybe even incorporate a spray rinse after the final rinse.

Correct me if I'm wrong though, but doesn't the model WTW4815 give a proper rinse as opposed to a spray rinse? I noticed your model has the fabric softener cup in the agitator but no option for "fabric softener."

Post# 913501 , Reply# 26   1/1/2017 at 14:52 by ea56 (So. Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
Yes the WTW4815 and the MVWC415 both have deep rinses. I have never used the 2nd rinse option on my MVWC415 and the clothes are always well rinsed. BTW the longest time I have clocked for a load was 60 mins using the Powerwash cycle, heavy soil level, hot water and presoak option. Most loads take 45 to 50 mins, which in my opinion is acceptable. My LG FL used to take a min. of 80 mins and most loads took at least 90 to 120 mins., too long in my opinion.

This post was last edited 01/01/2017 at 17:45
Post# 913596 , Reply# 27   1/2/2017 at 09:03 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
I RARELY use normal in

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my duet unless it's something really not that dirty. It is only 40 minutes long by default with 2 rinses. It's not that horrible of a cycle and uses just as much water if not more than the other cycles.

I usually use heavy duty and more soil and extra rinse - or whitest whites with more soil. Once in a while sanitary.

but looking at some of these wash times of the more modern FL washers I have to wonder why the wash times on my Duet aren't nearly as long.

For example. The longest possible time for heavy duty is 1:10. It defaults to 50 min, but by the time I chose extra rinse and more soil, it's at 1:10 - Same with whitest whites. Sanitary's max length with more soil and extra rinse is 2:30

Post# 913601 , Reply# 28   1/2/2017 at 09:56 by joeypete (Concord, NH)        

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I've used "Normal" a few time on my new Maytag and the load came out fine. On my washer you can select any water temp you want on that cycle but you can only use higher spin speeds. I'm not sure how it regulates the temp.... But honestly this machine has so many specialized cycles, the Normal cycle is bound to not get used, unless by a novice haha.

Post# 913606 , Reply# 29   1/2/2017 at 11:19 by Wishwash (Illinois)        

I have noticed that the normal cycle on my VMW dumbs down the hot setting, where heavy duty uses constant hot water. I'm fine with that - the only time I need the super hot water is on towels or whites when I also want the deep rinse. There's no need to shrink my colors.

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