Washing machine settings can look a bit daunting. There are a variety of features and settings you can use to customize your wash. Most people just select an automated setting and hope for the best, but one setting you must look out for is the soil level. This is an extremely helpful feature that can make your wash more efficient, but if you use it incorrectly can damage your clothes. Read on to find out what soil level means on a washing machine, and when it’s best to use each setting.
What does soil level mean on a washer?
Soil level is a setting on your washing machine you can change depending on how dirty your clothes are. Your choice of soil level will have an impact on the intensity of your wash. The soil level you select should also depend on the fabric and heaviness of the clothing in your wash.
Typically, washing machines have three soil level settings, which are Light, Normal, and Heavy. It is important to select the correct soil level for your wash, as this helps maintain the quality of the fabric while washing your clothes efficiently.
The level of dirtiness on your clothes changes depending on how you spend your day. For example, the clothes you wear to a work meeting are likely to have a different level of soiling than clothes a child would wear when playing at the park.
This means if you were to wash clothes covered in grime and mud on a low soil level, your clothes would not be as clean as using a heavier soil level.
When Should I Use Light Soil Level?
This is the lowest soil level you can select. This setting should be selected if your clothes are only lightly stained. For example, if your clothes are dusty or have small marks on them, this would be the best setting to use.
This is also an ideal setting for delicate clothing that may be at a higher risk of being damaged if washed at a higher setting. This is because the washing machine spins at a slower speed which keeps your clothes less wrinkled and tangle-free.
Out of all soil level settings, light soil level takes the shortest amount of time and is optimal for daily washes as it uses cold water.
When Should I use Normal Soil Level?
This setting is the most common, and best for clothes that are reasonably dirty or soiled. This mode uses a sequence of spin and washing cycles on fast settings but still takes longer than the light soil level.
If your clothes have splashes of mud or dirt, then this setting will be the most effective.
When Should I Use Heavy Soil Level?
This is the highest soil level you can select, so if your clothes are covered from top to bottom in dirt, then this is the setting you should use. It is common to use this setting if your clothes are coated in mud or dirt.
The heavy soil level should also be selected if you’re washing items such as blankets, jeans, jackets, and play clothes. It is recommended to use hot water if your clothes are so dirty that you can barely touch them. You must be wary when washing more delicate fabrics as a heavy setting could damage their quality.
It should also be noted that this setting can result in your clothes looking wrinkly, so make sure you have an iron at the ready!
Does Soil Level Add More Water?
Each soil level setting needs a different volume of water to operate at its best. The light setting will use less water compared to normal and heavy levels, and will also have shorter washing cycles.
The level of water used for your wash also depends on the size and weight of the load. For example, heavier clothes like towels and jeans will require more water.
Soil Level Settings for Different Washers
Each washing machine has its own soil level specifications. Here are some well-known washing machines and their soil levels.
Whirlpool Washing Machine
These washers have a soil level preset which includes three settings:
– Light soil level for lightly soiled and delicate materials
– Normal soil level for everyday wash cycles
– Heavy soil level for dirty and sturdy fabrics
Insignia Top-Load Washer
This washing machine has five different soil level options:
– Extra Light can be used for hand wash cycles
– Light can be used for quick wash cycles
– Medium can be used for normal cycles
– Heavy can be used for bulky cycles
– Extra Heavy can be used for heavy-duty cycles
Speed Queen Top-Load Washer
Clothes need to be sorted by type of fabric and amount of soil. Low soil level clothes can become tacky if washed with items that are heavily soiled.
– Use the quick wash cycle for lightly soiled clothes
– For moderately dirty clothes, use the warm weather setting
– For heavily soiled items, use the hot water setting plus the soak option
Choosing the correct soil level for your wash is key in optimizing your washing machine’s efficiency. To find the best settings for your wash, read through your washing machines instruction manual. Just make sure to use the light soil level setting for delicate fabrics to prolong their longevity.