casual cycle

What Is the Casual Cycle on a Washing Machine?

Washing machines have never been more complicated. This is both a good and a bad thing. It’s good as you can make sure that you’re washing your clothes the right way, but bad as it can be a little confusing when it comes to choosing the right cycle.

Your washing machine may have a ‘casual’ cycle. This name isn’t very self-explanatory, so what does it mean?

A casual cycle is somewhere between a regular cycle and a delicate cycle. It isn’t quite as hot as a regular cycle, and doesn’t have such high spin speeds.


How Does the Casual Cycle Compare to Other Cycles?

Washing machines aren’t a one cycle fits all approach. You can’t just put a load of laundry inside the washer without looking into the amount and type of fabric. 

There are three important factors in using the washing machine. These are the agitation in the wash cycle, detergent, and water temperature.

Washing machine cycles can be graded from regular (hotter, with a higher spin speed) to delicate (colder, with a lower spin speed). A casual cycle is roughly in the middle.

Regular, normal, or cotton cycle

First, we have the regular or normal cycle. This is commonly used for whites, bed sheets, towels, socks, and other heavily soiled pieces.  

It is perfect for getting rid of stains and dirt, as well as washing durable fabrics. It has a fast agitation in the wash cycle and a fast spin cycle.

Casual, permanent press, or colours

Next, we have the casual or permanent press cycle. This is normally used for non-cotton articles, as well as synthetic fabric, such as rayons, knits, polyesters, and acetates. 

It is primarily for washing clothes that wrinkle easily. It has a fast agitation in the wash cycle and a slow spin cycle. We will discuss this more extensively later.

Delicate or gentle cycle

Finally, we have the delicate or gentle cycle. This is usually for silk, gym clothes, or any piece of clothing that says “hand wash” on the label. This can include garments that have sequins, lace, embroidery, or other delicate features. It has a slow agitation in the wash cycle and a slow spin cycle. 


What Is the Casual Cycle on a Washing Machine?

casual cycle or permanent press cycle

Let’s take a closer look at the casual (or permanent press) cycle. This cycle is primarily used for washing clothes that wrinkle easily, such as synthetic fabrics. This is also referred to as the wrinkle control cycle. If you want to keep your clothes from fading, shrinking, and stretching, this is the best cycle for you. 

Garments that were chemically treated to prevent wrinkling were called permanently pressed, thus the name of the cycle. Due to its popularity in the 1950s, washing machines added this cycle for these clothes. 

In this cycle, warm water is used during the wash cycle and cold water during the rinse. Usually, the cycle lasts for about 30 minutes. The spin cycle is set to a slow speed, which means the clothes won’t drag and stretch, lessening the chance of wrinkles.  


What Are the Benefits of Using a Casual Cycle on a Washing Machine?

washing machine dial casual cycle

The following are the benefits of a casual cycle:

  • It prevents the colour of your clothes from fading, due to the lower temperature
  • A slow spin cycle lessens the chances of wrinkles forming on your clothes.
  • The cold water during the rinse is economical.
  • The quick wash diminishes the chances of pilling on your clothes.


When Should I Use the Casual Cycle?

You should use the casual cycle for the following reasons:

  • The label says you must use this cycle
  • For synthetic fabrics, such as rayon, nylon, knit, spandex, polyester, and acetate
  • Garments that shouldn’t be ironed.
  • For brightly coloured pieces of clothing
  • Moderately soiled clothes


Casual Cycle FAQs

casual cycle on a washing machine

What are the differences between casual and normal cycles? 

They differ in temperatures. The normal wash has a fast agitation and often uses temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius to remove tough dirt and stains. 

On the other hand, the casual cycle uses a wash temperature of around 40 degrees, and the spin cycle is set to a slow speed to prevent wrinkles from forming on the clothes.

What are the differences between the casual and delicate cycles?

They differ in the temperatures used. For the casual cycle, medium temperate is used, while the delicate cycle has a low temperature. Delicate cycles may also have an even slower spin rate to reduce the chance of damage.

Which wash cycle cleans the best?

Hot cycles will always do the best job at cleaning fabrics but can damage fabrics. Colder wash cycles are great for delicate, coloured, and slightly soiled clothing. 

Warm water is great for moderately soiled clothes. Hot water is great for heavily soiled clothes, underwear, towels, and other pieces where you want to eliminate germs.



A lot of improvements and innovations have been made to washing machines that have made the once tedious chore of laundry washing, faster and more convenient.

You should carefully consider which cycle to choose for your load and type of fabrics, bearing in mind the agitation of the cycle, temperature, and the detergent to be used.

The casual cycle is typically used for synthetic fabrics, including polyester and nylon, to save these kinds of clothes from wrinkling, fading, and shrinking.