Washing machine

How Long Does a 90-Degree Wash Take?

Every washing machine is different and exact cycle times may differ from machine to machine, but a 90-degree wash should usually take around three and a half hours for a cotton wash or two hours 40 minutes for a drum clean cycle.

Bear in mind that modern washing machines adjust the cycle time based on the weight of your laundry, so washing a full load of clothes will normally take longer than washing a smaller load.

90 degrees is usually the hottest wash setting and is often known as a ‘very hot wash’, while 60 degrees is a ‘hot wash’. Both cycles will normally take longer than cold wash cycles, but the 90-degree cycle will often be the longest of all possible cycles.


Why Does a 90-Degree Wash Take So Long?

Over time, as washing machines have become more modern and our understanding of how germs are best killed has grown, the run times of the hotter cycles have become longer and longer. These longer cycles are for a very good reason though!

Hotter water and lengthier machine run times guarantee that bacteria will be killed more effectively from your garments.

If you have items that are particularly soiled, this long cycle is much more likely to successfully eradicate all germs and dirt.

A 90-degree wash is not suitable for all your clothing, so be sure to look at the labels on the different garments to make sure that they are safe for higher temperatures.

Garments like denim jeans will likely shrink if you wash them on a cycle higher than 40 degrees.

A 90-degree cycle should really only be used for items that are very soiled or extremely dirty.

Bedding and sheets should ideally run on a 60-degree wash, as should towels and even underwear and baby clothes.



A 90-degree wash is the longest and hottest washing cycle that your machine is capable of and should only be used when you’re sure that the item is safe for those temperatures.

If you’re certain that you want to wash at that temperature, then make sure you set aside at least three hours before the cycle will be done.

Each machine runs slightly differently but 90-degree cycles will usually be over two hours long!