A lot of washing machines offer different washing modes which change various run settings: Cotton (or 'General'), Towels, Bedsheets, Wool and so on. Most even have settings for 'Eco Mode' - which (if the advertising is to be believed) are purportedly more Eco-conscious than the standard 'Cotton' Wash - using less water/cycles, lower temperatures/spin speeds to save resources.

But, how do these Eco modes compare to another setting - the 'Quick Wash'? Is it more sustainable to run quicker washes, (ostensibly similar settings to a regular 'Cotton' wash but... quicker), vs running a longer wash in Eco mode?

I realise that different makes and models offer different values and settings, have different definitions of what constitutes an 'Eco' mode, or even the ability to run every mode with 'Eco' turned on, but I'm only after generalities here.

I'm also only interested in the settings as they apply to washing general 'worn' clothes (office, casual, sportswear etc) - obviously it makes more sense to run dirtier loads on more intensive settings rather than running them through more than once.

  • Interestingly, one of the ways that more efficient washers save energy is by spinning faster - this removes more water from clothing, meaning less energy is needed for drying. For the eco-conscious, it has the benefit of making line drying more feasible.
    – LShaver
    Sep 23, 2020 at 12:15
  • @LShaver - That's interesting, I never considered that! Line drying is the default here - even soaked clothes only need a few hours in the sun - so I just assumed washers spun slower to conserve power.
    – Robotnik
    Sep 29, 2020 at 6:33
  • You'd probably have to look into the product details to know for sure the difference. Could be that one uses hot water and the other doesn't? If you have the model number of a specific product with these options we could dig into it.
    – LShaver
    Jan 18, 2021 at 15:27
  • @LShaver I'll see about getting the make/model when I get home
    – Robotnik
    Jan 18, 2021 at 21:59


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