How Long Does It Take to Do a Load of Laundry?

Laundry is a necessary part of life if you want to have clean clothes. Some people have a day set aside, and others do laundry as they need to. If you are in a hurry and realize that you need to wash and wear something, you may wonder how long it takes.

Doing a load of laundry can take anywhere from 30 minutes to well over an hour, depending on which cycle you use. Some items can wash in 30 minutes and be virtually dry when they finish, while others take an hour and a half, followed by another hour of drying. The key is to understand what you are washing, how much you are washing, and whether it needs to be dried and folded.

To really understand how long it takes to do a load of laundry, you need to know what factors to consider. Read on to learn how to determine the amount of time you need.

How Long Does It Take to Do a Load of Laundry?

When trying to learn how long it takes to do a load of laundry, you need to break down the process to understand the different things you need to do. Then, you can factor in those things that you need to do for your load.

If you are gathering laundry from all over the house and need to separate it, it will take longer to prep than if you need to throw in a load that is already sorted. Gathering the clothing and sorting it will take around 30 minutes, while it won’t take any time if you have your load ready.

The wash cycle can take different lengths of time depending on how dirty the clothes are, which cycle you choose, and your washing machine. Some washing machines have a quick wash cycle that can be as quick as 15 minutes. A normal wash cycle usually takes around an hour, give or take 10 minutes. However, if your clothes are dirty and need a heavy-duty cycle, it can take more than two hours.

Next, you have the drying time. The average time is between 30 and 45 minutes, but some loads can take 15 minutes, while others might take an hour or more. It depends on the fabrics in the load and how many items you are trying to dry at the same time.

Folding and putting away a load of laundry takes between 15 and 30 minutes. This step also depends on how many items you had in the load.

To find out how much your load of laundry takes, consider all of the above, and add together the time for each step. It can range from 30 minutes to well over two hours, depending on these factors.

Not All Washers Are Created Equal

The type of washer you use will impact how long it takes to do your laundry. Consumer Reports completed a test of three types of washers to determine how long each washer takes to do a load using the normal-wash/heavy-soil setting.

The table below summarizes the results and shows that the agitator top loader machine is typically the fastest, and the front-loading washer takes the longest to complete a load.

Consumer Reports notes that while you may save time with the agitator top loader, it may be hard to get rid of tough stains. The high-efficiency top-loader cleans the clothes well, but it can be rough on the fabrics. The front-loading washer may take the longest to wash but rinses the load well, saving overall drying time.

Washer TypeTime in Minutes
Agitator Top Loader35 to 80
High-Efficiency Top Loader (Without Agitator)60 to 85
Front-Loading Washer70 to 120

Wash Times And Cycle Type

The type of cycle you use will significantly impact how long it takes to do your laundry. Whirpool came out with ranges for the cycles based on their machines. The table below summarizes the wash times for the most common cycles.

For best results and to save time, you may want to group dirty laundry and use the heavy-soil setting. There’s no need to use the heavy-soil setting to freshen up barely dirty clothes.

CycleDuration Range in Minutes
Normal50 to 60
Quick Wash15 to 40
Heavy Duty60 to 135
Delicate45 to 80

How Much Is a Load of Laundry, Anyhow?

A load of laundry is commonly how people refer to the batch of clothes that they are washing, but it isn’t a set amount of clothing. Washing machines come in different sizes, so one load in one type of machine isn’t the same as a load in another. No matter what size your machine is, one load should be the recommended amount that you can wash.

Generally speaking, a load can include five to seven shirts, two pairs of pants, socks, underwear, a sweatshirt, and a towel. Some people only wash like clothes together, while others gather one load and wash it. Most people refer to a load as the amount of clothing they can wash at one time.

Do You Have to Dry Your Clothes?

Although you don’t have to dry your clothes, many people do throw their clothes in the dryer.

Some clothes will get ruined if you dry them, so you need to hang them to dry. This will add time to the process, depending on the fabric of the clothes. The dryer also has different settings, and some dry more quickly than others. In addition, heavier fabrics always take longer to dry.

Dri-fit materials will be nearly dry when the washing machine is finished, and you may not need to throw them in the dryer.

Laundry Hacks – 2 Steps to Reduce Laundry Time by 82%

Sometimes it takes an extreme example to provide some perspective. If you think it takes too long to do your laundry, wait until you see this.

In the video below, we get a lesson from a mother of 13 kids. Yes, it’s not a typo. She has 13 kids and shows us two creative laundry hacks. She is not concerned about how long it takes the washer and drier to handle the loads because her family can be productive and do other things while the machines are working.

Her husband, a CEO of a company, oversees various departments, including the production engineering department. So, he is very used to coming out with solutions with production bottlenecks.

After analyzing the laundry process at home he noticed that the most significant problems (bottlenecks) were sorting and folding. Watch the video to see how they came out with creative solutions to dramatically reduce the time it takes to do their laundry.

Final Words

Washing a load of laundry can vary in time depending on how many clothes you are washing and what kind of washing machine you have. Look at the various steps and determine how long your load will take.

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