Most of the most beautiful and sophisticated materials require special care. For this purpose, there is a special mode in the washing machine – delicate. It consists in taking care of things by lowering the water temperature, drum rotation and turning off drying. But that’s not all. In order to fully use this program, it is worth studying its features and principle of operation. Let’s consider what the delicate washing mode in the automatic machine is, how to use it and what are the nuances of the settings for different brands of equipment.

To ensure that clothes made of certain materials retain their original appearance and do not deform after washing, washing machines are equipped with a delicate washing program. The washing process in this mode turns into a careful treatment and is significantly different from the standard one.

The delicate wash program often has a similar name, and may also be called hand wash or the “wool” or “silk” function on some devices.

delicate washing mode in the automatic machine

Which clothes require delicate washing

Icons on labels or superficial knowledge of the properties of various materials will help to determine that products need a delicate regime.

Usually, both synthetic and natural materials require careful washing, for example:

  • silk;
  • wool;
  • lace;
  • cashmere;
  • organza;
  • jersey;
  • elastane;
  • guipure;
  • batiste.

This is just a short list of materials that require delicate handling. There are also modern fabrics, the canvases of which consist of several types of fibers, so the list of things that need careful care is getting longer and longer. In addition, do not forget that brightly colored clothes and products with patches, laces and inserts also require delicate processing.


First of all, look at the product label. To understand that the thing requires careful cleaning, special symbols on the tag will help: an image of a container with water with two horizontal stripes at the bottom. Also, the manufacturer often indicates the recommended degrees of heating of the water used during washing right in the center of the image.

If there is no tag on the clothes, and you do not have adequate knowledge of the characteristics of the fabrics, you can check their type yourself. If the clothes stretch, shed or tear easily, they should be washed only in gentle mode.

How does delicate washing work?

Automatic delicate washing always proceeds in the same way, regardless of the model and manufacturer of the device, and has certain principles of operation.

Delicate mode always takes place under certain conditions:

  • in order to minimize mechanical effects on the fabric, the treatment takes place in a large amount of water, while the drum is loaded by a maximum of 1/3;
  • delicate fabrics react strongly to the influence of high temperatures, so the water practically does not heat up;
  • the rotation of the drum in the gentle mode is smooth and slow, significantly different from standard washing;
  • wringing is set either at low revolutions, or is completely absent;
  • drying things directly in the washing machine in the delicate mode is disabled.

In order for the washing to be effective, use special products for a gentle regime and properly prepare the clothes for processing.

Why not use a spin? Delicate fabrics do not tolerate mechanical influences, therefore there is no spinning in the gentle washing mode. Sometimes the spin takes place, but only at minimum revolutions – from 400 to 600 per minute.

Most delicate fabrics lose their declared properties after exposure to high temperatures, as a result of which clothes made of them become unfit for wear. To exclude this, the water heating temperature in gentle mode reaches a maximum of 40 degrees. This allows you to preserve the quality of materials, and at the same time wash away pollution.

The duration of delicate washing is determined individually depending on the type of fabric and degree of contamination. The process usually takes 40 minutes to 2.5 hours. However, when setting the duration of the mode on the device, remember that the longer the product is in water, the greater the deformation of the material fibers.

As indicated

Usually, the delicate mode on the washing machine is written in words or marked with the same symbol as on the clothes. In more rare cases, the marking of the mode may differ on different models of washing machines. To understand exactly which symbol indicates delicate processing, it is worth studying the instructions for the device.

What tools to use

In order for delicate washing to be as effective as possible, choose substances for treatment that:

  • dissolve well in water;
  • carefully cured from fibers;
  • do not contain chlorine, enzymes and other aggressive substances;
  • preserve the brightness and saturation of fabric colors;
  • smell nice;
  • give things softness and silkiness.

Some manufacturers of household chemicals produce special lines of detergents for delicate washing. As an alternative, you can also use liquid gel substances.

machine wash

How is it different from hand washing?

Delicate washing in an automatic machine and washing by hand are significantly different from each other. Processing things by hand takes much less time than automatic washing. You can just soak the product for a few minutes, rub it lightly and immediately hang it to dry. During manual processing, you can also adjust the concentration of the detergent and evaluate the effectiveness of your work. The washing machine, in turn, will not allow the water to overheat, which is quite difficult to do without a thermometer when washing by hand.

If both manual and delicate modes are installed on the same washing machine, the difference between them is significant. For the manual mode, you can additionally set the soaking function and increase the washing time.

How to prepare things

The quality of careful processing depends not only on the characteristics of the machine mode and detergents. To make you happy with the result, be sure to properly prepare the products before washing. For this:

  • sort clothes into light and colored;
  • use a water softener;
  • pre-block or treat persistent stains and dirt with an appropriate stain remover;
  • do not soak products before sending them to the drum, with the exception of lace, it is better to soak them in warm water with a small amount of soda for 2-3 hours;
  • do not overload the drum of the device;
  • wash small things in a special bag;
  • wash wool and cashmere only separately from other materials;
  • avoid wringing;
  • immediately remove the laundry from the drum after washing.

By following these rules, you will extend the life of your clothes for a long time.

How to iron and dry clothes

It is worth noting that careful washing alone is not enough to preserve the original appearance of the products. Clothes are recommended to be properly dried and ironed. Recommendations for drying delicate materials:

  • if you didn’t use wringing, hang things on the hangers above the bathtub and let the water drain;
  • under no circumstances dry wet things on a rope in a bent state and do not attach them with clothespins;
  • either hang the product on the shoulders, or lay it out on a horizontal, preferably mesh, surface;
  • to speed up the process, do not put clothes on the battery or other sources of artificial heat;
  • do not leave light-colored linen to dry in the sun, try to hang the products in the shade;
  • lay out the guipure and lace on a flat horizontal surface and cover with an absorbent material.

ironing delicate things

Tips for ironing delicate fabrics:

  • for processing, use a high-quality iron with a clean and smooth sole;
  • to begin with, try to iron an inconspicuous area of ​​the material with a barely warm iron;
  • iron wool at a maximum of 180 degrees only through a slightly damp cotton cloth;
  • synthetics or do not iron at all, or set the temperature on the iron from 110 to 130 degrees, and process only through cotton fabric;
  • iron organza through a thick sheet of paper at a temperature of 100 to 110 degrees;
  • iron silk clothes inside out slightly damp, setting the temperature on the iron to a maximum of 160 degrees;
  • if the material is dry, to exclude the appearance of separations, do not spray the fabric, but moisten it by wrapping it in a wet towel;
  • it is better not to iron velvet products, but to process them with steam from a steam generator or by hanging the item over a bath with hot water;
  • do not iron kapron and elastane products.

If you are not sure about the type and origin of the material, look at the label on the product. The icon of a crossed-out iron means that it is forbidden to iron clothes, and the number of dots in the center indicate the degree of heating of the device.

Manufacturers of washing machines

In order not to get confused in the modes, carefully study how delicate washing is affected by models of washing machines from different manufacturers.

  • Ariston. Washing machines of the latest generation – Hotpoint-Ariston are equipped with two modes of careful processing: “silk/curtains”, gentle mode in cold water without spinning, and “wool”. In older models, 3 types of washing can be included: “Delicate fabrics”, “Wool” and “Hand wash”.
  • Ardo. Ardo washing machines offer us three options for careful care: “Delicate wash” – indicated by the image of a feather, lasts longer than others and includes minimal spinning. “Hand” – shown as a hand wash icon, includes soaking, but no spin. “Wool” – the mode is shown in the form of a skein of yarn. It is distinguished by the minimum rotation speed of the drum during processing, low water temperature from 30 to 40 degrees and the possibility of choosing a spin – from 0 to 800 revolutions.
  • Boss. In Bosch washing machines, gentle processing is specified in two modes: “Delicate laundry/silk” and “Wool”. Both functions are distinguished by careful rotation of the drum, low water temperature and minimum spin speed.
  • Electrolux. Electrolux machines are distinguished by the maximum set of delicate washing modes. The function is added in 5 variants: “Thin fabrics” – is represented by a flower. “Hand washing” is a picture of hand washing. “Wool” – displayed as a skein of yarn. “Silk” is a picture in the form of a butterfly. “Sport” – the image of a pair of sneakers (suitable for washing synthetic delicate materials).
  • Indesit. All washing programs on Indesit machines are indicated by numbers on the selection scale, and their interpretation is shown on the outer panel of the detergent compartment. The standard functionality includes 2 gentle modes: “Silk” and “Wool”.
  • Siemens, Samsung, Beko, LG. Washing machine models of these brands contain complete information about the functionality of the device on the control panel, so choosing the right program does not cause complications.
  • Zanussi. Zanussi devices are equipped with 3 gentle care programs, each with 2 modes of a certain temperature: “Delicate fabrics” – image of a flower. “Wool” – displayed as a skein of yarn. “Hand washing” – a picture of a pelvis with a hand.

Delicate washing and modern technologies

Developers of washing machine software regularly update the functionality of their products, introducing various innovative technologies. This affects all washing modes, including delicate.

  • Eco Bubble

Similar innovative technology is installed in Samsung devices. Helps to improve the quality of washing with the help of the formation of air bubbles by a special generator. Saturated foam from water and detergent penetrates deep layers of fibers and does not harm fabrics at all. With the Ecobabble function, even heavily soiled items can be washed in cold water.

  • 6 Motion

The technology is used in LG washing machines, and implies the selection of a certain rotation of the drum out of 6 possible ones. You can set basic or reverse rotation, saturation, smoothing, twisting, rocking. The last 3 modes are fully suitable for improving the quality of delicate washing.

  • Honeycomb and drop-shaped drums

The latest models of Miele washing machines are equipped with drums with a special surface. The special form of the coating in the form of honeycombs creates a special film between the clothes and the drum, which ensures the most careful washing.

Advanced devices from Bosch are equipped with drums with projections of different shapes in the form of drops. In such a drum, you can safely wash delicate fabrics and do not fear that they will be deformed.

  • True Steam

Steam processing technology allows you to wash things as carefully as possible. Electrolux, LG and Miele washing machines are equipped with similar technology.

Is it possible to set gentle mode manually

If your washing machine does not have a delicate washing mode, do not despair. You can install the function of careful processing of fabrics yourself. Unfortunately, you will not be able to set the mode of smooth rotation of the drum on the device. However, you can set the optimal water heating temperature, spin speed and processing time on almost any automatic machine. Action algorithm:

  • To begin with, study the operating instructions of the washing machine in order to correctly set the required values.
  • Choose a shorter wash. Optimal – about 40 minutes.
  • Set the required heating temperature. For delicate fabrics, this indicator varies from 30 to 40 degrees.
  • Program a double rinse to better wash the detergent out of the fabric.
  • It is advisable not to put push-ups in the program. However, if it is necessary to adjust the setting to a maximum of 600 revolutions.
  • Turn off the drying and ironing functions, if these programs are included in the basic set of machine settings.

How dangerous is careful washing

Gentle washing helps preserve the original qualities of the material. However, it is believed that such processing can cause harm to health, because:

  • low temperatures do not kill dust mites, harmful microorganisms and bacteria;
  • if you use dry powder, it may not be completely washed off the material;
  • a regular washing program in cold water provokes the formation of mold on the inner walls of the washing machine;
  • sometimes stains and dirt cannot be washed off with cold water, even when using high-quality detergents.

Given the mentioned disadvantages of gentle washing:

  • do not use the delicate mode for processing children’s items;
  • occasionally run the car at high temperatures;
  • try to wash stains immediately after they appear.

The delicate washing algorithm consists of a careful effect on the fabric, the use of non-hot water and the absence of spinning. Use this treatment to clean delicate fabrics and materials with bright prints, inserts and lace, and then they will remain in their original form for a long time.

What is the delicate washing mode in the automatic machine