Washing machine cycle times

Have been looking at the latest Choice review of washing machines in February 2019 and was shocked to see that the recommended LG has a cycle time of nearly 3 hours. Surely a machine should lose some points in the ratings when they cycle times are as long as this?

I am used to my 18 year old Simpson top loader which has a 30 minute cycle and can’t imagine how I would manage to get the washing done if it took 3 hours. Even in my small household we usually have 4 loads or more each week but I can get the washing completed on on the line to dry by 9am. It seems that long washing cycle times would make outside line drying pretty impossible - undermining any energy efficiency the new machine may have.

I am sure the machines must have a shorter wash cycle as well but as only the regular cycle was tested there’s no way to know how well the machine washes on a shorter cycle.

How do households manage their washing with cycles of 2 hours or more?


Hi @judyb23,

Thanks for the feedback, we’ll pass it on to our product testers. Longer wash cycles are one of the downsides of front loading machines, although on the plus side they are typically gentler on clothes and use less water. It’s likely that if you choose a machine of this type, the ‘standard’ wash cycle will be in the vicinity of 1 - 3 hours.

Top loaders on the other hand use shorter cycles like your Simpson, which sounds like it has served you well. It may be worth considering a similar machine if that is what suits your schedule best. If you haven’t already, the ‘compare all’ function on the review table will let you quickly scroll through the wash cycle times of all machines reviewed.

Thanks again for the comments and good luck sorting out the new washing machine.


Hi @judyb23, the longer cycle times of the current generation of front loaders is due to their water efficiency - reduce the amount of water used and the cycle time goes up.
We agree with you though, three hours is a bit of a stretch. The good news is manufacturers are currently working on addressing this, and new technologies are coming out which promise to deliver performance, efficiency AND speed. We have one such appliance in our next washing machine test and we’re looking forward to seeing how it goes - watch this space…
As for how to manage washing with a long cycle, many washing machines have a time delay option, so one way to do it is to put a load on the night before and set it to finish at around the time you get up in the morning. Another option if you’ve got a smaller or lightly soiled load of laundry is to use a quick wash program if equipped.


Firstly, we do use and appreciate the work Choice staff do and the product reviews. I would certainly put an emphasis or bold warning on any recommendation for a front loader. They are a different way of washing, just not an alternate form of washing machine?

We purchased an LG Choice recommended Front Loader more than ten years back. We purchased a steel floor stand at the same time. We did get a water saver discount from the Qld Govt at the time.

Absolutely the worst decision we have made with white goods.
The prior Heavy Duty Hoover 1500 had made light work of three heavy loads in the morning, twice per week and survived more than 15 years of a growing family of all boys!

Yes the front loader used less water! One load a morning, it’s rocking and rolling, it’s excursions around the concrete slab laundry floor? The divorce court until we sent it to scrap steel heaven!

I hope the current range is better and there is a sensible design of stand so that you do not need a chiropractor after bending to empty the drum? We now manage ok with a F&P 5kg top loader with manual adjustable water level. No teenage boys to wash for. Tank water only!

Top Loaders vs Front Loaders. One is a washing machine and you only need to wash two mornings a week. The other is … and you need to wash every day of the week? Rain, hail or shine!


Expectations and experience for everyone are different. We use Front Loaders (FL) exclusively now and have no issues and we save a great deal of water compared to when we had a top loader (TL), which at times we had bouncing over the floor because of balance issues.

We choose to load during the evening on the days we wash our larger loads (not every day for a household of 4 adults) and run the timer so that the wash is ready for a morning drying/hanging. We also use the “quick wash” cycle (30 mins) for loads that are reasonably clean but that do need a wash if we are pressed for time for some items we want.

FL just require a change of usage habits to get the best use of them but not everyone likes them and for them a TL will always be preferred. It is great we have the choice and so in the long run hopefully happier households.


We’ve been using a Bosch front loader for 5 years or so, and it has a large range of cycle times available. I generally use the mixed load 47mins, and the delicates cycle preferred by my wife runs 38mins.
The longest cycles are up around 4 hours, which would only be used extremely rarely.

I generally do a load each day of my cycling clothes and my wife’s work clothes, since she only has 2 work uniform shirts.

A spin speed of 800rpm tends to shake the whole house, but 700rpm is fine. It has spin speeds from 300 to 1200rpm.


We have had a Bosch WAY32540AU front loader for 4 years and it works great.

My wife usually sets it to the Mixed Load setting which provides a 1 hr 1 min wash including a 1,400 rpm spin cycle.

Whilst it does produce a high-pitched whine on the spin cycle, it is not unduly loud and there is no shaking or undue vibration.

Great product.



Thanks for the positive feedback on the FL’s. They still have appeal despite my past experience.
Having been the instigator of purchasing our prior LG Front Loader, I’ve been warned about a second foray down that path. I think I need to reassess our current laundry floor though. It predates most things including electricity. Might need some more joists to stiffen the floor and an over engineered base to raise the machine to a usable height for 70 year olds.

It is reassuring there are a couple of positive comments re Bosch. May be a good foot in the door for a Bosch Front Loader. We put a Bosch Dish Washer into our previous premises. It was simply the best, certainly better than the Miele we have now or an older model Miele we had from 2004. LG has been off our shopping list for some time, due to the washing machine experience and a dishwasher that went through 3 controllers in 4 years.


I used front loaders for the last 25 years and finally got sick of the rock’n’roll around the laundry… NO idea why both machines (first an Asko, then a Samsung) could not manage to do their spin cycles efficiently without having to bash the heck out of the floor. A fairly recent switch to top loading… quiet, relatively efficient and one wash a week (one person household). I don’t think I’m using more water, really. Water bills have remained fairly stable.


Also look at a stiff rubber sheet under the machine to help stop excessive noise if it does vibrate. We used when necessary after market ute tray rubber matting (buy by the metre) as our solution but now find just the rubber feet on the feet are sufficient.

For examples of the matting see (there are options without holes as well if desired…see last entry for one):




If one goes back enough years the front loaders had spinning baskets, end of story. Even the smallest imbalance would cause ‘excitement’ that was mitigated by suspension engineering. In more recent years most (all?) front loaders also have a set of weights around the tub that move to even the balance. They are not exactly vibration free in operation, but are a step ahead of the old timer models. Some makes and models do this more successfully than others.


It appears that Choice does not provide an assessment of the balance performance in the washing machine testing?

If there are factual differences in design and suspension should this also be considered?

Perhaps using accelerometers mounted to the floor panel on which each machine is tested. The greater the forces transmitted during testing to the floor (vertical and horizontal in two planes) the worse the performance?


we use a hisense front loader, and do our washing on the 15min cycle - this was after using the recommended daily on of 40mins.
seems our clothes (not heavily soiled) are equally clean after either cycle.
i should add we’re on tank water so we’re very conscious of water usage…


Good info here re TLs. :smiley:

@ Choice c’mon guys how does something at the top end of the wash time range get Recommended at all? As pointed out it can be addressed with some changes in habit but surely a Recommended product shouldn’t require this and intuitively I’d say 3 hours duration is unacceptable in the absence of other settings. Surely practicality is a component of the assessment as it’s fundamental to consumer satisfaction, if not it should be. How about a re-look at that assessment?


We appreciate the feedback @Mustang :+1:

We’ve had front loaders for 20+ years without any problem with moving about - last one was an old Samsung. Longer cycles - delay timer. numerous short cycles available. Spin 800 max but I used 600 to avoid creasing (and sometimes therefore, ironing). 70+ now but load unload not an issue without a stand. Wet clothes sort of fall out without lifting.
Now we inherited a top loader which is also fine but clothes do need lifting out of the bowl, into a basket for hanging out.
Quite interesting? - essentially the same front loader machinery is widely used in textile and leather processing because it’s gentle and saves water


I have a LG direct drive front loader washing machine, which starts its wash by weighing and balancing whatever load has been put into it. I have had both top and front loader machines and this one is the best. I’ve had no issues with its spinning and really it is difficult to hear it in full spin. There are settings for faster washes but the longer wash the less water used. It is not a great deal using the longer setting - just a little bit of foresight.


We’ve had front loaders all our life. The 18 year Ariston had various cycles but we used the 44 minute for everything and clothes always came out clean, it did however move around a lot. Due to old age this died 3 years ago and was replaced with a series 6 Bosch WAP28480U which has a cycle for every occasion.

There’s a 15 minute one which we use to refresh towels, 30 minute for lightly soiled items and a 46 minute cycle which we use for fuller loads and doing sheets and everything has always come out clean.

There are much longer cycles for heavily soiled items but we will never have the need to use any of those.

Spin cycle is adjustable from 1400 down to 400, (400-800 works for us) and we have never had any issues with the machine moving or vibrating, as a matter of fact it hasn’t moved from the underbench space it was put in 3 years ago.

Having spoken to a few appliance retailers over the years it is also believed that washing powder/liquid usually has a 10 minute period where it is effective in doing its job. Of course I have no proof of this, it’s just what I have been told. If possible, maybe it’s something Choice can do a test on.


I bought my first ever FL machine just over a year ago. Going by the Choice tests I went with the LG as it was a good score and available on Australia Day(the only day I had off work for the month). It has been a fairly steep learning curve after 30 years of top loaders. As previous posters have noted, you just need to plan a little ahead for the extended cycle times and making sure you put everything in before starting the cycle. My water and power usage has decreased and I believe that my clothes are cleaner. I was reluctant to buy LG after several problems with a fridge, but to date have been very satisfied.


My daughter’s machine takes 2hrs 15 mins for a normal wash cycle and it is so noisy.

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