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What is Wrinkle Control on Washers (When to use it)

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Does the laundry come out of the washer or dryer all wrinkled and creased like an unmade bed? Do they require extra time ironing and smoothing those wrinkles? And what do you do with the semi-permanent creases? Those wrinkles that are hard to iron?

It sounds like you need a washer with wrinkle control.

The wrinkle control or permanent press is a feature in some washers that prevents wrinkled laundry during the washing cycle. With the help of alternating warm and cold water and in the drying cycle with controlled spinning, reverse spinning, and intervals of rest between spinning.

Wrinkle control is not a new innovation in the world of washers and dryers. Still, very few people are even aware that their washer/dryer has that capability.

Read more to learn about wrinkle control and when to use it.

What is Wrinkle Control on Washers

Permanent Press on Washers (No more creases?)
I made a video on the Wrinkle Control program. This setting has many names. In the video I refer to it as Permanent Press.

Wrinkle control is a feature in some washers that reduces the number of wrinkles and creases caused by water agitation and spinning.

Both the heat and agitation cause the clothes to get entangled and have wrinkles on them. 

To achieve this, the washer will reduce the water temperature to make the fabrics less susceptible to creases and cut the water agitation and spinning speed by about half compared to normal cycles.

Other washers will prevent wrinkles using a different method of alternating between warm and cool water in the washing and rinsing cycles.

The washing cycle will use warm temperatures, while the rinse cycle is done with cold water. This keeps the number of wrinkles and creases down to a minimum.

Besides the water agitation and water temperature, another key factor in creating wrinkles is fabric stress.

Tossing the clothes and jerking them around the drum is one of the reasons you get laundry with so many wrinkles.

The wrinkle control reduces the spinning of the washer to avoid this issue.

What is Wrinkle Control on Dryers

If you have a washer/dryer in the same machine, then the wrinkle control feature extends to the dryer as well as the washer.

By far, the dryer is responsible for more than 60 percent of the wrinkles you see in the laundry. The high-speed spinning and extreme heat both lead to wrinkling and creasing.

This is why a dryer with a wrinkle control setting will reduce the heat during the spinning and add a few cool-down periods between the spinning phases to undo any wrinkles and prevent them from becoming permanent creases.

These cooling intervals can increase the duration of the dryer cycle considerably. In some dryers, this increase can be between 30 minutes to 2 hours long.

But the extra time the dryer takes to undo the wrinkles saves you a lot of hassle when you iron the dry clothes.

Another way for dryers to reduce and control wrinkles is by reversing the rotation direction after each cooling down interval. This helps undo the wrinkles and fluffs up the laundry.

Benefits of the Wrinkle Control Setting

When you think about it, the wrinkle control feature makes a lot of sense.

Not only does this setting control creases and wrinkles in the freshly done laundry, but it also saves on energy consumption as it limits the temperature of the water.

Here are some of these benefits for both the washer and dryer.

  • Reduced water temperatures during the washing cycle prevent color runs, color fading, and the wearing off of fabrics.
  • The slow spin functionality is gentle on delicate and sensitive clothes.
  • Rinsing with cold water cuts down on your energy consumption and reduces utility bills.
  • The wrinkle control feature reduces the wash cycle time, which minimizes the exposure of the fabrics to the chemicals in the detergents.
  • In the dryer, warm air is used to dry the clothes, which is gentler on the fabrics and colors than hot air.
  • The cool-down intervals and fluffing of the clothes in the dryer prolong the life of the clothes and avoid putting the fabrics through extreme stress.

When to Use and Not Use the Wrinkle Control Feature

Like many other programs and settings on the washer/dryer, the wrinkle control setting has certain situations where it becomes absolutely necessary.

And there are cases where you should never use the wrinkle control feature. Here are these situations in more detail.

When to Use it

  • If the instructions on the tag of the garment call for “tumble dry.”
  • The laundry load is mainly synthetic fabrics such as nylon, spandex, rayon, or polyester.
  • The clothes cannot be ironed.
  • Colors that you worry might fade.

When Not to Use it

  • The clothes are heavy or thick such as towels, bed sheets, bath mats, quilts, tablecloths, and jeans, among others.
  • Heavily soiled clothes and those with lots of stains on them.
  • Sensitive and delicate fabrics. These should be washed under the Delicate Cycle.
  • Cotton underwear, activewear, scrubs, and other clothes that need hot water washing.


Is the Wrinkle Control the same as the Delicate Cycle?

Wrinkle control is a different setting from the delicate cycle. The main difference between them is in the level of agitation and spinning speed.

The delicate cycle has a gentler approach toward washing sensitive fabrics such as lace, thin underwear, cashmere, satin, and silk.

What’s the Difference Between Wrinkle Control and Normal Cycle?

The differences between the wrinkle control feature and the normal cycle cover all aspects of the four stages, from pre-wash and washing to rinse and spin.

In a nutshell, the normal cycle takes up more time, uses high-temperature water, and has more water agitation and spinning speed than the wrinkle control.


The wrinkle control feature is a setting (and sometimes a button) in some washers that are designed to reduce or eliminate creases and wrinkles in the laundry.

It uses gentle water agitation, a low spin speed of under 800 RPM, and alternating warm and cold water temperatures during the washing cycle.

I’ve created a comprehensive guide on how to use all the settings on your washing machine that may interest you to read next.

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