What Is Permanent Press?

Luckily, wrinkle-resistant clothing is getting more popular than ever. Nevertheless, we still have to iron work shirts and dress pants if we really want to look our best. But if you hate ironing (like me), you can let your washing machine do the unwrinkling for you by enabling the Permanent Press.

What is the Permanent Press? That’s what we’ll find out in this article.

The Permanent Press Cycle in Washing Machines

When you select the Permanent Press cycle, your washing machine will carry out the main wash with warm water, and then rinse with cold water before wrapping up with a slow spin. 

How is that different from other cycles? Well, Regular Wash, the one you use with most of your clothes, uses hot water and fast spin. On the other hand, Delicate Wash uses cold water with slow or no spin. 

As you might’ve deduced, Permanent Press is the intermediate cycle. Starting with hot water allows the fabric to relax, which removes most of the wrinkles. Following up with cold water minimizes color bleeding and fabric shrinkage. And the slow spin prevents the formation of new wrinkles. 

If everything goes according to plan, you wouldn’t have to iron your clothes after this cycle. Better yet, you won’t have to iron them ever again since the warm water will take care of all the wrinkles, hence the name “Permanent Press!”

The Permanent Press Cycle in Dryers 

In dryers, the Permanent Press cycle uses medium heat that’s about 15 degrees lower than that of the Regular cycle. Additionally, it runs for a total of 30 minutes, which is 10 minutes shorter than usual. 

Most dryers wrap up with a 10-minute cooling phase, which lets your garments lose heat gradually before exposing them to air. 

Again, this cycle is engineered to minimize wrinkles. It steers clear of high heat because it can damage or warp the fabric. The final cooling phase is important because sudden heat change will definitely induce wrinkles. 

When Should You Use Permanent Press?

The Permanent Press cycle should be perfect for garments made of synthetic fibers, such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, rayon, or knitwear. Most of these garments are heat-sensitive, so they can’t withstand the Regular cycles.

Thick natural fabrics, like cotton and linen, are also suitable for Permanent Press. On the contrary, fabrics like lace, wool, silk, and suede should always be washed on the Delicate cycle because fast spin might tear them apart. 

Heavy clothes, like denim jeans and canvas jackets, will probably need a Heavy-Duty cycle, especially if they’re heavily soiled. I’m not saying that Permanent Press wouldn’t work, but it may not dig deep enough to remove stubborn dirt, odor, etc. 

Final Thoughts

If you want to keep all wrinkles at bay, I have two more pro tips for you. 

First: don’t compress your clothes into the washing machine or the dryer. Keep them loosely packed, making sure that they only fill 3/4 of the full capacity. 

Second: as soon as the drying cycle finishes, hang or fold your clothes immediately. Leaving them under pressure will definitely induce some wrinkles, especially for the clothes sitting at the deepest layer. 


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