This Is What Permanent Press Actually Means (And When To Use It)

If you're like the rest of us, you likely only use a few of the settings on your washing machine: normal, delicates, quick wash, and, maybe sometimes, the occasional heavy-duty. Since you can adjust the speed and the temperature of the rinse, why do we need other options, you ask? Well, according to PureWow, every setting on your machine has its own benefits and unique cycle. It turns out, permanent press may be the wash you've been looking for after all.

As its name suggests, permanent press has a lot to do with pressing out wrinkles. The outlet explains that this cycle is supposed to clean your clothes with minimal wrinkling. Plus — get ready for this — some clothes even come with a "Permanent Press" wash tag. So, keep the labels on your garments and take a look at which ones call for this type of wash. 

This cycle is so versatile that BuzzFeed says you can use it for virtually any item that you're looking to clean without the hassle of ironing. In fact, the outlet notes, this option may be better than the "delicates" wash due to its gentle release of cooler water throughout the spin.

The permanent press cycle will leave you with clean, wrinkle-free clothes

Perhaps the most useful cycle option, the permanent press uses a variety of temperatures to reach its goal of clean, unwrinkled garments. According to PureWow, the cycle begins with warm water and a gentler spin speed. The warm water unbinds any creases that are currently present on your clothes, then the slow spin prevents them from wrinkling once again—leaving you with smoother items. The cycle "gradually cool[s] fabrics down to help minimize wrinkles," Carolyn Forté, home appliances and cleaning products director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, tells Buzzfeed.

Another benefit to this technique comes from its ability to maintain bright colors, as a milder heat setting prevents the dye from fading. To finish the process, check if your dryer has a permanent press option to lock in the wrinkle-free benefits. 

When it comes to the permanent press, life-long users agree, "I really can't think of a con," Mary Leverette, a detergent and appliance manufacturer consultant who has taught classes on fabric care at Clemson University, said to Buzzfeed. "You can use this setting for almost anything."