What is Presoak, Wash, Rinse & Spin in Washing Machine?

Washing machines come with rinse cycle, wash cycle and spin cycle. It is easy to get confused about these terms if you are just starting out.

Don’t worry, we will explain these terms in detail so that you can easily understand what each of these cycle performs.


Presoak cycle is present in some washing machines. This option increases the duration of ‘soak’ cycle.

When to use Presoak?

This cycle removes heavy stains such as blood stains from the clothing. Hence, if you are not in a hurry and want to remove food stain, blood stain then this mode is perfect for you.


According to dictionary, meaning of soak is “an act of immersing something in liquid for a period of time”

Hence, in soak cycle, the clothes remain immersed in water for some time and little bit of agitation (spinning of drum) also takes place. This effectively loosens the dirt from clothes.

This is usually the first cycle during the wash process.

Please note that many washing machines label soak as presoak, which means that ‘presoak’ in many machines will perform exactly what soak cycle does.

When to use Soak?

This cycle is best for effective cleaning of clothes because long duration of contat of clothes with detergent removes dirt efficiently. Also, if the clothes are soiled heavily, then this is perfect cycle.


Prewash is a short wash cycle that runs before the main wash cycle. This cycle usually includes three modes- soak, agitate and spin. Once this cycle is over, the water gets drained and wash cycle starts.

When to use Prewash?

This cycle is also used when the clothes are heavily soiled. However please keep in mind that in most washing machines, prewash should only be used with a dry powder and not liquid detergent.

Since soak, presoak and prewash all are used when the clothes are heavily soiled, washing machines do not have all of the modes. Different models have different combinations of these cycles.


As the name suggests, clothes get washed in this cycle with the help of water, detergent and movement of the drum. There are usually three types of actions in the wash cycle that perform the cleaning.

  • Rubbing of clothes among each other
  • Rubbing of clothes against the wash drum
  • Falling of clothes from small height to loosen the dirt (present only in front load washing machines)


Once the clothes are washed in the wash cycle, detergent has to be removed from the clothes and dirty water has to drained.

Hence, the dirty and detergent-filled water gets drained from the washing machine and clean water gets filled inside the washing machine.

During the rinse cycle, the clothes are washed in clean water to remove any detergent sticking on them.

Wash cycle and rinse cycle are present in all the washing machines as they are necessary modes.


There is only single purpose of spin cycle and that is drying of clothes. In this mode, the drum is rotated at high speed to remove traces of water.

Spin is usually the last cycle. It is also called dry cycle because the clothes are dried in this mode.

The spin cycle is measured in rpm (revolutions per minute). Higher rpm will result in better drying. However, you should always keep in mind to regulate the rpm based on the type of clothes. For delicate clothes, the spin cycle should be between 300 and 500 rpm, while for thicker clothes, the spin speed can be much faster (1000 rpm to 1400 rpm).

Hence, you should make sure that these are the spin settings in your washing machine.

What is Rinse & Spin?

As the name suggests, this cycle includes rinse and spin modes without any wash mode. Which means that as soon as you start this cycle, the soapy water gets drained, clean water gets filled inside the drum and clothes will rinsed. Post that the clothes go through spin cycle for drying purpose. Hence, no detergent is used in this cycle, only water softener is used if you have added it int the rinse tray.

When to use rinse & spin?

This cycle can be used in following cases:

  • If you have already washed clothes.
  • If you do not want to use detergent to wash clothes and the clothes are very lightly soiled.
  • If you have very lightly soiled clothes and less time at hand.

What is Drain & Spin?

This cycle is first drains water and then spins clothes for drying. Basically, this is used when the clothes are already rinsed or when you do not want to rinse the clothes.

You can also use drain and spin when your clothes are clean, but still a little bit wet.

Basically, it it is rinse & spin cycle minus rinse. Hence, it is shorter cycle than rinse & spin.

Reading Suggestions:

Leave a Comment