What Soil Level Should I Use & How to Use

What Does Soil Level Should I Use
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You’ll notice that not every piece of laundry has the same level of soil when you gather it from various parts of the house. The children’s socks will be filthy, but the blouse you wore to work just the day before is barely, if at all, filthy.

Depending on the type of fabric you’re washing and how dirty your clothes are, select a low, medium, or high soil level setting.

Based on the soil level of the clothing, soil level settings are intended to assist you in selecting the best setting for your laundry. It’s an added feature that finetunes the wash process and allows you to customize it even further. Read more to find out what soil level settings are and how to make the most out of them.

How Do You Use It?

What Does Soil Level Should I Use

If you haven’t yet used this feature, you might want to know if you can improve your washing routine with it. You can, you just need to choose the soil level.

First, determine if clothes have mild levels of dirt or stain. Sometimes, even though the clothes seem clean, they actually contain dust particles.

The best soil level for these clothes must also take into account this trapped dust. The dust can be felt by touching them.

On the other hand, it makes sense that your bedding would contain a lot of soil if your home attracts a lot of dust.

Unsurprisingly, beddings should be washed using a high intensity soil level setting.

Once you have determined how much soil is trapped in your clothes, you need to determine if the heavily soiled piece of clothing has tough or fragile fabric.

Your fine clothing shouldn’t be washed with a lot of soil. The tough tumbling and washing that take place at this soil level require fabrics that can withstand it.

Also, finer clothes usually shed soil more easily than tougher ones. Therefore, a wash with greater intensity is not necessary for them.

Now that you know how dirty your clothes are, you can also tell how durable the fabric is.

Determine the intensity while keeping these things in mind. To meet the needs of the clothing, adjust the soil’s depth.

What is the Soil Level Setting?

An essential washer feature that adjusts the wash cycle according to the amount of soil in the laundry is the soil level setting. Heavy stains call for longer drying times and more water agitation.

More water, energy, and laundry detergent are exposed due to the extra-long cycle. But not every garment requires this. This special care should only be given to areas with dense soil levels.

But choosing which soil setting to use depends on more than just the soil level. The type of fabric also has a significant impact, as we’ll see later. For instance, never use the heavy soil setting on your washer with heavily soiled lace or nylon clothing.

Simple: No matter how dirty they are, these delicate fabrics wash clean in a short amount of time with minimal water agitation. A setting with dense soil would be excessive and risk destroying the fabrics.

The bottom line is that while the soil levels of the laundry are extremely important in adjusting the wash cycle, they’re by no means the only determining factor. As opposed to being a set in stone code, you can think of them more as guidelines.

The Different Soil Levels

The majority of washers only have three soil-level settings. These are equivalent to clothes that are lightly, moderately, and heavily soiled. Putting your laundry into these three strict categories may not be easy, which is understandable.

Between the light and medium levels, some clothing may fall. Others might be slightly dirtier than usual, but not significantly. So what should you do with these clothes?

For your benefit, let me briefly summarize the situation.

What Does Soil Level Should I Use

Light Soil

This is the default setting for your washer. It treats all clothing as lightly soiled, with few stains and definitely no difficult stains that call for additional cleaning. It is also the quickest setting of the three.

If you don’t adjust the setting on the Soil dial, the washer will continue to operate according to its pre-programmed settings. Generally speaking, you require this.

For dusty clothes, work attire that doesn’t get much dirt, excessive sweating, or any type of stain, use the light soil setting.

Additionally, it is suggested for thin, delicate, and delicate fabrics. Use it with lace, nylons, and thin undergarments.

Normal Soil

This setting differs from the light soil setting in that it uses more water agitation, a faster spin, and a slightly longer cycle time. To work on the stains, the water would also be slightly warmer.

For recent stains without the need for pre-washing, use the normal soil setting. As long as you wash them after each use, you can use it with both activewear and everyday clothing.

Fabrics like synthetics and hybrids would benefit from the normal soil setting.

Heavy Soil

For many washing machines, this is the highest setting. It adds more minutes to the wash cycle, uses the highest temperature setting, spins faster, and adds more agitation for more efficient cleaning.

Of course, all of this extra work comes at a cost. The washer uses more water and energy under this setting than the other two settings combined. So you should only reserve it for the extra soiled clothes.

Use it with thick items of clothing like tablecloths, towels, and denim.

Benefits of Soil Level Settings

You have more control over the wash cycle thanks to the various soil levels, which is their main benefit, as I already mentioned. Its duration, level of agitation, spin speed, and water levels.

The soil button on the washer, however, has additional advantages.

  • It groups different settings under one setting.
  • It saves you the time of fiddling with different dials related to water level and water temperature, among others.
  • The soil level setting finetunes the wash process and gets the laundry clean more efficiently.
  • It helps you conserve water and energy by selecting the right setting for the laundry.
  • It can be used in conjunction with other washer settings to enhance the washing process.

The Relationship Between Soil Level and Water Level

What Does Soil Level Should I Use

You might have noticed that the water level rises with some soil level settings if you started reading the article at the beginning. It need not always be the case, though.

This is due to the fact that the soil level doesn’t just describe how dirty the laundry is. However, it also draws attention to the quantity of dirt, lint, and debris inside the washer, particularly in the drum.

So if we’re talking about the soil level of the laundry, then the more soiled the clothes, the more water is needed to clean them thoroughly. In that case, the highest soil level will use more water than the one beneath it, and so on.

Regarding the soil content of the washer itself, that has nothing to do with how often it should be washed. Most modern washers have a self-clean feature that removes debris, dirt, and grime. If your washing machine isn’t equipped with this feature, add some heavy-duty laundry, put it on a heavy-duty cycle, and let it run until the water is gone.

You must manually remove the lint from the filters in order to collect it.

The Soil Button on the Washer

Finally, we reach the actual soil button. The magic takes place there. You can control a variety of settings and washer features with the push of a single button. What exactly is the soil button then?

Simply put, the soil button is a one-stop shop that eliminates the need for you to adjust the water level, spin speed, agitation, water temperature, and wash cycle duration. That’s right. You can set all of that with the soil button.

Every washer has predefined programs with settings for each program that are preset. When you select a program, you implicitly agree to all of its default settings.

You might want to alter those settings, though, occasionally. Create your own programs on a lot of washers. But what if you don’t have the time to do that or you don’t like any of the pre-made programs?

If so, clicking the soil button is the best choice for you.

You have three settings: Light, Normal, and Heavy. Depending on your choice, each will automatically adjust all of those settings.

How to Adjust the Soil Level on the Washer

How can we adjust the soil level to tell the washer to clean to the level we want now that we know what the soil button is for?

Depending on the washer’s brand and model, it may be as easy as moving the button or pressing it repeatedly. Some buttons are like a dial that you move to the left or right to adjust between the three soil levels.

If the washer has a panel, you can choose the desired soil level by pressing the soil button. It’s that simple.

Keep in mind that if you customize the water level, temperature, or any other setting of the cycle, this will override the soil level you have chosen. The washer accepts the last input from you and erases any previous adjustments you have made.

Soil Levels and Fabric Types

As I’ve previously stated, there are other important considerations that help you choose the proper soil button setting in addition to the laundry’s soil level.

The fabric type is a more important factor.

Let me give you an illustration.

Let’s say you have a lacy camisole top that went through a long interstate road trip or a yoga session, or a strenuous gym session. Which environment would you put this outfit in?

True, it’s drenched in sweat. But it still goes under the light soil setting. Without the need for a lengthy wash cycle with excessive agitation, the thin lacy fabric will shed the sweat, dust, and other dirt fairly quickly.

Compare that with a slightly soiled denim skirt that you only wore once but kept it hanging for a while and never got to wear again since. The heavy soil setting should be used for this one.

The fabric is everything. In comparison to a heavy, soiled lacy garment, the heavy denim skirt takes longer to clean.


When adjusting the washer’s settings, there are other considerations besides the soil level of the laundry that must be taken into account. The type of fabric you are washing is a more crucial factor.

Most washers have three soil-level settings. For delicate fabrics and lightly soiled clothing, use the light soil setting.

Everyday and business attire that you only wear occasionally makes up the typical soil environment.

Jeans, towels, and bedding should be washed in the heavy soil setting.


Does Soil Level Add More Water?

For optimal operation, each soil level setting requires a different amount of water. The light setting will use less water compared to normal and heavy levels, and will also have shorter washing cycles. The size and weight of the load affect how much water is used for washing.

What Spin Level Should I Use?

Wool will require a slower spin speed (around 600-800rpm), synthetic will need around 800-1000 rpm and cotton will need 900-1400rpm. Higher washing machine spin speeds aren’t always the best because they can cause business shirts made of cotton to wrinkle, adding extra time to the ironing process.

What Happens When Soil Holds Too Much Water?

A problem with too much water is that it can cause erosion, standing water, and nutrient loss. A soil with a low water holding capacity will have a narrow window between too much and not enough moisture. Plant growth is poor under both circumstances.

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