What Does Soil Mean On a Washing Machine?

Washing machines nowadays are pretty advanced. They come packed with all sorts of features designed to make doing the washing easier.

One feature that seems to have worked its way onto some of the more modern washing machines is ‘Soil’.

So, what does ‘Soil’ mean on a washing machine?

‘Soil’ is a setting that allows you to tell the washing machine how soiled your clothes are. If you turn your washing machine to a high ‘soil’ level, then the washing machine knows that it needs to use extra detergent and wash the clothes for a little bit longer.

How Does The ‘Soil’ Setting Work On a Washing Machine?

It is going to be dependent on the washing machine. This means that you will need to read the manual for more information.

In most cases, the higher the ‘soil’ setting is turned up, the more detergent the washing machine will use on your clothes. The wash cycle will also be a little bit longer too.

This can really help to get your most heavily soiled clothes clean.

Some machines may also adjust the water level based on the soil level. The higher the soil level, the more water is used.

Do You Have To Use The ‘Soil’ Setting On a Washing Machine?

In most cases, yes. Washing machines will require you to select the ‘Soil’ setting. A washing machine will likely have three different settings:

  • Light soil for clothes that just need to be spruced up. This setting is best for clothes with no visible dirt or stains.
  • Medium soil for clothes that have light dirt and stains. Perhaps a dash of mud or a bit of food.
  • Heavy soil for the filthiest of clothes. This is the setting that you want if your clothes are caked in mud, grime, or have heavy grease stains.

Select whichever option is most appropriate for your clothing. Most modern washing machines will have a knob for soil level, so even if you don’t turn that knob when cleaning your clothes, the washing machine will still have a setting programmed into it (i.e. whatever the knob is currently set to)

What Is The Benefit Of Using The Soil Setting On Your Washing Machine?

Well, it is going to make cleaning your heavily soiled clothes much easier.

The real benefit, however, is the fact that it can save you money. If you are only washing lightly soiled clothes, then you don’t need to be using buckets of water and detergent.

You don’t need those long wash cycles. By turning your washing machine to a ‘light soil’ setting, you will be saving energy and water.

This is especially important at a time when energy bills are rising sharply.

Using a lower setting for lightly soiled clothes may also be beneficial to the clothes too. After all, a wash cycle is always going to be harsh on any clothes that you are washing.

The less time you have those clothes in the washing machine, the better. The less detergent you use on them, the better.

You only want to use a heavy soil setting if the clothes need an intense wash.

Final Thoughts

If your washing machine has a ‘soil’ setting, then make sure that you use it. Not only will it result in a better wash for your clothes, but there is a good chance that it will save you money on your water, energy, and detergent bills too. 

How the soil setting works on a washing machine will vary. Always read through the manual for your particular washing machine to know how it will work for you.