What Is the Freshen-up Program on Washing Machines?

Nick Davis

From regular to delicate, washing machines contain multiple settings for cleaning a range of clothing quickly and without the hassle of washing the items by hand. Certain model washing machines even include a “freshen-up” program that restores a garment or piece of clothing that may or may not be soiled.

Your washing machine's freshen-up program runs like other wash cycles.

The freshen-up program is not available on all washing machines.

Freshen-up Program

A washing machine’s freshen-up program is a cycle that cleans garments and fabrics that are not soiled but need odors and/or dust removed from them. The cycle is a “quick” one — completing in half the time of a “regular” cycle and is also suitable for garments and fabrics that have been in storage or a closet for too long.

Cycle Time and Steps

The freshen-up program’s cycle time varies by washing machine and may run as quickly as 15 minutes to as long as 45 minutes. The program goes through the wash, rinse and spin steps as other cycles. You can also add fabric softener during the freshen-up program’s rinse cycle or as prompted.


The freshen-up program is not designed to remove dirt and grime from garments or fabrics. The program is for restoring items to a “fresh” state and may or may not remove embedded soil from all items.


When using the freshen-up program, do not overload your washing machine or shut off the washer manually before the cycle is complete. Doing so can cause one or more items to remain smelly or dirty.