A wash cycle takes about 2 hours and is a bit loud. If you live in a studio apartment, I recommend turning it on when you're heading out for a few. I've had to take phone conversations to another room and raise the volume on the TV a few bars to hear over the whirl of the machine. The Haier can handle three types of washes, but I'll be honest, I've only used the normal wash cycle and it did well on both fragile items and heavily soiled items.
I LOVE MY NEW TOY!!!