Washing Machine Spin Speed

What do I need to understand about the spin?

Washing Machine Drum

What is spin speed?

Spin speed is measured in RPM – Revolutions per minute. This means the machine’s drum will rotate X amount of times per minute. The faster the spin the more water can be extracted from your clothes, meaning they will be drier when taken out of the washing machine.

Most washing machines on the market today have spin speeds between 1000rpm – 1600rpm, with some even having a whopping 1800rpm.

Can I manually adjust the spin speed?

All preset wash cycles will have a set spin speed which is recommended for that particular type of wash load but it’s worth knowing that most washing machines allow you to adjust the spin speed if you wanted to. For instance, if it’s a sunny day you could save some energy by choosing a lower spin speed and drying your clothes on the line.

Safety First

All modern washing machines will try to balance a laundry load before the main spin cycle begins, and if it can’t achieve even distribution, it will automatically select a slower spin speed for safety and better care for your clothes.

The Advantages of Higher Spin Speeds

Here are the main plus points of having a washing machine with higher spin speed:

  • Your clothes will need less time to dry – Ideal for those without a tumble dryer or who live in a home with limited outdoor space to line dry.
  • Drying your clothes on a higher speed is more energy efficient than using a tumble dryer for longer.
  • Great for those who wash a lot of cotton loads – this is usually the programme which requires the highest spin speed.

What spin speed should I use?

Here is a guide for fabric types and their suggested spin speeds based on a 6kg machine with a top spin speed of 1400 rpm. As always, do check the manufacturer’s instruction book or the wash care labels on individual garments for their own recommendations:

  • Cottons: 1400 rpm
  • Delicates: 600 rpm
  • Woollens: 1200 rpm
  • Silks: 400 rpm
  • Shirts: 600 rpm
  • Denim: 900 rpm
Hanging Clothes

Myth Buster! High Spin Speeds

Washing Machine Buttons

Higher spin speeds will ruin your clothes

No! Higher spin speeds will not ruin your clothes when you use the appropriate settings. High spin speeds are ideal for cottons, bulky items such as towels and bedding and denim. These types of items can handle the power of the top speeds and if you’re machine is maintained to a good standard you shouldn’t see any damage to your laundry at all.

However, if you whack a load of delicate and heavily embellished party dresses in the washer and spin it at 1200rpm then it’s fair to say you won’t like the outcome. Our tip? Read the care labels on your garments to be sure.

Machines with higher spin speeds are more prone to breakdowns.

Many believe that higher spin speeds increase the wear and tear of the appliance as it puts more stress on the internal parts of the machine. However with the advanced technology today, washing machines are more reliable than ever.

There are washing machines on the market which have use innovative technology within the washer by using brushless Invertor motors and Direct Drive technology. By removing unnecessary belts and pulleys and using magnetic power, the inside parts are more streamlined making them some of the most reliable around.

Some manufactures trust the motors so much, that they come with a whopping 10 year warranty.

The higher the spin speed the better.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the higher the spin speed the better but in actual fact it’s not as straight forward as that. You need to think about your lifestyle and your own requirements. If you own a lot of delicate items then a high spin speed is unlikely to benefit you as these need to be spun at a much lower speed – between 400-600rpm.

Also, if your wash loads tend to feature a lot of shirts then again, a lower spin speed is recommended and it will help to reduce creasing.