One of the key specifications you notice on a washing machine’s product description is the spin speed. In fully-automatic top load washing machines, they range from 600-900 rpm, while in semi-automatic ones they range around 1000 rpm. Front-load washing machines on the other hand have a spin speed of 800-1400 rpm.
So, let us try to understand what it means and its significance in a washing machine’s performance.
What is Spin Speed?
Spin speed simply refers to the number of times the drum rotates per minute. In most washing machines, you have a button to adjust the spin speed from zero to its maximum level.
When you select a wash program and start the washing machine, it first takes in water to wet the clothes. Then, it takes in the detergent along with more water. Depending on the wash program, it soaks the clothes for a while and tumbles around to dislodge the dirt. Then, it draws in water to rinse off the detergent residues. In the final stage, the washing machine tries to get rid of as much moisture as possible. To achieve that, it spins the clothes. Due to the centrifugal force, the water from the clothes gets thrown out through the tiny holes in the drum.
Related reading: Semi-automatic Vs Fully Automatic Washing Machines
Significance of Spin In Washing Machine
Lower spin speed means lower centrifugal force and hence the clothes retain a lot of moisture. At higher spin speeds, due to high centrifugal force, the water dissipation rate is much higher. So, it would be a good idea to run the washing machine at the maximum spin speed during monsoons or if you don’t have direct sunlight access while line drying. If on the other hand, you wish to reduce the energy consumption of your washing machine, you can set the spin speed at a lower level.
Unfortunately, we can’t provide the exact humidity level corresponding to different spin speeds because it depends on factors like the material, weight of the load, washing machine capacity etc. But on average, clothes washed and spun in a front load washing machine retain just about 50% moisture level.
Out of the three different types of washing machines, front loaders have the maximum spin speed and hence they dry the clothes the best. You won’t be able to extract water by wringing the clothes. But they still need to be line-dried. If you want to have clothes that are absolutely dry and ready for wearing, you may have to get a dryer.
Typically, a 6 Kg front loader has a spin speed of 800-1000 RPM, while a 7 Kg has around 1000-1200 RPM and an 8-9 Kg washing machine has around 1400 RPM. The higher the capacity, the higher should be the spin speed so that clothes are dried effectively.
When comparing semi-automatic and fully automatic top loaders, semi-automatic ones have higher spin speed and hence dries the clothes better than fully-automatic top loaders.
When To Reduce Spin Speed?
Spinning and heating consume the most energy in a wash program. So, it would be a good idea to set a lower spin speed if you want to reduce energy consumption. It is also suggested to reduce spin speed while washing delicate clothes or if you don’t want your clothes to wrinkle a lot.
Spin Only Cycle In Washing Machines
Most washing machines have either a spin-only wash program or a rinse and spin wash program.
During monsoons, we sometimes forget to take the clothes inside when it is raining. Or sometimes, we are not at home to rescue the clothes from the rain on time. By the time it stops raining, the clothes are often drenched. In such situations, we can use the spin-only cycle to get rid of the excess moisture from the clothes. Else, it will take way too much time to line-dry the clothes.
You may sometimes notice a musty odour if you leave wet clothes inside the washing machine after the wash program is over. In such cases, you can use the rinse and spin program to quickly rinse the clothes to get rid of the odour and then spin dry them.