What is Spin in Washing Machine – Wash Cycles Explained

When it comes to the functioning of a washing machine, there are quite a few things that you might just know by name and not understand what exactly happens inside a washing machine. Spin is one such thing that has consumers perplexed. So, what is spin in washing machine? Let us discuss this aspect of the appliance in detail and help you understand washing machines better. To begin with, understand that there are multiple cycles that complete when you wash your clothes. Spin is one of the cycles that helps you remove all excess moisture from your washed clothes.

What is Spin in Washing Machine

Spin is one of the three wash cycles in a washing machine, wash, rinse, and spin. It is the last part of washing clothes and removes all excess moisture from your clothes. Spin cycles can be dry as well as with water. Spin cycles when clubbed with running water can also be substituted for the rinse cycle.

Since semi-automatic washing machines do not often have a rinse cycle, you can use the spin cycle on the dryer and rinse all your clothes easily.

Most washing machines have a spin cycle that helps to remove water from clothing. Spin speed is measured in revolutions per minute, or RPM. A higher RPM means that the clothes will be spun faster and more water will be removed. The spin cycle is usually followed by a rinse cycle, in which the clothes are rinsed with fresh water.

Some best washing machines also have a final spin cycle that removes even more water from the clothing. This can be helpful if the clothes will be hung to dry, as it will help them to dry more quickly. Spin cycles can also be used to remove wrinkles from clothing. By selecting a high spin speed, the fabric will be stretched and any wrinkles will be removed.

Spin speeds generally range up to a maximum of 1600rpm and can be extremely effective at drying out clothes. However, if you are washing your delicates and such, it is better to have a lower spin RPM so that they do not get damaged.

Let us look at the different wash cycles in washing machines.

The Different Wash Cycles

There are effectively four parts of a wash cycle.

  • Soak – The first step to washing clothes is soaking the laundry in soap water. Simply fill the washing machine tub with water and add detergent. Add your clothes and let the detergent penetrate into the pores of the fabric.
  • Wash – This is where the agitation starts. The washing machine’s agitator spins and so do the clothes along with it. The to and fro movement cleans the clothes and removes all dirt and debris from them.
  • Rinse – Once the clothes are clean enough, they need to be rinsed with clean water to remove all the excess soap from the pores. The dirty water must be drained out from the wash cycle and clean water be added back to the tub. The wash cycles repeats, only this time without any detergent.
  • Spin – The final step is spin. In semi automatic washing machines, you would have to transfer the washed clothes to the dryer tub, while in automatic washers, you can simply select the spin cycle. The tub spins really fast expelling all excess water and moisture from your clothes and drying them. Make sure you do not send your delicates in a really high RPM washing machine, or risk them getting damaged.

There are other cycles particular to some specific models of washing machines. The Rinse + Spin cycle for example is very commonly used in a semi automatic washing machine. In a semi auto washer, you do not necessarily get a rinse function, since the drying function is clubbed with the rinse function.

Some of the more expensive Bosch washing machines also come with adjustable spin speeds, which is a great added feature if you tend to wash a lot different types of clothes.

What is the ideal washing machine spin speed?

When it comes to spin, each type of clothing has a different requirement. It is very important to read the washing instructions on your clothes, especially the delicate and expensive ones. Not every clothing item can be spun in a washing machine. Some clothes get heavily damaged and cannot be recovered if you send them through a spin cycle.

For example, cotton can withstand a spin speed of 1400 RPM, while something silk will completely tear at that speed. For silk, the ideal spin speed is around 400 RPM.

Some advanced washing machines might allow you to control the spin speed yourself, but in most basic appliances, the spin speed is predetermined and cannot be altered. In such a case, avoid sending delicate clothes through a spin cycle.

Washing machines, a lot of the times also offer a number of pre-selected programs to choose from. These programs can be used to protect your delicates while you send them to spin. Finding these niche washing machines might be difficult, and cost a bit of money, but they are highly effective and totally customizable.

Here are the different spin speeds you should aim for according to the materials you are washing.

MaterialSpin Speed


So, what is spin in a washing machine? In short, it’s a cycle that removes water from your clothes by spinning them at a high speed. While it may seem like a relatively simple process, there’s actually a lot that goes into making sure your clothes come out of the wash spin cycle feeling and smelling fresh.

In order to achieve this, washing machines use a variety of different techniques, including agitation, tumbling, and rinsing. By combining these techniques with the power of water and detergent, washing machines are able to give your clothes a thorough clean.

So next time you’re standing in front of your machine trying to figure out which cycle to choose, remember that spin is the key to getting your clothes squeaky clean.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What spin setting should I use?

This depends on the clothes you are washing. If you are washing your delicates, make sure you run the spin function at a lower setting, If you are washing cotton, or woolen clothes, a higher spin setting can be used.

2. What is the difference between wash and spin?

Spin and wash are two different cycles. While wash refers to the turning of clothes in the tub with detergent added to the water, spin refers to the action of drying of clothes. A spin cycle is essential to make sure your clothes come out clean, and it is also quite effective at removing moisture from the clothes.

3. Does high spin damage clothes?

Yes. High spin speeds can damage your clothes. If you are washing delicates, and softer fiber clothes, high spin can most definitely permanently damage them. If you are washing cotton or wool however, a high spin speed would be harmless. Make sure you understand which spin speed is best for a particular cloth type.

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Written By Gautam Joshi

I am a passionate home appliance expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. As a former Quality Engineer, I have a deep understanding of appliance design, functionality, and performance. My knowledge and expertise in the field have equipped him to provide well-informed and reliable advice to homeowners looking to purchase or maintain home appliances.

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