How Much G-Force Does A Washing Machine Produce?

We often hear about racing car drivers and fighter jet pilots experiencing “G force” but did you know that G force is an important part of the way your washing machine works?

In this article we look at the G force or force of gravity and ask why it’s important when it comes to laundry? As well as how to work out the gravitational force your laundry experiences during a regular wash cycle.

What Is G Force

In simple terms, G force is the measurement of the force of gravity exerted on a person or object due to acceleration. To put this into perspective, fighter jet pilots can experience a G force of 9 Gs or more.

Whereas the G force exerted on anyone standing on the surface of earth is 1G.

What Does G Force Mean When It Comes To Laundry?

Two people putting clothes in a laundry basket from the washer

Basically, the faster your laundry spins, the greater the G force and this means more water gets extracted from the clothes as they spin in the drum. Obviously, the more water removed during the spin cycle, the less time needed in the dryer to get the laundry dry.

For instance bed sheets and pillow cases spun in a washer with a 350+ G force typically need no tumble drying at all and can be ironed directly from the washer.

So a high G force is a good thing when it comes to laundry right? Well, yes, but only up to a point. This is because there is a level of gravitational force at which moisture removal stops increasing. That’s at around 400+ Gs.

This is good news for businesses like hotels and care homes as less drying time means less energy consumption and cheaper energy bills.

The higher the G force the lower drying time required but there is a caveat. There are certain fabrics like those used by the fire service to make their personal protection equipment (PPE) for example, that can become damaged if subjected to exceptionally high G force.

These types of fabrics should never be subjected to a G force of more than 100 G. This is also the same for many sports kits which is why you should always follow the advice provided on the wash care label and the user manual of your washing machine.

How Much G Force Does Your Washing Machine Create?

The amount of G force your washer creates depends on a number of factors. These include;

  • The size of the drum
  • The stage of the cycle your machine is at
  • The spin speed

When your washer is washing or rinsing the laundry, your clothes experience a G force of 1G. This is because the drum paddles lift the laundry to the top of the drum and they then drop to the bottom of the drum. So the only gravitational force is the gravitational pull of the earth (1 G).

It’s during the spin cycle that the G force really gets going. Depending on the make and model of appliance you own, the spin speed can be anything from 800 to 1800 RPM (revolutions per minute).

To work out exactly how much G force is exerted on your laundry during the spin cycle, you will need to use this simple calculation;

G force = (RPM)2 x 1.118 x 10-5 x r

Where r = the radius of the drum of the washer. Assuming that the drum has a radius of 30cm and the spin speed is 1400 RPM, our formula looks like this;

G force = 14002 x 1.118 x 10-5 x 30 Which equals 657.384 G

This means the estimated G force of a washing machine with a 30 cm radius drum spinning at 1400 RPM is around 650 G. Some models will have a higher G force than this and some will have a lower G force.

Obviously commercial washers which have larger drums and higher spin speeds will have a higher G force.

Is It Better For A Washer To Have A Higher G Force?

From the perspective of getting your laundry dry faster, a higher G force is a good thing. To achieve a higher G force on your laundry you will need a relatively fast spin speed. 

The faster the spin speed, the more G force exerted on the laundry during the spin cycle and the more water extracted from the laundry. That means reduced drying times which can save you a considerable amount of energy and money.

However, you will need to check the wash care label on your clothes to ensure the fabric can withstand high spin speeds and G forces.

SEE ALSO: What Spin Speed Should You Use On A Washing Machine? (the ultimate guide)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the G force in a washing machine?

The G force in a washing machine refers to the amount of gravitational force exerted on the laundry during the spin cycle. Generally the higher the spin speed, the more G force is exerted on the contents of the drum. Which means more moisture extraction and reduced drying times.

What affects the G force of a washing machine?

The factors that affect the G force of a washing machine include; the drum radius, the spin speed and the stage of the cycle your machine is at. Clothes experience a G force of 1 G when washing and rinsing, the G force increases during the spin cycle and the amount is determined by the spin speed and the radius of the drum among other things.

Are there fabrics that cannot withstand a high G force?

There are fabrics that cannot withstand a high G force. These include firefighters PPE and certain sportswear/kits.

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