What’s A Good Washing Machine Spin Speed To Use?

When selecting the spin speed for your washing machine, it’s essential to consider various factors to ensure that your washer is working efficiently while not putting your clothes under excessive agitation. But what is the best spin speed you can use on your laundry?

Basically, the answer to this depends on several factors, such as the type of fabric you’re washing and your drying preferences. 

For delicate fabrics, it’s best to use a lower spin speed around 400-1000 RPM to prevent damage. For everyday synthetic and cotton fabrics, a medium spin speed of 1200-1400 RPM is effective. For heavy items like towels and jeans, a higher spin speed of 1400-1600 RPM is ideal, as it removes more water and reduces drying time. Always adjust the spin speed based on the fabric type and check garment labels for specific instructions.

Let’s learn more about washing machine spin speeds in this article.

What’s A Washing Machine Spin Speed?

The spin speed of a washing machine is an important feature that determines how much moisture remains in your clothes after washing, impacting drying time and energy consumption. 

Spin speeds are measured in revolutions per minute (RPM), and selecting the right speed can make a significant difference to your laundry routine. 

Most modern washing machines nowadays have several options that allow you to configure the machine and choose the exact spin speed you will use, and even have specific options that automatically choose the speed depending on the type of fabric you will wash. 

Let’s categorise the different spin speeds into 3 levels:

Spin Speed Range (RPM)Description
400-1000Gentle on clothes, ideal for delicate fabrics. Clothes come out more moist, requiring longer drying times. Helps extend the life of fabrics by reducing wear and tear.
1,200-1,400Balanced for everyday laundry. Efficient moisture removal, less harsh on fabrics than high speeds. Suitable for regular washes with a good mix of efficiency and fabric care.
1,400-1,600Best for heavy, durable fabrics like towels and bedding. Maximises water extraction, reducing drying time and energy use. Not suitable for delicate items.

Low Spin Speed (400-1000 RPM)

A low spin speed is gentle on your clothes, making it ideal for delicate fabrics and garments that require careful handling. 

At this speed, clothes come out relatively more moist, meaning they’ll need longer drying times. However, this gentleness helps extend the life of delicate fabrics by reducing wear and tear during the spin cycle.

Medium Spin Speed (1,200-1,400 RPM)

This is a balanced choice for everyday laundry, providing efficient moisture removal while being less harsh on fabrics than higher speeds. 

Clothes spun at medium speed dry faster than those at low speeds but with reduced stress on the fabric compared to high speeds. It’s perfect for your regular washes, where you need a good mix of efficiency and fabric care.

High Spin Speed (1,400-1,600 RPM)

High spin speeds are best for heavy, durable fabrics like towels and bedding. These speeds extract the most water, significantly cutting down drying time and making them energy-efficient for items that take a long time to dry. 

Unfortunately, the high spin speeds are not suitable for delicate items as the intense spinning can stretch or damage sensitive fabrics.

TIP: Always read the care label of your garment to prevent damage. It contains valuable information on the best ways to clean, dry, and store your clothing. 

Factors You Need To Consider When Choosing A Washing Machine Spin Speed

As mentioned earlier, choosing the right spin speed would depend on several factors. It isn’t just about slapping your laundry into the machine, selecting any setting, and hoping for the best. 

Here are the things you need to consider to optimise your washing sessions:

Fabric Type

Different fabrics respond differently to spin speeds. Delicates like silk and lace need a gentle touch, hence a lower RPM, whereas cotton and synthetics can withstand more vigorous spinning.

Load Type

The size and type of your laundry load also influence the ideal spin speed. Smaller or mixed loads might require a medium spin to balance between effective water removal and fabric care.

Preferred Drying Method

If you tend to air dry clothes, a higher spin speed can reduce drying time, though it’s energy-consuming. Conversely, for those using a dryer, a medium spin might suffice as the dryer will handle the rest.

Noise And Vibration

Higher speeds generally produce more noise and vibration. Consider this if your laundry area is close to living spaces or if you live in an apartment with noise restrictions.

Does Using The Right Spin Speed Even Matter?

Absolutely! Selecting the appropriate spin speed is more than just about drying clothes faster. It affects everything from the lifespan of your clothes, shape retention, noise levels, and even the longevity of your washing machine. 

Using the right speed for the right fabrics can drastically improve your laundry results and efficiency. 

TIP: Most washing machine models include the recommended programmes in their user manual. Make sure to read the instructions to know how to use your machine efficiently. 

Best Washing Machine Spin Speeds For Specific Fabrics

Choosing the right spin speed ultimately depends on the type of fabric you want to wash. If you use too high speeds, you may damage your clothes. On the other hand, choosing a low speed may not remove the moisture from your fabrics. 

Here’s a simple guide to help you select the best spin speed depending on your fabric:

Fabric TypeSpin Speed (RPM)
Silk and Delicates400

Silk and Delicates

When it comes to caring for silk and delicate fabrics, choosing the right spin speed on your washing machine is crucial since they are made from fragile materials. A low spin speed is highly recommended, which is typically around 400 revolutions per minute (RPM). 

The reason for this gentle approach is to minimise the stress on the fibres, which are often more prone to damage when they’re spun at high speeds. Using a lower spin speed not only helps to preserve the fabric’s delicate nature but also prevents unwanted stretching or pulling that can occur during the spin cycle. 

TIP: Use a mesh laundry bag for delicates. This extra layer of protection helps to avoid any snagging or tangling with other clothes in the load.


Wool is another fabric that benefits from careful handling. Since it’s made with natural fibres, wool is prone to shrinking and felting if treated harshly. A spin speed of 600-800 RPM is more than enough to extract most of the water without putting too much pressure on the fabric. 

woman holding knitted wool sweaters

When washing wool, always use a wool cycle if your machine has one, coupled with a wool-specific detergent to maintain the fabric’s natural oils. Additionally, avoid washing wool too frequently, as this can cause wear to the garment. Instead of frequent washing, air out your wool fabrics between wears to keep them fresh.

Woolite Laundry Detergent Liquid, Delicates, Hand and Machine Wash - 4 Bottles x 750 ml (3000ml)
  • Renews fibre softness and volume
  • Helps prevent fabric shape loss and fuzz


Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, are more durable than natural fibres and can handle higher spin speeds. A spin setting of 800-1000 RPM is typically safe and effective for these materials, without putting too much force which can cause the fabric to crease and wrinkle. 

SEE ALSO: What Are Synthetics? (in clothes & washing machines)


Cotton, known for its durability and ease of care, can withstand higher spin speeds compared to more delicate fabrics. A spin speed of 1000-1400 RPM is usually effective for cotton items, ensuring that as much water as possible is removed, which helps reduce drying times and energy consumption.

When washing towels, sheets, and other heavy cotton items, you can even go for a higher spin speed of 1400 RPM to extract more water.


Denim,  which is typically a robust fabric, can generally handle higher spin speeds. Setting your washing machine to 800-1000 RPM for denim jeans and jackets is effective in removing excess water and reducing drying times. 

denim jacket with buttons

Despite denim’s ruggedness, avoid over-washing. And using cold water can help maintain the fabric’s integrity and colour too. Also, since denim can be heavy when wet, make sure not to overload your washing machine to prevent undue strain on the motor and ensure thorough cleaning. 

TIP: Turn denim garments inside out before washing to preserve the colour and surface texture.

And there you have it! By understanding the needs of your various fabrics and adjusting the washing machine’s spin speed correctly,  you can ensure that your laundry not only comes out clean but also in excellent condition. 

Whether you prioritise energy efficiency, fabric care, or drying time, the correct spin speed can make a significant difference. 

Do you have additional tips to share? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best spin speed for a washing machine?

The best spin speed for a washing machine depends on the fabric type and your specific laundry needs. Delicate fabrics require lower speeds around 400 RPM, everyday fabrics like cotton and synthetics can be washed at 1200-1400 RPM, and heavy items such as towels and jeans benefit from higher speeds of 1400-1600 RPM.

Do high spin speeds damage a washing machine?

High spin speeds do not inherently damage a washing machine, but they can lead to increased wear and tear over time, particularly if the machine is often used at maximum speed. It’s also important to balance high-speed cycles with appropriate load sizes to avoid excessive vibration and strain on the machine.

What is the best washing machine cycle for wool?

The best washing machine cycle for wool is a specific wool cycle, which uses gentle agitation and lower spin speeds around 600-800 RPM to prevent shrinking and felting.

What is the best washing machine spin speed for cotton?

The best washing machine spin speed for cotton ranges from 1000 to 1400 RPM. This range effectively removes moisture, reducing drying times and energy use, while being gentle enough to maintain the integrity of the fabric.

Can I use normal detergent for wool fabrics?

It is not advisable to use normal detergent for wool fabrics. Wool should be washed with a wool-specific detergent that is designed to protect its natural oils and structure. Regular detergents can be too harsh, stripping away oils and causing the wool to felt or shrink.

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