Washing machine spinning

Centrifuging is the process of the washing machine where the drum turns around very fast. A washing machine does this at the end of a program so the clothes don't come out soaking wet. A washing machine can have a speed of 1200, 1400 or 1600. These are the revolutions a washing machine makes per minute. The more revolutions a washing machine makes, the dryer the clothes will be. A washing machine with 1600 revolutions will produce dryer clothes than a washing machine with 1200 revolutions.

Washing machine spinning



Picture of Yannick

A wash geek since 2017

What exactly is a spin cycle?

At the end of the wash cycle, washing machines switch to the spin cycle. This ensures that the laundry gets drier. It won’t be completely dry until you put it in the dryer, or hang it out on a rack, but the spin cycle makes a good start. Especially when drying your laundry on a drying rack, this is recommended.

The power of the spin cycle is determined by the speed. The RPM indicates how many rounds the washing machine makes per minute. If you use a high RPM, the wash cycle will consume more energy. It is therefore advisable to run the laundry on a lower number of revolutions when you put it in the dryer afterwards.

How do I set the washing machine?

When setting the spin speed on the washing machine, there are two things to keep in mind: how will you dry the laundry and is it fragile?

The drying method

As mentioned earlier in this article, there are two drying methods: on a drying rack or in the dryer. If you are drying your laundry on a drying rack, it is nice that it comes out of the machine fairly dry. A higher spin speed is recommended. Set the washing machine to 1400 or 1600 rpm. The residual moisture percentage in that case is only 44 to 50%. This indicates how much moisture is left in the laundry after washing.

Drying your laundry in the dryer? Then you can choose a lower rpm which keeps the laundry slightly wetter. The advantage of this is that it takes less energy for the washing machine to run, so you’ll see a positive difference on the financial statement.

Washer damage

In general, you can assume that higher rpm will cause your clothes to wear out faster. There is a reason why wash programmes for delicate fabrics have lower spin speeds as standard. Want to be careful with your laundry, for example because it’s your favourite sweater? Then it’s better to set the washing machine to 1200 rpm. The residual moisture percentage is then 52%. Slightly wetter than 1400-1600, but the laundry will not wear out as quickly.

Help! My Washer Doesn’t Spin – Possible Causes

What a bummer! You have set a wash program that includes a spin cycle but the machine does not spin. In this case, it’s good to know that you can often solve this yourself. First, it is important to find the reason for this defect. There can be several reasons for this, for example a system error or wear and tear of one of the washing machine’s components. Below you will find a number of causes in a row. Go through them and see if any of them apply to your washing machine.

1. A clogged filter or blocked paddle

This is the most common cause of a washing machine not spinning: the pump is clogged. The good news is that you can fix this problem yourself. If you’re handy you can look up a video on how to fix this problem, or read the instructions below:

  1. The first step is to disconnect the washing machine from the mains. To do this, unplug the washer.
  2. Next, you need to look for the washer’s pump. It is often located at the bottom behind a flap.
  3. We will now drain any remaining water from the washer. Look for the drain hose and remove it from the washing machine. Place a container under the end and remove the cap.
  4. Now that the washer has no more water in it you can unscrew the filter. Clean it by removing all the debris.
  5. We will move on to checking the paddle. This is located behind the filter. It should be able to move on both sides. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to remove any objects that are blocking the paddle.
  6. Replace the cap on the drain hose and put it back in the washer. Plug it in and the washer is ready to spin again.

2. Water stays in the drum

If water stays in the drum that is not drained (fast enough) then the machine cannot spin either. This can have several causes:

2.1. The drain hose is blocked

Check the back of the machine, that’s where the drain hose is. Through the drain hose, the washing machine pumps the water into the drain. If it is clogged, this process is stopped. Therefore, check the hose for clogs or kinks.

2.2. The drain hose is pushed too deep into the drain tube

One reason for water not draining is when the drain hose is too deep into the drain tube. Check the back of the machine where the drain hose is located. The drain hose should be no deeper than 15 centimeters into the drain pipe.

This problem is also easy to prevent. A plastic bracket is often included with the purchase of the washing machine. You can mount this to keep the drain hose from popping too deep into the drain pipe.

2.3. A clog in the plumbing fixture

In addition to the drain hose, the plumbing fixture – where the drain hose flows into – can also be clogged. You can check this by pouring some water down the drain. If the drain overflows, you know it’s clogged. You can use a plunger to push the clog away, but there are also some old-fashioned tricks you can use. The first is to pour boiling water down the drain and the other is to let baking soda and vinegar soak down the drain for 15 minutes.

2.4. The filter is clogged or the paddle is blocked

Look at possible cause 1 for the solution. Here is how to fix this problem.

3. Worn carbon brushes causing the drum to stop spinning

If the washer’s drum stops spinning even though the washer is connected to AC power and the display appears to be working properly, it may very well be that the washer’s carbon brushes are worn and need to be replaced. There are obviously more parts that make the drum spin, but worn carbon brushes are one of the most common reasons for this problem.

How do you know the carbon brushes are worn and what causes them? What carbon brushes do is transfer electricity to the armature of the motor. They are spring loaded, meaning they are always touching the motor armature. This constant contact and the many revolutions during a wash cycle wear out carbon brushes, this is quite normal. When they are worn they no longer make contact with the motor anchor and the washing machine will no longer run. Worn out carbon brushes are bent and small pieces are broken off.

Replacing the brushes can be done by an expert, or if you are confident you can do it yourself. In the latter case, the easiest thing to do is to look up a video that explains how to do it step by step. Always make sure that you unplug your appliance before you start and that you order the right carbon brushes. Want to be sure you’re buying the right ones? Then look at the type of motor your washing machine has. It will often be advised to look at model number, but manufacturers often change the type of motor during the production of a model. Therefore, it is better to look at motor type.

4. The contents of the drum are out of balance

This is a problem that can only occur with modern washing machines. This is because they distribute the laundry inside the drum before spinning. Therefore, if the washer does not get the contents balanced, the washer will not start spinning. This may be because the washing has become tangled, or because there is too much or too little washing in the drum. The solution is simple: redistribute the load. The washer should now resume spinning.

My washer spins, but the laundry stays wet

Sometimes it can happen that the washer spins, but your laundry still comes out wet. This problem can have a number of causes.

Insufficient spin speed

There are several causes for a washing machine that does not spin at sufficient speed. You can think of clothes stuck between the inner and outer drum or overloaded laundry. In these cases, the set speed may not be reached and the laundry may remain wet. But there is also a more annoying possible cause, namely a worn-out drive belt. You can repair this yourself, or pay for a professional repair.

Other causes

Also in this case, the problem may be a blockage in the filter, drain hose or fixed drain, and an imbalance in the load. We have written about this in previous sections. Of course, it could also be human error.


Centrifuging is supposed to get your laundry dry, or at least drier than it was after the wash cycle. Exactly how dry depends on the spin speed you set. If you’re drying your laundry in a tumble dryer, we recommend that you turn the spin speed downwards to save money on your energy bill. If you are drying your laundry on a drying rack, you can increase it a little. It’s important to remember that spinning laundry at high speed will wear it out. If you want to save your favourite outfit, it’s best to use a lower spin speed. It can also happen that your washing machine stops spinning. There are several reasons for this. The same goes for a washing machine that does spin, but the laundry stays wet. In many cases you can solve these problems yourself, but in more specialized cases you can also call in a mechanic. It just depends on which side your thumbs are on…

Picture of Yannick

A wash geek since 2017

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