Washing Machine Spin Speeds
At one time, the average spin speed was about 500 rpm, with a few of the machines going up to a spin speed of 800 rpm. As you know with modern washing machines, spin speeds can go up to 1600 rpm of even higher.
The great question here is, does the spin speed really make such a difference. In many cases the straight answer is no. This is because the dryness feeling after spinning clothes at 800 rpm and 1000 rpm is minimal – maybe one capful of water, not more.
By advertising and manufacturers’ hype, we are led to believe that the faster speeds are something we should all want, preferably on a higher cost machine. To be fair, the higher cost machines are probably more efficient in getting rid of slightly more water during the spin cycle.
This is down to the number of holes in a drum. The higher the number of holes, the more effective the water dispersal is. The downside of this is that drums needs to be stable, therefore, if the metal in the drum is thin, there is a finite number of holes that can be used without affecting the stability of the drum itself. You will generally find a thinner metal drum on a low-mid price machine. Most higher priced machines will offer very high spin speeds, which they are able to maintain due to the thickness of the metal they use for the manufacture of the drums, with more holes.
For general use of higher spin speeds, the types of fabric being washed should also be taken into account, plus the amount of ironing you may have to do.
The higher spin speeds will definitely cause more creasing, this may not be a problem with thicker items such as towels but will certainly impact the finish of lighter materials. If you select a reduced ironing programme cycle, the spin speed will generally not be over 600 rpm, and the finish will be far less creased, reducing the need to iron at all, or certainly use much less effort.
If you start to think about the effect on your clothes of the amount of creasing, it may also make you think about the wear and tear being caused to your clothes by these higher spin speeds. The few minutes of time saved with each wash, may actually be shortening the life of our clothes, especially the lighter materials.
We all want to get the best out of our washing machines, but we also want to ensure our clothes are not damaged in the process. It is definitely worth thinking about the benefits of using high spin speeds, and maybe it’s not that necessary, and does not actually get rid of as much water as we have been led to believe. By reducing the spin speeds it may even slightly reduce the cost of each wash.